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Key Criteria for Evaluating Hybrid Cloud Data Protection Solutionsv4.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Hybrid Cloud Data Protection Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analysts’ Take

1. Summary

A strong data protection strategy remains at the core of every IT infrastructure, but cloud and edge computing have changed the way enterprises implement it. Machine-generated data is now outgrowing any other type of data and often underpins strategic big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, forcing organizations to rethink data protection according to new rules that include hybrid cloud/on-premises and multicloud infrastructures.

This expansion in scope disrupted standard work and business processes involving data that’s created remotely but still needs to be stored and protected in keeping with the same policies that were previously applied. Moreover, enterprises accelerated the adoption of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and migrated more workloads to the public cloud.

Hybrid clouds are now considered a standard approach adopted by organizations of all sizes, and many expect to move to multicloud architectures later on. This complex scenario brings an increasing number of challenges, including:

  • Exponential data growth: With machine-generated data forming the lion’s share now, backup and restore processes will have to adapt accordingly. For example, it is very unlikely it will be necessary to retrieve accidentally deleted single files.
  • Disparate data types: Structured and unstructured data created by traditional applications are now joined by containers and SaaS data, metadata, and blobs. These new complex types of data are usually self-consistent, capable of reproducing the entire application or recreating the state of a cloud service if necessary.
  • Support for new technologies: It’s not only new cloud services; on-premises infrastructures are also evolving quickly. New types of databases, scale-out file systems, and Kubernetes are all technologies recently adopted by enterprises with additional data that has to be protected.
  • Pressing service level agreements (SLAs): Digital transformation initiatives embraced by many organizations have transformed every process. It’s becoming harder and harder to stop any part of the infrastructure or to tolerate a long recovery time objective (RTO) or recovery point objective (RPO). Instant and continuous backups and fast recovery speeds are mandatory for an ever-growing number of applications.
  • Data dispersion and consolidation: Data is now created, stored, and consumed on mobile devices, PCs, data centers, and in many other places. To build the kind of effective data protection that is instrumental in implementing a data management strategy, it’s necessary to consolidate backup repositories in a single physical or virtual domain.
  • New security threats: Traditional risks and threats, such as natural disasters and human error, are now joined by cyberattacks like ransomware that are even more dangerous and harder to detect.
  • Regulatory compliance: A growing number of demanding regulations (like GDPR or CCPA) require strong data protection and tools able to search and find information quickly, or to remove or mask the information properly after retrieval, as in the case of the “right to be forgotten.”
  • Data management and reusability: Backups can be transformed from a burden to an asset for an organization. By indexing data and making it searchable, the data’s real value is revealed, making it reusable by other users or applications across the entire organization.

For these reasons, data protection operations are more critical than in the past—and more difficult.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report details the capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technologies) and non-functional requirements (evaluation metrics) for selecting an effective hybrid cloud data protection solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those capabilities and metrics. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading hybrid cloud data protection offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.