Leading analyst firm advises that the chief value drivers of a migration to the cloud are speed and agility
Wish that you could have better conversations about your cloud backup services with enterprises? Here are some tips.
As the awareness about cloud computing grows, enterprises are no longer shying away from having discussions about cloud approaches. However, even as the knowledge about the space increases and successful implementations of cloud abound, there are still some questions and fears that lurk in the minds of enterprises – and these are what come up when service providers get involved in discussions with them around cloud backup.
This blog post distills the knowledge of the cloud that we have had over the many years in the business as well as quotes and insights from leading industry analysts. We hope that this will help our service provider community in conducting more successful conversations with end customers and in addressing their questions more effectively.
Leading industry analysts today agree that cloud is no longer a technology – it is a style, an approach to IT delivery. The analysts talk about the fact that not all enterprise use cases lend themselves to cloud computing. Some areas are better served by using the cloud than others. Some in fact, do not even lend themselves to a cloud based solution. We agree and believe that the fear of the cloud arises because of the wrong choices that firms make when it comes to choosing the cloud as an implementation method for IT delivery. Backup and recovery, in the opinion of IT experts, is an excellent choice for cloud based backup and recovery. Therefore, when approaching conversations around cloud backup, it is essential to be aware of these nuances and specifics.
Gartner advises that the chief value drivers of a migration to cloud are speed and agility. The ability to tune up or tune down resources based on usage and to have the flexibility to try different structures and models with relatively low barriers is the biggest benefit. While all of this does have a cost element to it, cost savings are not the primary driver for enterprises to embrace the cloud. This, in our opinion is a key learning for our partners. If you have been making your pitches only about cost savings, you are doing yourself a disservice. True, there is a huge benefit from being able to convert capital expenditure into operating expenses – and this is a compelling enough reason to make the switch to the cloud – however, it is not the only one. There is the ability to scale up and scale down as required, the ability to respond rapidly to try the adoption of new approaches such as VDR without the risk of large investments, and to benefit from the pooling of competency and resources that cloud provides. Remember, going with just the cost card puts you in competition against automation and virtualization technologies. You are not here to compete against them but to show how you leverage those approaches to drive additional savings and provide so much more value with the cloud.
Not everyone has the same definitions of private, public, and hybrid clouds. Private clouds, the most common implementation today, are those in which you have your data isolated from that of others. This does not necessarily mean that it has to be an on-premise or an on-site solution. It can be data that is isolated in a different location or network, or both, in a service provider's data center – just that there is no sharing of infrastructure or resources between the private location and others. Leading analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester both believe that a private cloud implementation may not be providing organizations with all the benefits that cloud computing can provide. The ability to pool resources and gain from the economies of scale is best enabled in a public environment. Therefore, analysts' advice enterprises to evaluate the best model for each use case and then choose the ideal combination of private and public cloud infrastructures for their unique needs.
That brings us to the most important cloud model – the hybrid cloud. IT has almost become a cliché to suggest that this is the model of the future. Gartner, Forrester, Frost and Sullivan, Deloitte – every analyst firm of repute seems to suggest this to be the case. And to us, this seems to make logical sense. If enterprises are going to look at ways to leverage the benefits of both public and private approaches and want to have the ability to seamlessly migrate between them, the best way to achieve it would be through a hybrid approach with the ability to switch models seamlessly based on changing requirements. And we believe that this is a great development for Asigra service providers – you have a technology that supports these various cloud deployment models and helps you seamlessly migrate between these different models when required.
We sincerely hope that this post gives you some more ammunition and confidence to go out and have discussions with enterprises about your managed backup services. If you find enterprises backing away for fear of the cloud, all you need to do is to educate them about what the cloud means, why not all use cases of using the cloud are the same, what the different cloud deployment models mean and why it makes sense to use your services powered by Asigra.
Do you agree that we need to educate the enterprise more about the benefits of the hybrid cloud? Have you encountered any difficulties in positioning your cloud services within the enterprise? What sales strategies do you find the most impactful within the enterprise? Do you agree that the chief value drivers are speed and agility? Let's keep this discussion going, please let us know your thoughts and experiences.
