“A hybrid backup solution usually starts with having an on-premises backup and a replicated version in the clouds”

Synology is committed to transforming the way businesses manage their data – elegantly simple, secure, and reliable. Synology proudly boast a wide array of solutions backed by cutting-edge innovation and field-proven reliability with a solid track record in meeting the ever-increasing expectations and demands. In an interaction with Joanne Weng,  Senior Sales manager, Synology Inc. about the data backup strategy during Covid pandemic.

What is the role of data and backup in digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the use of new technologies to overcome business challenges such as work from home because of the COVID-19 and the new technology adoption may include initiatives like going paperless, e-commerce, blockchain, IoT, and much more. All of these initiatives share a common ground — producing a lot of data.  With 20 years of experience specializing in storage solutions, we observed that many businesses are aware of the importance of data management; however, the efforts and resources put on backup might not be proportional. In fact, should a data loss occurs, it could result in devastating effects, such as productivity disruption, services downtime, and unsatisfied customers. Therefore, data and backup are equally important to complete digital transformation.
What is a good backup strategy?

We believe the number #1 strategy is backup 3-2-1, which is to have at least three copies, storing two backup copies on different devices or storage media and keeping at least one backup copy off-site. Followed by the number #2 strategy, which is finding the right balance in features and price of the backup solutions to meet the designated RTO, Recovery Time Objective, and RPO, Recovery Point Objective. Using these two measures will help you understand your tolerance level of data loss and services downtime, and determine the technology that meets your disaster recovery needs within your budget.

These strategies are quite mature and we believe that many of you have heard of them before. But we notice that businesses may find that the accumulating cost and effort that come along become difficult to manage. For example, businesses need to go to hardware and software vendors separately, and even different service providers for various device protection strategy when it comes to deployment and future technical support. So here comes our number #3 strategy, simplifying the complicated. There are integrated service vendors, for example our one-time purchase, and one-stop support, NAS solution in the market, that make it possible to have lower management effort and learning curve of the deployment. To solve these issues, we, for example, are providing solutions that allow businesses to centrally protect data scattered across Windows endpoints, VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines, file servers, and even workloads on SaaS to a single device.

What are the data backup essentials in a post-COVID world? With many employees still working from home, data backup and recovery is a major issue for companies. What according to you should employees and companies do to ensure critical data is always backed-up?

As we are starting to see companies around the globe have been forced to embrace work from home (WFH). Especially in India, with a long lockdown period. WFH brings the potential risks of employees’ scattered endpoints protection or any unsecured cyber threats.

There are a few things to note when businesses choose their backup solutions to prepare themselves for WFH. First of all, if your business already has a remotely-accessible, centralized file server, make sure your employees continue to store files in that particular server, and the server is well backed up. However, to protect even more thoroughly or if your business doesn’t have the file server mentioned above, you may find backing up employee’s computers, even to image based level, can be more necessary than ever. No matter backing up the remotely-accessible centralized file server or all employees computers, you are advised to look for a solution which can overcome the most common challenges.

We think the number one challenge is data scattered across various devices and platforms, forcing IT admins to integrate multiple software and hardware from separate vendors, which not only cost time and money. That was again the issues we have been seeing and why we provide centralized backup solution. While more backups might lead to challenges with storage capacity as data continues increase. What we are offering with our backup solution is Global deduplication technology can help reduce storage consumption. Say, backing up 100 Windows 10 PCs, the backed up system files and application files can be reduced to unique file blocks to allow efficient storage consumption.

Backup does not complete the whole protection process yet; how restoration works is also the key point of a successful strategy. Should a file or folder is accidentally deleted, which might happen a lot when people are co-working in different places, how can the employees get the file back to stay productive? With many businesses now adapt to WFH, this could add extra burden to IT admins more than ever. A self-restore service would be a nicer way to go; with our solution, IT admins can enable permitted employees to navigate the timeline to restore the data themselves.

To sum up, an all-in-one consolidated backup solution that comes with the above technologies is highly recommended for business continuity in the post-COVID world.
Should companies go for hybrid solutions when it comes to data backup?

We can see that hybrid solution has been a trend for not only storage but also backup solutions, And, yes, we encourage users to go for hybrid as it leverage the benefits of both local and cloud backup. A hybrid backup solution usually starts with having an on-premises backup and a replicated version in the clouds which ensures redundancy, and also helps fulfill the 3-2-1 rule. The essential data remain safe and available in the cloud even if local copies are hit by disaster or IT failure. Such deployment also comes with benefits including scalability that allows businesses to easily upscale or downscale the data storage when required. The pay-as-you-go pricing model additionally gives greater flexibility by allowing you to support the growth of backup data without expensive changes to the existing on-premises IT systems. Therefore, if customers have the demand to further protect data as suggested, we will recommend businesses to adopt hybrid backup solution.

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