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How the Cloud Impacts Data Management

Data management has never been more of a challenge. The sheer volume of data is increasing at a staggering rate. Some of it is beneficial, much of it is irrelevant, and a disturbing portion of it is dark and potentially dangerous. Data ownership is fragmented — different business silos often maintain their own information instead of taking a centralized approach. Best practices such as master data management may be known by some, but they’re not universally applied throughout the enterprise, and single organizations can maintain a host of poorly integrated master databases.

On top of this, the advent of cloud applications has complicated things considerably. According to a recent survey conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), more than 95% of companies are using or planning to use as-a-Service apps.* Critical data is on-premises, on mobile devices, and in any number of data centers across the globe. The number and scope of regulatory requirements such as eDiscovery have skyrocketed.

Yet the cloud also holds the solution.  

Data Management Essentials

The Data Management Association (DAMA) defines data management as “the processes used to plan, specify, enable, create, acquire, maintain, use, archive, retrieve, control, and purge data.” What’s essential to understand within this definition is that none of this is possible unless you have comprehensive visibility into what kind of data you have and where it is. That’s asking a lot, as is finding the beneficial data among the noise — in other words, keeping the signal-to-noise ratio low.

For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to keep things simple and focus on how an IT group can provide the following:

  • Protection
  • Governance
  • Intelligence

Data protection spans storage to cybersecurity and includes any activity that ensures your data is available. Whether it’s day-to-day work-in-progress or archived customer records, this data must always be quickly accessible. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with workers who have poor data-hygiene habits or earthquakes, having access to pristine data is critical to success. That’s why the ability to perform corporate-wide backup and recovery is a core responsibility of IT teams.

For the most part, data governance is about making corporate data-handling more efficient and ensuring that your organization meets a myriad of regulatory, legal, and compliance requirements. In particular, eDiscovery is a critically important issue. You need to be able to produce specific information that is demonstrably untainted within a strict timetable, as well as to retain data for defined durations.

Typically, governance requests come from legal or finance groups. They have very strict and specific requirements, to the extent that they often outsource governance activities on their own or cobble together do-it-yourself solutions — occasionally leaving IT in the dark.

Data intelligence is a huge, emerging discipline that leverages analytics and machine learning to transform information into value. Technically, this means getting more data about the data, which is referred to as metadata. The potential here is incalculable — it enables predictive early assessment, data forensics, and advanced information-lifecycle management. However, there is one constant: data has to be clean and uncorrupted. Particularly with dark data, immaculate data hygiene is an absolute requirement. Like flossing, IT teams know they’re supposed to perform regular data hygiene tasks, but they often find excuses not to.

Challenges Brought on by the Cloud

The advent of as-a-service capabilities of the cloud has added quite a few layers of complexity to data management. Nearly half the respondents to the ESG survey indicated that their IT environment is more complex than it was two years ago. And before it even gets to the cloud, corporate data is widely distributed. With on-premises systems such as server workloads, laptop and mobile device feeds, and multiple remote sites, data centers are no longer centralized. The cloud then adds SaaS services, IaaS/PaaS workloads, and capabilities such as VMware Cloud (VMC) that create even more locations for data.

An IT group is still responsible for managing all this data — but how can they maintain control and resiliency when things have spread across everywhere? The entire data-protection environment has gotten infinitely more complex. And ironically, the ease of using SaaS has made the IT job much more complicated. Increasingly, business silos take it upon themselves to manage their data (or some of their data) independently. For example, sales teams may assume that their Salesforce records are backed up simply because those records are in the cloud. They don’t understand SaaS limitations or that Salesforce itself recommends more sophisticated solutions.

The sheer variety of local (data centers, branch offices, and endpoints) and cloud (IaaS, cloud apps, and PaaS) data sources has made legacy data management solutions a logistical mess of unscalable and ineffective data silos. And there are even more data sources to monitor for compliance and to search for eDiscovery. As previously mentioned, nearly half of survey respondents said greater data volume was driving increased IT complexity.

Data Management-as-a-Service (DMaaS) and the Druva Cloud Platform

As this blog has made abundantly clear, the cloud has complicated data management. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that it takes a native-cloud application such as the Druva Cloud Platform to solve the problem.

The Druva Cloud Platform unifies services for data protection, governance, and intelligence under a single control plane and data fabric — offering a simple and holistic approach to managing data across endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud apps. By centralizing visibility and control over enterprise-wide data, the Druva platform dramatically reduces data risks and the costs of data protection. The offering includes:

  • A single platform that integrates protection and management for endpoints and server and cloud data — all delivered as a service
  • Data protection that includes backup, availability, disaster recovery, and workload mobility to ensure that all your data — whatever the source  — is accessible
  • Data governance that includes archiving, compliance, eDiscovery enablement, and data sovereignty controls, and simplifies meeting ever-increasing data compliance and inquiry requests.
  • Data intelligence that enables predictive early assessment, data forensics, and information lifecycle management so your organization can stay ahead of business data risks
  • Single data model architecture, with no hardware required — resulting in dramatically lower TCO for your business

dmaas-diagram-horizontal-new

In addition, the Druva Cloud Platform stores data in a security-first design that offers an unprecedented level of global regulation adherence for standards like HIPAA, SOC-2, and FedRAMP.

The Druva DMaaS solution is a simplified, scalable approach to managing your company’s most critical data. Its native-cloud capabilities are part of the largest technology and process refresh in recent history, with nearly half of the ESG survey respondents stating that they plan to increase their spending on data protection. You owe it to yourself and your company to find out more.

To learn more, visit https://www.druva.com/DMaaS

* Enterprise Strategy Group, “2018 IT Spending Intentions Survey”


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