It’s time to rethink your back-up and data management strategy

Douglas Ko
By Douglas Ko on 04 November 2019
It’s time to rethink your back-up and data management strategy

Do you remember the days of client/server and Windows NT? Maybe I’m dating myself. How about when we started to see Windows Server, Active Directory, or maybe Hyper-V? Do you remember how painful it was to back-up your legacy Microsoft back then? Today, most people are talking about the cloud and rightfully so as Microsoft Azure and Office 365 are among the fastest growing franchises at Microsoft. But as the saying goes, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”

That’s right. I’m looking at you Mr back-up and recovery. First, things haven’t gotten any better with your legacy on-premises back-up for Microsoft environments – you may have added deduplication hardware and the latest support for Windows Server 2019, but you’re mostly looking at solutions that were designed and architected 20 years ago. Second, as mentioned above, we now have the cloud. Since it’s a managed service, you don’t need to worry about back-ups anymore, right? WRONG.

Cloud providers – including Microsoft, which offers Azure and Office 365 – employ a shared responsibility model. In short, what this means is they’ll take care of physical cloud infrastructure, like their data centres and servers. But when it comes to your data, it’s almost solely your responsibility to secure, manage, and back up your data. If someone with fat fingers hits the ‘delete’ button, or if a bad actor deploys the latest ransomware scheme to get a hold of your Office 365 account, you may be out of luck if you didn’t properly back up your cloud data.

So what should you do? You can deploy cloud-specific back-up products or services that are offered as stand-alone point solutions. But, the problem with that is you are basically introducing yet another tool, another user interface (UI), and another data silo that needs to be managed and taken care of. Too much complexity. In a recent Vansen and Bourne survey, 9 in 10 participants stated the cloud has not delivered on its expected benefits and 91% believe mass data fragmentation is the cause.

Single platform for hybrid cloud data management
Cohesity provides a single data management platform and UI for hybrid cloud environments. Our platform seamlessly integrates and provides data mobility between on-premises and the cloud. It does away with legacy infrastructure, software and separate point solutions by unifying, protecting and managing all of your data from new cloud workloads running on Azure to your legacy on-premises Windows environments.

New integrations with Microsoft Azure and hybrid cloud solutions
I’m excited as we are now offering several new integrations and capabilities that simplify data management on Azure and hybrid cloud environments.

1. Efficient back-up of Azure cloud-native workloads

a. Cohesity cloud-native back-up
Running Cohesity software directly on Azure, customers can more efficiently back up their Azure virtual machines (VMs) and workloads using snapshot-based application programming interfaces (APIs) to speed back-up and recovery while minimising the impact on production VMs. Data is stored and managed by Cohesity making it fully searchable and easily recoverable anywhere – whether that’s in another cloud region or back on-premises. It further reduces cloud storage and data transfer costs using global data deduplication and compression.

b. Cohesity cloud snapshot manager
This software feature can run from a Cohesity deployment on-premises or in the cloud. Many customers may choose to run this on-premises as it doesn’t require spinning up additional cloud resources. Instead it provides a lightweight solution to protect your Azure cloud workloads remotely from on-premises environments. Cloud snapshot manager uses Azure APIs to manage snapshot data and metadata remotely. Back-up/snapshot data is stored in Azure BLOBs cloud storage and metadata is stored and indexed in Cohesity for easy search and recovery.

2. Back-up of two Azure hybrid cloud solutions

a. Microsoft Azure Stack back-up
Cohesity now supports comprehensive policy-based back-up and recovery of Azure Stack VMs data and infrastructure. This is important since Azure Stack is a hardware/software/services solution – you need to protect both the VMs and data running inside the Azure Stack as well as the supporting infrastructure. Leveraging our core platform capabilities, you will be able to do global searches and granular recoveries for files and VMs and deliver fast back-up and recovery performance with the ability to do instant mass restores of thousands of VMs at a time.

b. Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple back-up
If much of your on-premises infrastructure is on VMware and your cloud strategy leans on Azure, this may be the solution for you. Cohesity integrates seamlessly with both Azure and VMware and can now back up VMware workloads running on Azure bare metal instances managed by CloudSimple. It provides a single platform to consolidate, protect, and manage all your VMware VMs and data running anywhere on-premises and cloud. You get our full platform benefits such as global search and cost savings through global deduplication while maintaining a consistent experience over hybrid cloud using the same VMware tools you are familiar with today.

So maybe now is a good time to change and start rethinking your back-up and data management strategy as hybrid cloud is becoming more of a reality with each passing day. Many of our customers have already made the change and are reaping the benefits. If you’re at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando next week, come join us at booth #1347 to get a demonstration or hear from one of our customers. You can also attend one of our many speaking sessions at the event. 

Douglas Ko is the director of product marketing at Cohesity

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