CDW Blog

Time to rethink backup and recovery

21 July, 2021 / by Ashminder Ubhi

Globally, business leaders are leaning into  and leveraging  data to accelerate growth and gain competitive advantage. As industry moves more deeply into an ‘age of insight,’ where innovation and customer growth are interlocked with data collection, protection, retrieval, and analysis, secure and comprehensive backup is essential. 


iStock-975807342_BLOG copy

Are concerns about business continuity keeping you awake at night? 

Ten years ago, backup was more a matter of IT best practice than a critical issue of strategic advantage. Today, data is becoming central to customer loyalty and experience, business process optimisation, automation, product innovation, and employee engagement. At the same time, backup, disaster recovery and business continuity are becoming essential to protecting reputation and complying with regulations such as GDPR.  

These are the issues that business decision-makers are wrestling with: because data access and continuity affects most in-company disciplines, from marketing to HR and strategy, how do you limit the risks and ensure compliance whilst navigating cost and time to market? 

Time to re-evaluate 

Backup and recovery need a radical rethink. When today’s incumbent solutions were designed, more than a decade ago, backup and recovery systems were viewed as the protection scheme of last resort, and data growth was predictable and incremental. 

Today, the way that data is being produced results in an exponential growth in storage. This means that your backup requirements are going to become unmanageable if your planning was based on historical trends. 

How to calculate costs?

Your backup strategy is partially an ‘insurance policy’ against catastrophe. Natural disasters like fire and flood, unintentional or accidental human damage, and intentional damage like sabotage and ransomware heists, are all events that cannot be predicted, yet must be planned for ‘in case.’ 

What would such interruption cost your business? There’s no simple calculation, but the common criteria to consider would be: 

  • Lost sales 
  • Lost productivity (the number of employees multiplied by the average salary of those employees) 
  • Expenses being paid while employees can’t work (i.e., rent, utilities, and technologies). 

Depending on the size of your business, it could cost hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of pounds per minute for you to be out of action. 

Understanding the full cost of implementing a comprehensive backup solution is also extremely difficult and varies from company to company. You need to know: 

  • How much data you have 
  • The type of data (structured or unstructured) 
  • The amount of granularity required for RPOs 
  • And how long the backups will be stored 

From an OPEX perspective, the calculable cost of backups includes the software and hardware, the cost of the WAN for replication and backup, colocation costs, physical media costs, offsite management, tape refreshes and replacement, among others. 

Therefore, it is imperative that IT leaders ensure that the total cost of ownership of a modern, comprehensive backup and recovery solution is lower than the business's investment in its legacy system.  

While cloud-based solutions were previously too expensive, and tape systems like LTO had the edge, economies of scale and competition have driven down the cost of cloud storage to the point where it is the smart economical choice. 


Speed benefits

Not only that, it’s also the fastest option. 

Consider the time taken, even with an automated system, to load tapes and restore even one file. Compare that to your almost-instant access to that file if is in the cloud? At the other end of the scale, how long would it take to recover from a situation requiring a bare-metal restore, if every single file had to come off tape? 

Data mining

There is another consideration that one needs to make. Data scientists using machine learning (ML) can use a company’s data to discover patterns and insights that were previously invisible. But only if the company’s entire data pool is available to be mined. 

If your data is sitting safely tucked away on tape drives, it is not useful; it's just dead weight. It’s costing you for physical storage space and, if you are doing due diligence, it’s costing you to do regular refreshes. And these costs are simply going to rise as your data store grows. 

The AI-powered, cloud-based solution

To ensure the best investment, CDW and Rubrik offer a cloud-based approach that enables scale today, and in the future—one that evolves as your company does. This is important because IT teams scale too, which calls for simplicity, automation and infrastructure that can be effectively managed by big or small teams. 

Security is ensured at every level, and no matter how siloed your various systems are, Rubrik’s advanced AI-powered system ensures total coverage of your entire IT estate. 

The real value of a backup solution lies in its ability to ensure that you are back up and running with minimal business interruption and no permanent loss of data. And also, so that you can get a good night’s sleep. 

Find out more


Topics: Data recovery, Rubrik, Data backup