Data is increasingly at the core of any business or organization and is fueling new digital transformation (DX) initiatives. Data runs nearly every aspect of a company, from customer and employee engagement to product and service development to operations. Reflecting the strategic importance of data, an IDC global study of 800 organizations revealed that 47% of enterprises have a chief data officer today.
The growing importance of data to remain competitive in today’s disruptive business climate requires organizations to break down data silos and provide data services to achieve faster insights, business value, and oversight — especially as data becomes more distributed, dynamic, and diverse. With data at the center of business operations, data availability has never been more essential. Data availability is one of several elements in an effective and holistic data management strategy.
IDC interviewed organizations supporting data backup and recovery environments with Veeam software and NetApp storage hardware to understand the value of the combined approach. These organizations reported making data backup and recovery operations substantially more effective, thereby limiting the operational and business risk associated with data-related incidents.
Further, they explained that they are leveraging Veeam and NetApp to make these environments more cost-effective to deploy and operate, with several organizations taking advantage of the integration to support operations such as development not traditionally associated with backup and recovery environments. The result is a strong value from their investment in Veeam software and NetApp storage hardware, which IDC projects will be valued at $31,642 per 100 users per year ($2.32 million per organization) over five years and would result in a five-year ROI of 286%, by:
- Enabling more effective and timely data backup and recovery efforts to reduce risk and costs associated with these activities.
- Reducing the cost of data-related outages in terms of lost user productivity and revenue.
- Minimizing the staff time required to manage and support data backup and recovery environments.
- Optimizing the cost of storage hardware through longer life spans and improved data de-duplication and compression capabilities.
IDC asserts that to achieve this transformation, organizations will leverage an intelligent core platform, which turns business activity insight into actionable intelligence in a streamlined, continuous process. IDC describes this as the DX platform; at its center, the platform relies on diverse, distributed, and dynamic data to drive the opportunity. Without data at the center, the DX model fails. In this model, data is critical to business survival and, in turn, makes data integrity and accessibility sacrosanct.
In today’s regulatory environment, the right level of access may even be paramount to inspiring innovation. The strict rules and potential 4% of revenue fines associated with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are well documented, but even companies that don’t do business with the European Union cannot afford to skimp on data protection mechanisms. About 40% of the world’s nations already have privacy laws of some type in place and, given the worldwide coverage of Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data, it is entirely likely that additional regulations will continue to emerge.
As a result, businesses are being forced to maintain a delicate data balance. They must encourage innovation, but they cannot innovate without guardrails that establish ways of consistently ope-rationalizing data without exposing data that could generate a regulatory issue against a backdrop of a more complex data use landscape. At the same time, businesses must be able to provide a comprehensive view of their data sources not only to ensure compliance with data controls but also to maximize the value of an increasingly important asset — their data capital.
VEEAM AND NETAPP
NetApp and Veeam have a strategic partnership to deliver Intelligent Data Management for the Hyper-Available Enterprise. The Veeam Availability Suite provides enterprise scalability for backup and replication of mission-critical workloads for applications and data running on NetApp FAS, FlexPod, SolidFire, and E-Series systems. Customers can create image-based backups with little to no impact on production for all applications and data in vSphere and Hyper-V environments.
Business Value Analysis
Study participants reported that using Veeam software with NetApp storage hardware is enabling them to reduce risk associated with data backup and recovery activities. They are accomplishing this by speeding up recovery times and compressing backup windows as well as reducing the frequency and duration of impactful data-related interruptions to business operations.
Further, the Veeam and NetApp combination is proving cost effective, both from the perspective of maximizing the value of their investments in storage hardware and in terms of staff time required to support and manage their extensive and often growing data environments. IDC’s analysis shows that these benefits translate into significant value for interviewed organizations (see Figure 1), which IDC quantifies at an average of $31,642 per 100 users per year ($2.32 million per organization) over five years in the following areas:
- Risk mitigation — user productivity benefits. Reducing the frequency of outages and performance degradation related to data backup and recovery activities means higher employee productivity and less revenue loss. IDC puts the value of higher productivity and revenue at an annual average of $19,565 per 100 users ($1.43 million per organization).
