The Data Protection Conundrum


So hands up who protects their personal data? It’s that age-old problem, very few of us consider data protection until it’s too late and we find we have lost data. So let’s consider your options:

Don’t do it

Do it manually

Outsource the problem

Let’s assume you do want to protect your data, you have a couple of options. DIY or outsource the problem. DIY involves selecting a media platform to store your data on. What can you trust? Will it last? Well one of the most common media for personal backups has been CD media, which is readily available and easy to use. But recent reports show that CD media just like tape will not last forever. Which might cause a few problems when you want to dig out those embarrassing photo’s of your children when they turn 21. So if CD’s will not last forever how do you protect your photos and music?

Disk? Well many of us do use disk but to be quite honest can you trust general-purpose “plain” disk. The answer has to be no, which is the reason why many business customers purchase appliances such as Data Domain that continually monitor and report on data that becomes corrupt. So perhaps this is the reason why so many of us don’t bother with personal DIY data protection.

So what about that other option? Outsource the problem; store your data in the cloud? Well for business and personal this option is rapidly becoming viable, by using public clouds for personal data and private clouds for company data. As you would expect EMC have feet in both camps. Mozy is a market leader for Laptop / Desktop / Server data protection in the public cloud while products such as Data Domain, Avamar and Atmos are used for “as a service” offerings by many EMC partners around the world.

So lets assume you select an online service for data protection, is that it? Can you sit back and relax. Well yes, you probably can for a year or two. But what about monitoring your backups, or searching for data that is no longer sits on your laptop. Can you do that? Or perhaps you have decided that the vendor you selected is no longer offering the most competitive or viable option. How do you get your data out?

One of the key elements here is the metadata that is stored when you first commit that data to the cloud. This metadata holds enough information for you to accurately report on your data and also to request the correct data back from the cloud should you want to move data protection providers. EMC have long recognized this, leveraging this valuable asset when ever possible. For a better understanding how this is influencing our roadmap, I would suggest you read Stephen Manley’s recent blog on this subject.

So for all the children out there that are helping their parents with data protection, if you don’t want to see those embarrassing pictures of you at your 21st birthday party I suggest you move those pictures before they are committed to platform that will never forget or lose your parents data.

About the Author: Mark Galpin