Rather alarming trends are forming in the marketplace specific to data protection against ransomware. ESG’s cybersecurity research, for example, shows that the majority of organizations it surveyed experienced at least one ransomware problem in 2019. A combined 29% of the respondents surveyed by ESG said their organization experienced attempted ransomware attacks on either a daily or a weekly basis.
Cybersecurity It is no wonder, then, that improving cybersecurity continues to be the top business driver for technology spending in 2020 (cited by 40% of respondents). Security also was the top IT investment justification (reported by 36%). Additionally, seniorlevel IT decision makers most often named cybersecurity (24%) as their top IT focus area for 2020.
Now that ransomware events are accelerating the urgency of the issue, the need for availability—or more specifically, the need for BC/DR—is paramount. Today, using the cloud for BC/DR is a big trend, and it is one that appears to provide many benefits. ESG research shows that BC/DR is, like cybersecurity, a business initiative considered to be an IT spending driver (cited by 19% of survey respondents). And in general, data protection spending will increase: 51% of respondents said they expect their organization to boost 2020 spending, while only 4% said their data protection-related spending will decrease.
Public cloud usage is another top focus area for IT. ESG found that using public cloud services for applications and infrastructure was cited by 14% of respondents as the initiative most important for them to focus on in 2020. Essentially, data protection and disaster recovery have to “follow the workloads,” and those workloads are in the public cloud now. Cloud usage has become ubiquitous—94% of organizations now use SaaS and/or IaaS, and ESG research shows that most remaining on-premises workloads will be cloud candidates over the next five years.
All that investment and focus occurs at a time when organizations are unfortunately experiencing data protection skill shortages: 23% of respondents said they were dealing with such skill shortages. It is a situation that makes any data protection solution able to ease IT operations important to implement. When you are trying to recover from a ransomware attack or any other disaster event, everything needs to be done properly, and it needs to be done fast. Organizations are fully aware of the urgency of the matter. This year, improving backup and recovery was the most often cited data center modernization investment priority, cited by 30% of surveyed IT decision makers.
The Rise of Ransomware
The emergence of ransomware is putting DR at the forefront again. Done right, it will be at the core of any post-attack remediation effort. Ransomware is pervasive and DR is critical because today in the era of digital transformation and datacentricity, many organizations consider their data to be their business.
Ransomware attacks are now a common occurrence, but ESG finds that some industries are more likely to be targeted— namely, technology (84% report experiencing at least one attack) and healthcare (75%).3 Companies in those industries and others have come to the realization that effective recovery from a cyber attack must not be viewed as an IT security matter exclusively. It is a data protection conversation, too.
The Cloud Is Great for Disaster Recovery
The public cloud is a great tool for enhancing disaster recovery efforts, which is why disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) became mainstream. In 2016, 39% of organizations surveyed by ESG were using cloud-based disaster recovery. By 2019, that number had risen to 53%. 4 And the trend does not appear to be slowing.
Not surprisingly, most survey respondents (87%) said the impact of the cloud has been positive—specifically, that public cloud services are now an important part of their data protection strategy, enabling them to more efficiently and costeffectively protect data. Only 10% said using the cloud for protection has added new processes and complexity.
Datrium DRaaS with VMware Cloud on AWS
Together, the failings of legacy DR approaches and the five keys to successful DR are building a case for Datrium DRaaS with VMware Cloud on AWS and new DRaaS Connect software. Datrium DRaaS with VMware Cloud on AWS is designed to reduce costs, keep data secure, and deliver enterprise-grade failover and failback. It protects all VMware workloads running in VMware Cloud on AWS, plus on-premises SAN, NAS, and HCI systems. (Organizations can use basically any primary storage they prefer. Not just Datrium DVX systems, but also Dell EMC, Pure, NetApp, Nutanix, or any array that works with VMware.)
The offering includes cloud backup, DR orchestration, and on-demand software-defined data center sites in VMware Cloud on AWS for failover and testing. All capabilities come as one package and are delivered as a cloud service. Datrium provides integrated support and billing for all components, including VMware Cloud on AWS.
Additionally, the organization only pays for those VMware Cloud Services resources when they are actually used—i.e., when disaster hits. That’s pay-per-use pricing, which, as Figure 1 showed, IT organizations want to leverage right now.
The DRaaS solution looks to offer strong capabilities for combatting ransomware. For example, it can take snapshots rapidly, spanning from minutes to longer terms of up to ten years. That means that if an organization has a ransomware attack, the Datrium solution helps them quickly return to the point in time when they had a clean environment.