The S.S. Backup-as-a-Service: Don’t Get Lost in a Sea of Data

By: Fred Nanouris| - Leave a comment

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Today is World Backup Day, and oh my, how the application world has changed!

Based on the continued growth of software-as-a-service (SaaS), it’s no surprise that the world is consuming applications at incredible growth rates. This consumption makes the present an optimal time to embrace backup-as-a-service. Why? The old barriers of perceived security risk or lack of true multitenancy have disappeared, and SaaS is a proven model for both startups and Fortune 100 companies.

Enterprise Backup: A Big Responsibility

Most people would probably guess that enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the largest application in an organization, but they would be mistaken. The largest application in your business landscape is backup.

Backup must cover every application, operating system, server and storage type and be tunable to each unique business unit across the organization. Given its significant size and importance, backup remains in its infancy as a SaaS offering.

A Complex Course for Backup-as-a-Service

If SaaS works for corporate-critical applications such as customer relationship management, human resources and ERP, why has the world not adopted SaaS for the single largest application in the enterprise? The reason is driven by the complexity and unique demands of different departments within the enterprise. Backup must account for all applications, whether they run on Linux, Windows, Unix or iSeries.

Moreover, the various departments within an organization often demand that IT deliver different service-level agreements (SLAs) for each department. This complex matrix of technology options and business demands has historically prevented the successful delivery of one comprehensive backup-as-a-service solution — until now.

Within the past two years, key technological advancements in data protection have materialized and successfully eliminated the need for multiple vendors or backup architectures to service everything from small startups to larger enterprises. Data deduplication, compression and encryption capabilities — once reserved for proprietary hardware designs — are now available in powerful, software-driven services.

Get on Track With Backup SaaS

Backup SaaS can now be delivered with tunable SLAs designed specifically for each part of the business but managed globally by one backup SaaS administrator. In the past, it took months to onboard a new backup SaaS client, but today, with cloud computing and on-premises designs, backup-as-a-service can be implemented in hours, not weeks.

By simplifying, consolidating and upgrading backup services using backup-as-a-service, organizations can do the following:

  • No longer have silos of protection based on different vendor configurations;
  • Eliminate operating system, server and storage revision support and leverage the best technology without owning the infrastructure;
  • Dramatically reduce capital expenditure and operating expense costs by consolidating spending within a cloud contract;
  • Increase SLA provisioning by harnessing the power of backup-as-a-service analytics; and
  • Successfully manage the largest application within the enterprise by leveraging the power of SaaS.

As demand for continuous business operations increases, shorter restore and recovery times become more crucial. In today’s dynamic business environment, a flexible, scalable and reliable backup and recovery capability is essential.

By partnering with a third-party provider, businesses can be transformed by taming IT complexity while provisioning enterprise-class SaaS solutions. Reducing data loss while improving backup function reliability and data availability are key objectives for IT decision-makers who are trying to address always-on needs. Backup-as-a-service provides an always-on life cycle methodology to protect and manage the data that brings together people, processes, information and technology in a structured manner designed to help maintain consistent synchronization of IT and the business.

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About The Author

Fred Nanouris

Program/Offering Manager for Resiliency Services in Global Technology Services, IBM

Fred is a Senior Professional with demonstrated success in the Information Services and Information Technology arena. He has more than 20 years of experience in the IS and IT industry, having held a broad range of positions within a number of established organizations. He has a strong track record of helping customers solve their business challenges and seeing the big picture through the clouds. He is the recipient of multiple achievement awards and is known as an enabler, as he has helped people and organizations get what they need. Fred’s current role in IBM Global Resiliency Services focuses on bringing cloud-based resiliency and data protection services to market.