Story image

Wake up to the shake up: Part 4

11 Oct 12

There are some serious challenges ahead for the channel in disaster recovery and business continuity, as Keith Newman discovers in our four-part feature.

Prioritising data needs

One of the big market shifts is ‘big data’; the exponential growth of information that needs to be stored and managed by most businesses, which Sydney-based Gartner research vice president Phil Sargeant says is having a major impact on BCDR.

Even five years ago 120 terabytes seemed a lot of data but you could still back it up and recover it without too much difficulty, he says. “Today dealing with 500-600Tb, puts a different complexion on the matter; it requires a lot more capital investment to replicate between data centres and then recover.”

Sargeant says this places great stress on BCDR systems which have to be approached differently than in the past.

“Even a decade ago you would back-up on tape daily, weekly or monthly and be able to restore 10Tb in around two hours. Today, if you have 500Tb or a petabyte of data it might take two or three days to recover. No organisation can afford to be down that long.”

Sargeant says the whole process requires stepping back and evaluating what it is you are backing up and why, then prioritising, based on what is needed to get back up and running. Too often he says the focus is on the technology rather than understanding the data.

He says there’s a need for IT managers and key people in each department to become more intimate with their data so they know what is important, and what’s associated with which application and workload.

Sargeant says the big data boom presents the perfect opportunity for reseller channels and integrators to educate their clients and partners. In fact he suggests it is a responsibility to ensure clients know which part of their data they need ‘to get back on air straight away’.

Resellers can then recommend some of the technologies that make life easier, including data classification, replication and virtualisation.

“There are huge opportunities to create differentiation and mindshare by articulating what is needed in the changing world of big data and to outline what needs to be done over a one, two and three year time frame,” he says.

And Sargeant says those who’ve been cagey about virtualisation and all it offers may need to take another look, particularly when reviewing BCDR needs.

It’s no longer a buzz word, has gone way beyond server consolidation, and is now ubiquitous and a major adjunct to business continuity and disaster recovery, making life easier when automating processes, moving work around or load balancing.

“If something is going astray or amiss these mechanisms can shovel work somewhere else. For example if a server dies it can restart that work in a virtually seamless fashion somewhere else.”

He believes the more astute resellers are well aware of what is happening and the technology that is needed to move their clients forward, and says the sophisticated approach is to build relationships across a number of vendors.

“If you are just an IBM or an HP box reseller that will satisfy a need but there’s no differentiation, it’s simply a relationship built on price and support.”

For part one click here, part two click here and part three click here

DigiPlex’s data centre heat reuse system wins award
Its solution to reuse heat to warm thousands of local homes took out the accolade at the recent 2018 Energy Awards.
STT GDC to build hyperscale data centre in Singapore
ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) today unveiled ambitious plans for expansion with its largest data centre in Singapore to date.
Golden opportunities for enterprise e-waste reduction
E-waste is a hot topic in tech circles, and Park Place's EMEA MD believes there could be huge opportunities if data centres and enterprises improve their practices.
How Schneider Electric aims to simplify IT management
With IT Expert, Schneider Electric aims to ensure secure, vendor agnostic, wherever-you-go monitoring and visibility of all IoT-enabled physical infrastructure assets.
Pitfalls to avoid when configuring cloud firewalls
Flexibility and granularity of security controls is good but can still represent a risk for new cloud adopters that don’t recognise some of the configuration pitfalls.
Cisco dominates record-high Ethernet switch & router markets
While the market is flourishing, it’s tough-going as Cisco has increased its majority share of the pie.
Why total visibility is the key to zero trust
Over time, the basic zero trust model has evolved and matured into what Forrester calls the Zero Trust eXtended (ZTX) Ecosystem.
Gartner names Proofpoint Leader in enterprise information archiving
The report provides a detailed overview of the enterprise information archiving market and evaluates vendors based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.