- IT staff productivity benefits. Enabling faster and more robust data backups and recovery efforts frees up time for these teams, while the combined Veeam and NetApp solution requires less time to manage and support. IDC quantifies the value of these staff efficiencies at an average of $7,420 per 100 users per year ($543,100 per organization).
- IT infrastructure cost reductions. Extending life spans of organizations’ data backup and recovery hardware through more efficient use reduces costs associated with building and running these environments. IDC calculates these savings at an average of $4,146 per 100 users per year ($303,500 per organization).
- Business productivity benefits. Increased confidence in the stability of their backup and recovery environments is enabling organizations to better focus on addressing business opportunities, resulting in additional revenue that IDC projects will have an average value of $511 per year per 100 users ($37,400 per organization).
Enhancing Ability to Maintain and Use Data
Study participants spoke about how the Veeam and NetApp solution has made their
core processes for data backup and recovery more efficient. By running their data
backup and recovery operations on Veeam and NetApp, they perform these operations
in less time, more effectively, and with more agility. This not only limits risk related to
these activities but also helps ensure business continuity and reduces operational costs
associated with backing up and recovering data.
- Data backups. Customers cited the benefits of having a greater number of restore points, which enables access to previous data states as needed. In addition, snapshot functionality allows for more frequent and regularly scheduled backups.
- Data loss and recovery. Study participants described recovering data and VMs much faster than with previous approaches when problems did occur. The ability of the Veeam and NetApp solution to automatically add VMs to backup was cited as a factor in smoothing and optimizing the recovery process. Further, the “live restore” capability has largely obviated the need for organizations to take systems offline during recovery efforts.
Enabling More Efficient Data Backup and Recovery Efforts
Study participants stressed the importance of making storage and disaster recovery teams more effective by enabling more efficient data backup and recovery processes with their Veeam and NetApp storage environments. They traced these benefits to:
- Consistent backups that are easy to manage and troubleshoot
- The availability and use of automation and synchronization
- The benefit of an optimized user interface
- Process simplification and platform stability
Reducing the Cost of Backing Up and Protecting Data
Study participants also noted that they have been able to create cost-effective data backup and recovery environments with Veeam and NetApp. This is true both in terms of operational expenses, as described previously, and in terms of hardware requirements. According to study participants, hardware costs associated with using Veeam and NetApp are 36% lower than those of alternative solutions they considered. These cost efficiencies can be linked to several factors identified by study participants:
- Over the life span of the system, the solution set allows for more cost-effective growth.
- Flash extends life span because performance levels are extended over time.
- Lower use rates that result from higher performance and improved de-duplication capabilities allow for more efficient use of capacity.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
As data becomes more diverse, dynamic, and distributed, it can stymie an effective
and holistic data management strategy. A holistic data management strategy is
one that spans a myriad of related data services, including data protection, data
security, data integration and orchestration, and data location optimization. However,
to employ such a solution requires coordination and collaboration among data related stakeholders.
An effective data management strategy is broad in scope and stakeholders, bringing together different constituents. Key stakeholders include not only security, operations, engineering, legal, and risk professionals but also data owners and line-of-business executives. This requires collaboration and planning across organizations with different priorities and depth of knowledge. This organizational dynamic is a challenge commonly seen in larger organizations but can be addressed through C-level strategic planning and priority setting.
Data is the lifeblood of any organization. In today’s competitive and disruptive business climate, organizations must continue to innovate by leveraging data in strategic ways. This imperative requires organizations to break down data silos and provide holistic data services to achieve faster insights, business value, and oversight — especially as data becomes more distributed, dynamic, and diverse. With data at the center of business operations, data availability has never been more essential. Data availability is one of several elements in an effective and holistic data management strategy. Together, Veeam and NetApp are providing such a solution.