IT pros have seen great success with conventional business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) efforts. That said, they understand it’s time to modernize their data protection infrastructure. With rising storage needs, data privacy, cyberthreats and government regulations, legacy approaches to BCDR don’t work well with today’s complex data protection needs. 

However, many attempts to modernize data protection have failed. The problem is the fallacy of more is better, resulting in large investments made across multiple vendors to protect an increasingly diverse set of platforms. This so-called “modernization” leaves IT pros with a complicated BCDR infrastructure that results in decreasing productivity, increasing errors and expensive overheads with few tangible benefits.

Instead of a piecemeal approach to BCDR, as environments change, businesses should look to adopt a unified approach — one with the flexibility and agility to adapt to environmental changes in both the short and long term. That means a single BCDR solution that meets all data protection requirements. Here are three solid reasons why a unified BCDR approach is the right way to modernize your data protection. 

Fragmented Data

Data lives in more places than ever before. At any given point, businesses store huge volumes of precious information across on-premises, public cloud, private cloud and other SaaS applications. The large volume of unanticipated and unstructured data is scattered all over the place. In other words, data is fragmented across silos – within silos – across multiple locations.  

Ironically, fragmented data has become one of the biggest obstacles to data protection. To combat this problem, IT pros are looking to add more backup vendors. A staggering 66% of organizations are projected to be using three or more unique solutions in 2021. Using multiple disparate BCDR tools means wasting time sifting across different dashboards, bringing risks of interoperability and higher costs as well as greater risk of data loss.  

You can’t protect fragmented data with fragmented backup and recovery. This is where a unified BCDR approach comes in. The “all-in-one solution” strategy provides visibility into your entire backup environment, making it easier to manage and protect data across silos and locations. 

Failed Recoveries

Ransomware and other malware actively target elements of the production and backup environment in an attempt to eliminate the possibility of a successful recovery. One element that is consistently targeted is the volume shadow copy service (VSS) to prevent successful backups from occurring post-infection.

VSS drivers create a snapshot of your data and to carry out this task, VSS writers are called in. Bad actors create issues for writers, leading to VSS errors, which cause the entire backup to fail. Remediating VSS errors typically involves a manual process to identify and fix the service or server that’s running incorrectly. VSS errors can be exacerbated by the “BCDR Frankenstein,” which raises its ugly head when several disparate solutions are used. This is a common cause of VSS errors since multiple data processing units competing for the same log files can cause errors and corruption, and also since each solution may use different VSS drivers.  

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IT pros sacrifice a chunk of their time and productivity to resolve VSS errors. It also puts a big question mark on the ability of the business to resume operations in the event of an actual disruption. For the most part, IT pros would rely on their disaster recovery (DR) plan to thwart such interruptions.   

The problem is, IT pros assume the DR plan works without ever testing it. In a study conducted by Spiceworks, 95% of respondents indicated that they do have a disaster recovery plan while 23% of the respondents admitted to not testing their disaster recovery plan at all. A DR plan is only any good if it works and the only way to know if it works is by testing. That said, DR testing is complicated and time-consuming, which is why many businesses do not pursue this exercise. 

Cumbersome Backup

A multitier BCDR approach makes data backup time-consuming, inflexible and expensive. As more solutions are introduced to the BCDR ecosystem, many aspects of managing backup need to be done manually. For instance, if you spend roughly two hours of your day on manual backups, which translates to 10 hours in a week, you end up losing 500 hours of precious IT time in a year that could have been assigned to more compelling projects that impact the bottom line. 

This inefficiency is often the result of an inflexible backup architecture that does not allow businesses to back up what they want, when they want and wherever they want. Traditionally, each solution is designed to do a single task: copy data in one direction from source to target. However, when disparate solutions are used haphazardly, they treat on-premise, public cloud and private cloud environments differently, adding considerable friction to the backup process.    

The platform incompatibilities slow down not only backups but restoration as well. Almost one-third of businesses experience problems with backup restoration. In the case of business disruption, when data needs to be restored quickly, slow or failed recoveries prevent business operations from getting back on their feet.  

One of the biggest consequences of a cumbersome BCDR system is the increase in the total cost of ownership (TCO); upfront cost is accompanied by unanticipated hidden costs. Often, businesses aren’t able to achieve cost-effective backup and recovery by stitching together a platform consisting of many unique vendors. 

Unified BCDR Approach With Unitrends

Unitrends Unified BCDR solution simplifies management of complex backup architecture allowing your businesses to modernize data protection while cutting TCO by half. The modernization process starts with redefining efficiency with a single view. Unitrends UniView unifies best-of-breed approaches with centralized management, enabling you to manage hybrid cloud backup appliances, direct-to-cloud backup and Microsoft 365 backup from a single pane of glass.  

The single, elegant portal lets you manage your entire backup environment, which includes thwarting ransomware-induced Windows issues. Unitrends Helix, a SaaS-based platform, proactively identifies and fixes Windows issues (such as VSS errors) before they have a chance to impact your backups.   

To add an additional layer of confidence, Unitrends provides Recovery Assurance. Automatically run a disaster recovery test to see reports and statistics revealing how an outage would impact business continuity, and how much data your business might lose — all from one place.  

Ready to rethink your BCDR approach? 

About Adam Marget

Adam is a Technical Specialist on the Unitrends marketing team supporting digital and in-market events. Over the last 4 years with Unitrends, he has been delighted at the opportunity to work with customers, prospects, and partners alike to help solve challenges around data protection and business continuity. Adam joined Unitrends in 2016, bringing with him experience working with variety of manufacturers’ technology from edge to core as a coworker from national IT solutions provider CDW.