We hear it over and over, the numerous stories of laptops that have gone missing and data that has disappeared in the Healthcare industry. We hear it so often that we've written numerous blog posts about the risks and costs of losing such critical data. So much so, that we have created the following information that contains 8 Reasons why the Healthcare Industry needs Backup and Recovery.
Let's take a look at the 8 reasons at a high level and from there you can explore the information below to get more details:
- Complying to HIPPA regulations isn't easy and the costs are real. Under the HITECH Act penalties are divided into three tiers and the fines can be costly.
- More than 19 Million individuals have been affected by a "major" healthcare information breach since 2009. Breaches are embarrassing, and fines can be expensive.
- Medical Breaches are prevalent in the industry. We find examples of medical breaches and read about them in publications on a monthly basis. Many of which, could have been prevented.
- $1.5M fine for a lost laptop. $1.7M fine for a lost hard drive. Enough said.
- If you suffered a data breach, would you know the next steps? The work following a breach can be tedious, embarrassing, costly and damaging to your brand.
- The US HHS Wall of Shame is a public site that lists or ousts all Healthcare related breaches to the public, for the world to see. Avoid being published on that list at all costs.
- It's not all doom and gloom. There are proactive steps you can take to get the right technology in place to protect your data and to provide you with some peace of mind.
- Finally, Asigra provides the backup and recovery software you need to keep patient data safe.
Take a look at the information below, which reiterates all of the above in more detail.
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As the importance and value of corporate data grows, IT organizations will need to adjust by implementing and managing more sophisticated backup and recovery strategies that meet changing requirements. In the current culture of convenience and instant gratification, organizations must have a comprehensive plan for restoring this data in the event that something goes wrong that provides them with an acceptable recovery time that does not interrupt their business.
TechTarget's WhatIs.com defines recovery time objective (RTO) as "the maximum tolerable length of time that a computer, system, network, or application can be down after a failure or disaster occurs".
Before one can set a realistic RTO, there are several factors to consider:
- Cost of recovery
- Cost of lost production
- Amount of data
- # of employee devices in the workplace
- Location of data
Assign a weight to your requirements, the cost and the risk when determining what backup/recovery strategy works for you. A one-size-fits-all approach to data protection is no longer feasible, so backup and recovery strategies must be strategically aligned to business needs in order to balance availability and cost.
Integrating a data protection/recovery solution with virtual disaster recovery (VDR) features allowing instant recoverability of your most mission critical data. Ensuring these features are built into a backup & recovery strategy can reduce your RTO ensuring the business doesn't suffer any unnecessary loss of reputation, credibility or loyalty.
To introduce you further to reducing RTOs, what to consider when creating a comprehensive data backup and recovery plan and how to reduce risks / costs, Asigra has published a Modern Guide to Optimizing Data Backup and Recovery. Read to learn more.
In a recent press release, Asigra announced a ten-point check list for enterprises preparing for events that require disaster recovery. At Asigra, we recommend organizations take proactive steps to prepare for a variety of disasters that could negatively impact data stored in local data centers. The below checklist is a good starting point in ensuring you are protected from disasters.
Here's a look at the checklist.
10-Point Enterprise Disaster Recovery Planning Checklist:
- Have a Written Plan that Evolves with the Organization
Create a formal disaster recovery plan in case servers and local backup systems are damaged or destroyed. Put that plan in a secure location such as a lockbox service online and regularly update as infrastructure throughout the organization evolves.
- Avoid Windows
Locate your data center (regardless of size) in a windowless room to minimize the possibility of rain damage.
- Emergency Power
Consider the implementation of uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems on mission critical servers and systems that will allow for the smooth transition from primary (utility) power to emergency power systems during a power outage.
Be mindful of where IT systems are located to avoid damage resulting from floods, bursting pipes and the fire department. Where possible, locate critical servers, storage and systems above street level and avoid basements and other areas where water can accumulate. In single-story facilities, rack critical systems as high as possible above the floor to provide an additional measure of protection.
