Traditional backup is broken in the sense that it’s old, outdated technology and we can do better. CDP is a better option, but it still has some growing to do. Vendors need to take the time to look at it from the practitioner's point of view and make CDP more automatic and simple. This is what we need:
•Give me a cost benefit - I know everyone asks for this, but I really do need to do more with less. So, make the technology affordable, put it on commodity hardware, help me reduce my over-head, and give me clear business benefits.
•Give me self-service - Why do I need to restore files or e-mails for users if they can do it themselves? I’d like my users to be able to right-click a file or folder and see the previous versions so they can perform a restore themselves.
•Give me a way to verify backups - If I’m going to trust you with my data, and most likely my job, then I need a way to verify that every block is exactly where it should be. If you could verify every block is where it should be on a regular basis and let me know that it’s going to work that would be even better.
•Give me visibility into my backup/data protection - I need a report to show my boss and my auditors how we are protecting our data, how often it’s replicated, and how often we fall out of our parameters. I need to be able to select the data I want and customize my reports. If I could get all the performance and backup data in a database and make my own report, it would be even better.
•Give me proactive alerting - I need to know if my mirror is out of sync, if I’ve missed a snapshot, or if my off-site replication had a problem. I need to know immediately and I need to know what steps to take to resolve the situation. I can’t tell my users or my management that we have CDP and hourly snapshots if there is a chance we don’t.
•Give me a button to activate DR mode - If my primary environment goes down, I need to get my fail-over up and running quickly. Mount up the mirrors of my system as VMs on the CDP hardware, and do it fast. I don’t want to specify which servers to recover; rather, I want to specify which services I need to recover. I need the recovery to be smart enough to know that if I need my Web app recovered it needs to make sure the back-end SQL server is up, too. I want this process to be easy enough for my intern to do.
•Give me a good way to seed the initial replication - I need to have this system up and running shortly after I purchase it. I can’t wait for two weeks to replicate my data the first time, so I need something I can copy my data to and ship to my remote site. I don’t care what it looks like, or how fast it is, as long as I don’t have to pay too much for it and it’s easy to ship.
•Give me the cloud - I need to have a site to send my off-site copies to, and I don’t want to manage the infrastructure. I need to have all the functionality mentioned above, I need five 9’s up time, I need good technical support, and I need it to be cheap.
Action Item: Simplify and demystify the backup and recovery process by delivering data protection as a service. Rethink the way you deliver your products and take a data protection as a service mentality. Help me deliver data protection as a service to my business units and users.