For more than 18 years, CEO of HYCU, Inc., Simon Taylor has worked in the enterprise technology industry, directing go-to-market strategy development, product marketing, and channel and sales management. Prior to his time at HYCU, Taylor held senior executive positions at Comtrade Software, Putnam Investments, Omgeo, and Forrester Research. We had the opportunity to speak with him about backup and disaster recovery trends he’s noticed in the space, as well as where he expects resilience technology to go in the future.
What are some recent trends you’ve noticed in the backup and disaster recovery space?
There are two major trends we’re seeing at the moment. The first, the move to multi-cloud, be it on-premises or private, public or in between, in a hybrid model. On average, we see customers with as many as five clouds in use at any point in time in their IT infrastructure. It’s become today’s reality. There is no one cloud that dominates with no other cloud in use. With this move to multi-cloud comes the need for better data protection solutions. No longer can companies find a one size fits all approach, especially as you look at cloud platforms that have distinct and unique characteristics. Many of the reasons why multi-cloud are being used, from drive complexity out of a company’s infrastructure to ease of deployment and management to 1-click simplicity and automation, become harder to accomplish across multi-clouds. With this movement, the role of the backup administrator is becoming more of a generalist role. Backup and recovery are evolving to support more IT especially around compliance. With that evolution, backup and recovery solutions need to be better suited to support the multi-cloud platforms they were created to protect. We firmly believe that customers should be taking advantage of the full functionality of the cloud platforms they deploy and that backup should be delivered as a service to those respective platforms. We’re starting to see this happen in many new ways and it’s an exciting time to be a significant player in this emerging trend.
How is the space changing in order to grapple with data growing at an exponential rate?
The age-old adage that data is growing at rates unparalleled in our history will never change. If you look at recent reports, including the recent predictions by industry analyst and market tracking firm IDC, they predict that the sum of the world’s data will grow from 33 Zettabytes in 2018 to 175 Zettabytes by 2025. That is a staggering annual compound growth rate of 61 percent. If you put that in perspective, one Zettabyte is approximately equal to a thousand Exabytes, a billion Terabytes, or a trillion Gigabytes. In light of the recent anniversary of the US putting the first man on the moon, If each Terabyte in a Zettabyte were a kilometer, it would be equivalent to 1,300 round trips to the moon and back. That is indeed a staggering amount of data.
At the end of the day though, while there are more solutions and options to support the data growth, the issue fundamentally becomes the cost pressures that this data growth rate creates. The benefit of multi-cloud is that it creates disk-like speeds for both backup and recovery. Backup is also getting smarter, more automated and enhanced with things like artificial intelligence. It’s no longer a transactional function, where customers are taking one very long moment in time to do full backups. They’re now multi-purposing the data they’re backing up and making sure to use copies for multi-purposes. As we see it, the cloud platforms provide the infrastructure, but it’s about the software getting smarter to leverage the full benefit of the cloud platform. One recent example of this evolution, is the recent Google announcement around its archival tier within their object storage. It provides disk-like speeds with tape archival costs. The speed of disk but cheap as tape.
How can a backup and disaster recovery or IT resilience solution facilitate digital transformation?
Digital transformation involves taking many manual processes and automating them. But this needs to happen at different levels. There’s also a need to determine what data to put where as part of an organization’s journey to the multi-cloud. We see many use cases as companies make the move to transforming their organizations digitally. There’s simply backing data up to the cloud, moving it offsite and making it available. There’s migrating workloads to the cloud, especially more and more mission-critical application workloads. There’s moving disaster recovery to the cloud, as opposed to creating duplicate data centers to replicate data back and forth. And, there’s moving more of the on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. We see most organizations in one aspect or another in their journey. And, backup and disaster recovery can play an important role throughout.
Where do you think the backup and disaster recovery space is going in the next few years?
We don’t see a one size fits all approach to backup and disaster recovery to the multi-cloud world we live in. We see and firmly believe in the emergence of purpose-built solutions for cloud platforms. For us, it’s about making sure the cloud platform an organization invests in, operates the best way possible the way it was designed and that backup and disaster recovery that anyone may choose complements it at the same time. We also strongly believe that backup should function as a service of the platform and there should be no redundancy, additional license or hardware cost. And, that the backup and disaster recovery solution of choice should enrich any customers’ cloud of choice and should not require its own silo to operate. Additionally, this should be done in unison across multi-clouds and with simplicity designed into the solution driving out complexity. We are starting to see solutions that address these requirements emerge, and it’s only going to get more interesting. We’re excited at the prospects and have been working hard at developing solutions that address these challenges. It’s what drives us to do what we do each and every day for our partners and our partners’ customers.