- Embrace Geographic Diversity
In the event of a large-scale natural event such as a hurricane, a regional disaster such as a tornado, flood or earthquake or even a localized disaster such as a fire, your data should be backed up in a geographically distant location to allow for remote recovery to a recovery site. Consider data recovery solutions that provide redundant data protection in a location that provides significant separation of the recovery location from the primary data center.
- Have a Local Backup
Having a local backup copy will be crucial if the primary business location maintains power but loses Internet connectivity and needs to recover server data.
- Define Disaster Recovery Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Conduct Training Drills
Defining SLAs for recovery is essential as businesses may need instant recovery for some information (explore instant recovery capabilities on virtual machine platforms to get back up and running as quickly as possible), while waiting longer periods of time for lower priority data recovery may not impact operations. However, having such recovery policies and SLAs needs to be an essential part of the DR plan to ensure data can be recovered using the most effective method. Confirm the ability to recover effectively by engaging IT staff to participate in regular disaster recovery drills (recovery testing) to ensure recovery effectiveness. Ensure that data in the backup repositories is indeed recoverable. Also, make sure people have the necessary training to perform recoveries and are well versed with the procedures to recover.
- Identify a Minimum of Three Business Site Failover Locations
This will allow remotely backed up data to be recovered via Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) to servers at the recovery site location and allow critical business functions to continue in the event the primary site is lost.
- Employee Communication
Planning and testing are great preparatory tools, however, the events of an actual disaster will almost always bring the unexpected. It is recommended to have an offsite emergency website that all employees can access. With this site, real time information can be communicated to employees.
- Business Continuance
In a disaster, prioritization is the key. Making sure the most important business functions operate effectively will be critical. A major part component will be support from employees. They need to be capable of performing key business services. Make sure all employees in critical business areas understand exactly how they will connect to the recovered servers and perform their jobs.
You can read the press release in full by visiting here: Asigra Presents 10-Point Disaster Recovery Checklist For Proactive Enterprise Data Recovery Planning
The ability to ensure the security and recoverability of mission critical data is crucial for organizations. That's why Agile Manufacturing turned to Clear Cover Data Protection Corporation powered by Asigra when they were looking for a proven backup and recovery solution that could provide them with:
- Ease of use;
- The ability to Differentiate Data; and,
- Proven Recoverability Capabilities.
Hear Richard Smeenk, President, Agile Manufacturing Inc., outline their backup and recovery requirements, what initially led them to Asigra and the ROI they have achieved since working with Clear Cover Data Protection Corp. Richard explains how they have received the best value for the money as far as business continuation insurance goes.
Like Agile Manufacturing Inc, if you are searching for an enterprise backup and recovery solution that is reliable, dependable and secure, contact us today. If peace of mind is what you are looking for, let us connect you to one of our partners in your local area.
The British Red Cross enables people in the UK and abroad to prepare and withstand emergencies. The organization helps people recover from disasters. So, it is only fitting that they have a Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan.
According to Miguel Fiallos, Head of MIS, British Red Cross "We are expected to be able to continue running the business in the event of an emergency, which means that our IT systems need to do the same".
In order to ensure their 120 remote offices were disaster-proof to continue business as usual, the British Red Cross moved from tape-based backup to disk based backup to shorten the backup time and ensure the security and safe recovery of data using a cloud backup service, powered by Asigra.
Another component of British Red Cross' DR plan was to endure the safe handling of their data. Previously, non-technical members of the British Red Cross, at different locations, were carrying out the backups manually which left room for error while being extremely labour intensive; the primary roles of employees were being compromised. Utilizing Asigra Cloud Backup, backups are now carried out automatically from a single central location.
To learn more about the British Red Cross and a cloud backup service powered by Asigra allowed them to ensure the safety and recoverability of their data from a single location, view the complete case study. Watch Technical Features of Asigra Cloud Backup to determine if this secure, agentless backup technology is the right fit for your business.
