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Automated, proactive backup that’s public-cloud native is coming: Unitrends

Cybersecurity is holding the line as a backup, continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) concern for more than 40% of companies in a year-end roundup by Unitrends.

Adam Marget, product marketing officer at the BCDR vendor, said the top data protection priority for companies has been disaster recovery preparedness, followed by ransomware prevention and protection for remote users. Compliance came fourth – and SaaS app defences a distant fifth.

“2021 was a year like no other. As the world began to emerge from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, the technology leveraged to enable a remote workforce was put to the test,” he noted.

IT professionals faced multiple challenges from optimising hybrid models and working with emerging trends like IoT and 5G — as well as facinh a barrage of advanced targeted cyberattacks, he said.

Marget added that in the annual Unitrends survey the least likely BCDR option to be implemented has been automated DR testing, followed by having an immutable cloud backup copy of data.

Only about one in five respondents were backing up offline, monitoring their network proactively or engaging in end user training and awareness.

“Yet it’s a critical component, knowing you can recover, given an incident or an outage,” Marget said.

Joseph Noonan, general manager at Unitrends, warned that backup is fragmented and under attack. Implementing backup for many companies, especially without automated testing, is time-consuming as well as a relatively expensive and inflexible process, he added.

Noonan recommended that users combine hybrid-cloud appliances with SaaS backup and endpoint backup for an optimum approach, with automation and intelligent alerts becoming more important over time.

Future backup, including appliances, could be more deeply integrated with the cloud — as in an offering from Unitrends that Noonan said would arrive in 2023.

“Where we’re going in the back-end storage infrastructure is adjusting to be much more scale-out and integrated with public cloud,” Noonan said. “Public cloud is becoming much more prominent.”

Unitrends’ public cloud IaaS backup platform roadmap is moving towards delivering public-cloud native backup as a service through cloud APIs, with bring your own storage (BYOS) or storage from Unitrends.

“Today we can protect (Azure and AWS) VMs using virtual appliances, put agents on those machines and you can do backups to the virtual appliance there, and send those copies anywhere you want. And it’s nice and it’s flexible. One complaint we get is that the virtual appliance can be a little bit expensive,” Noonan said.

“In 2022, we’ll deliver a SaaS based solution that natively protects Azure and AWS. We’ll start with Azure, it won’t require agents, and we’ll just do agentless backups.”

( Photo by Tianyi Ma on Unsplash )

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