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The wave of digital transformation across industry verticals has amplified the challenges of data protection and data management to great lengths.

Importantly, for any business to garner loyal customers in the digital environment, data safety and privacy take top priority and investing in cutting-edge data protection solutions, including data recovery becomes all the more crucial. All data needs to be stored and processed in a secure and compliant manner in alignment with privacy regulations as laid out by data protection bodies such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other relevant national laws.

Data loss or compromised data remains a constant threat to organizations. As storage volumes grow, finding an efficient solution to backup and manage data cannot be overlooked. Interestingly, a recent survey on data protection revealed that IT leaders are experiencing a diminished sense of security and heightened concern regarding their capability to recover and restore mission-critical data. This sentiment persists despite their investments in protection measures against cyber-attacks. As such, a robust network disaster recovery (DR) plan ensures that all resources and services that rely on the network are backed up and running in the event of unforeseen interruptions.

Also Read: UAE and Saudi Arabia Forge Ahead in Cybersecurity

Many companies across various industries prefer traditional on-premises servers to back up their data due to easy accessibility and security. However, barriers such as high initial investment costs, ongoing maintenance expenses, susceptibility to physical damage, limited storage capacity, among others, are gradually being replaced by cloud backup solutions. Moreover, industry watchers say that the pace of hardware innovation is increasing (especially with GPU technologies), putting pressure on the price-performance ratio and infrastructure efficiency. Digital transformation warrants businesses to become more agile to cope in a dynamic landscape.

Disaster Recovery (DR), as a crucial aspect of business continuity planning, revolves around two pivotal metrics: a) Recovery Time Objective (RTO), which denotes the maximum tolerable downtime for an application; and b) Recovery Point Objective (RPO), indicating the maximum acceptable period during which data loss from an application due to an incident is permissible. The cloud can greatly reduce the costs associated with both RTO and RPO when compared to fulfilling RTO and RPO requirements on-premises.

Some key considerations in cloud computing supporting disaster recovery operations are as follows:

Reliable and Redundant Storage

Companies can safely and easily recover critical information by regularly backing up data to the cloud in case of disruptions. Cloud storage solutions offered by hyperscalers like AWS and Google offer the advantage of having multiple points of presence (PoPs) spread across various geographical locations. This setup ensures robust redundancy and mitigates the risk of data loss caused by localized disasters, as the system can seamlessly redirect to an alternate location.

Easy Scalability

The cloud’s virtualized environment facilitates quick scalability of resources. Additional resources can be added and removed depending on the requirement during disaster recovery scenarios.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

DRaaS provides automated backup, failover and recovery processes, allowing organizations to quickly restore their IT infrastructure and applications in the cloud. Additionally, Cloud-based applications and services enable employees to access critical data and applications remotely.

Automation and Orchestration

Cloud environments support automation and orchestration, enabling organizations to create workflows for disaster recovery planning using artificial intelligence, enabling quick and consistent recovery operations. Cloud environments make it easier to conduct regular disaster recovery testing and simulations through the use of digital twin technology, without impacting production systems.

Cloud-Enabled Data Analysis

Numerous organizations are exercising heightened caution regarding their networks, operating under the assumption that their network may have already been compromised. As a result, they are prioritizing increased visibility over reactive responses, proactively monitoring for potential threats rather than waiting until an attack occurs. Cloud technology will allow advanced analytics to explore very large diverse data sets to find indicators of compromise (IOCs). These data sets can include different types of structured and unstructured data processed in a ‘streaming’ mode or in batches. For instance, Cisco’s Cognitive Security utilizes AI techniques to detect advanced cyber threats through an advanced behavioral analysis of real-time data.

Supporting Edge Computing

Given the vast amount of data today’s businesses generate and exchange, edge computing, also called Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) or Multi-Access Edge Computing, has emerged as a practical architecture to support distributed computing near the data source.

Since the data is processed at the source instead of via centralized data centers, edge computing is ideal for mitigating network congestion securely and in a cost-effective manner as it eliminates long-distance data transfers across regions and international boundaries. By keeping data almost at the source, edge computing bypasses a multitude of procedural restrictions.

Also Read: Engine of Change: The Essence of Data Centers

Nevertheless, edge computing necessitates server hardware to efficiently execute application functionality, whereas cloud software facilitates and manages the virtual infrastructure resources of cloud applications. As Clouds become more distributed in terms of superior performance and throughput, edge cloud and Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) platforms will be instrumental in supporting many opportunities in advanced immersive media technologies. In line with such a trend, Nokia is developing open standards in edge computing and Cloud RAN to ensure a robust network infrastructure ideal for running such operations.

In Conclusion

Data protection budgets are expected to grow by 6.6% in 2024 and data protection spending growth will outpace IT spending growth, as per latest industry surveys.  Overall, 92% of organizations expect to spend more on data protection in 2024 to continue to prepare against cyber-attacks as well as the changing production landscape that requires different approaches to data protection. In a recent development, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is reportedly investing JPY 2.6 trillion (USD 15.2 billion) to build cloud computing infrastructure in Japan by 2027. As the trend towards cloud-native ecosystems gains momentum, telcos must focus on the deployment of cloud-based DR systems to effectively meet diverse customer demands and support the increasingly AI-backed economies of the world.

Also Read: Middle East data center market to reach $4.5 billion, 7% CAGR by 2026

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