Sunday March 31, 2013 celebrates World Backup Day, where at Asigra, we will be encouraging everyone to embrace backup and recovery. We work deep in the trenches of the backup and recovery industry and we recognize the role that backup plays and we acknowledge the many experts who take care of critical data on a daily basis.
But quite often, these experts or 'heroes', from business users, to IT administrators, are rarely recognized for their hard work. So with that in mind, we've created some e-cards aimed at the heroes of the backup and recovery space with an application that will let you send e-cards out to friends, family, peers and associates. So to celebrate the upcoming World Backup Day, go ahead and send out an e-card to brighten someone's day!
Well don't. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who are guarded and hesitant to launch marketing campaigns, should let go of their fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). There are many experienced marketing services firms that specialize in supporting and helping Managed Service Providers develop effective marketing campaigns for lead generation, brand awareness and thought leadership.
Some of these firms specialize in helping Managed Service Providers stand up a website in weeks providing them with an online destination for technology buyers to peruse when looking for managed services that could include remote monitoring to generic IT services to cloud backup and recovery services.
Some specialize in helping MSPs develop effective social media strategies to leverage Twitter as a way to promote their service offerings, new customer wins and to have a voice in the market. Others help MSPs develop engagement strategies for participating in online communities such as LinkedIn and Spiceworks to connect with potential prospects.
According to HubSpot: 89% of US internet users search online before they make a purchase, even when the purchase is made at a local business. Also companies that blog have 97% more inbound links
In today's digital world having an effective website that clearly communicates your brand and value proposition is not an option. It is the first place that buyers interact with your brand; your website is your business card.
Below is a list of 6 marketing services firms who have experience helping Managed Service Providers like you develop and launch content marketing strategies, develop websites, participate in social media, fuel your sales pipeline with quality leads through demand generation and call blitz campaigns.
So you are probably asking yourself, this is a cloud backup blog why are we talking about Marketing Services – which is a great question - because if you are a Managed Service Provider thinking about offering cloud backup services, you need to consider your go to market strategy. How will you tell your existing customers that you now offer cloud backup services? How will you let the market know that you have expanded your existing product and services portfolio? How will you scale your business? One way to do this is to partner with a cloud backup and recovery software vendor that is focused on the channel and that provides marketing services in the form of turnkey marketing campaigns to their partners along with a host of other sales and marketing resources.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
If you are a VAR, IT Consultant, Telco or Service Provider who is not offering cloud backup and recovery services today, you should consider adding this service to your practice for the following five reasons.
- Customer retention. If you customers cannot purchase the service from you – they will go to your competitor. This seems like a pretty good reason to me.
- Money, money, money. (this means more shoes to me – but perhaps to you it means a bigger speed boat or a fast car). There are decent margins in cloud backup services.
- Increase your total addressable market. With the adoption of SaaS-based apps and bring your own device (BYOD) infiltrating organizations, there is huge opportunity for you to deliver secure cost efficient cloud backup and recovery services to your existing and new customers. Organizations are going to need a data protection sitting in SaaS-based / cloud applications such as Salesforce.com, Google Apps and Office 365.
- Market growth. Gartner Says the worldwide market for cloud services is estimated to be worth $ 148.8 billion by 2014. Don't you want a piece of the action?
- Data recovery - Companies still need help with recovering data. As the volume, velocity and variety of data continues to grow this will continue to be an ongoing concern which means an opportunity for you.
Whether you want to own your own vault or be a cloud services broker reselling someone else's services, this is a business opportunity you should explore. For more reasons why you should offer cloud backup and recovery services or to hear what others are saying within the industry check out the information below.
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Mike Semel, from EMRapproved.com wrote a compelling blog post on the importance of protecting healthcare information. In his post, he uses the analogy that the value of patient data should be compared to the value of gold and that healthcare employees should treat data in that same regard.
From his post we learn some great points about the real costs of a healthcare data breach and the steps you can take to avoid them. Some interesting numbers include:
- $ 1.5 million fine assessed last year for a lost laptop, and the $ 1.7 million fine for a lost hard drive
- Each would have been avoided with $ 150 for encryption software
Read the blog post here: To secure Protected Health Information first get your people to respect it