Abstract: Cloud infrastructure and services adoption is accelerating at most organizations. Many key business workloads are moving to the cloud and need to be backed up. There is, however, a gap of confidence when it comes to backing up cloud data. IT needs new instrumentation for platforms like Google Cloud (GCP) to protect data assets. HYCU offers an innovative solution for protecting Google Cloud environments: It is natively developed on and for the platform, delivers enterprise-class features like the ones expected on-premises, and comes as a service.
Cloud Is Here to Stay
Cloud infrastructure and services adoption is accelerating at most organizations: 58% of organizations now report using public cloud in the form of infrastructure-as-a-service—in 2017, this number was 42%. And ESG research shows that surveyed organizations most often cited public cloud infrastructure services as an area of increasing IT spending, as they keep digitally transforming. Cloud is clearly here to stay. In fact, cloud-first strategies are becoming more prevalent, with 39% of organizations favoring this approach for deploying new applications (versus on-premises), a meaningful 10% year-over-year growth.
Many mission-critical workloads are moving to the cloud—and not just office productivity type of applications. Core business applications are now deployed in the cloud (see Figure 1). Other application services also now take place in public cloud infrastructures like Google Cloud, such as Cloud SQL, SAP Hana, and Big Query, with running production applications and business intelligence queries coming in as the most cited cloud use cases for 2019. In addition, 76% of organizations report using multiple cloud service providers.
With applications moving to the cloud, their associated data sets must also meet internal and compliance requirements and be subject to IT best practices.
What applications currently running on-premises are your organization’s highest priority to move to public cloud services? (Number of mentions, up to three responses allowed, unaided recall, N=600)
Unfortunately, considering the many applications in the cloud and growing volume of associated data, misconceptions about protecting data in the cloud propagate, which ESG believes may be rooted in a conflation of service provider service level guarantees with actual (and more importantly, best practice) backup and recovery. In other words, do not confuse cloud availability service levels with backup of your data in the cloud. Cloud data protection is not changing the age-old requirement of backup and recovery, despite the new set of challenges that protecting data in the cloud presents.
Cloud Data Protection: A New Set of Challenges
Cloud has brought about a lot of change in production patterns, with a quarter of survey respondents seeing cloud computing as the trend that will be most disruptive to their data protection strategies (see Figure 2). Just like with any innovation in IT that affects workloads, data protection best practices updates and new opportunities to protect data emerge.
Which of the following technology meta-trends do you expect to be the most disruptive to your organization’s data protection strategy over the next three years? (Percent of respondents, N=320)
Disruption is not necessarily a negative force: 87% of organizations report that cloud computing has become an important part of their data protection strategy that has enabled them to better and/or more efficiently protect their data. However, challenges such as security/privacy and data loss (recovery point) concerns persist.
One of the cloud services that organizations are turning to as part of their strategy is the well-known brand Google, with its Google Cloud (formely GCP). As applications, data, and services are increasingly consumed on Google Cloud, backing up and recovering data can be significantly simplified with the “cloud-native” purpose-built HYCU solution.
HYCU for Google Cloud
Google Cloud offers failover and redundancy, which may lead customers to conclude that backup is automatically included. This is not the case. End-users are always responsible for managing their data and its protection. In order to apply backup and recovery best practices, enterprises can leverage HYCU’s backup as a service solution.
The solution is a fully managed backup and recovery as a service with a simple subscription right from the Google cloud (GCP) Marketplace. Customers don’t have to worry about managing deployment of the software (there are no agents). It offers one-click VM and application backup, plus one-click launch. It also fully integrates into Google Identity Access Management (IAM) and works via Google Cloud API.
HYCU for GCP has unique design characteristics:
- Native: It uses native snapshots, integration with Google IAM, and Google storage buckets for optimal TCO. It does not require legacy backup agents.
- Delivered as a service: This simplifies deployment at scale and grows as you go with an easy and modern set of management capabilities. Customers do not need to stand up virtual appliances or agents.
- Easy to consume: Billing for the backup service is fully integrated into Google billing.
- Easy to scale: HYCU was designed as a cloud-native application and can dynamically scale with the customers’ environment. In addition, because of Google IAM integration, self-service recovery is easy to accomplish.
- Focused on application protection: HYCU can ensure applications are consistently backed-up and recovered.
HYCU will keep expanding capabilities in Google Cloud in the coming months and is more broadly executing on a multi-cloud strategy through unified management. The company recently introduced HYCU Protégé to specifically address multi-cloud data protection by unifying data protection “under one roof” to help end-users leverage simplified capabilities to “lift and shift” their applications from one on-premises or cloud primary location to another and ensure data protection through the process. In addition, this new console provides a mechanism for customers to recover specific applications running on-premises onto Google Cloud for test and dev as well as a cost-effective disaster recovery option across clouds.
The Bigger Truth
Applications are moving to the cloud at an accelerated pace, which means their associated data sets must also meet compliance and data protection requirements. The adoption of Google Cloud by many organizations as their primary cloud partner or as part of a multi-cloud strategy adds a new platform to protect to the enterprise backup equation.
While approaches exist to leverage legacy backup and recovery constructs, HYCU offers an interesting alternative to simply adding a Google Cloud agent to your legacy environment with a native, purpose-built, and fully managed backup-as-a-service offering for Google Cloud. The as-a service technology that leverages the Google Cloud (GCP) platform fosters simplicity for the user with automation and focuses on recoverability.
This is a departure from traditional or legacy approaches centered around a core engine that leverages agents or integrations to retrofit applications or platforms into the solution’s schema. While HYCU recognizes the need for unified management of multi-cloud environments for data protection purposes (Protégé), the company’s approach is to go “deep” with one platform through extensive integrations, as it has successfully demonstrated with Nutanix and now with Google Cloud.
ESG will keep a close eye on HYCU in this space and encourages users to take a close look at this service when evaluating the protection of their Google Cloud environment. (Interested parties can simply click the trial option directly from the Google Marketplace.)
As HYCU adds customers to its growing list, we expect to hear from users about gains in operational efficiency, since the solution handles all aspects of deployment and maintenance in a “Google admin-friendly” fashion, as well as about the solution’s fit for delivering enterprise-class data protection SLAs at scale.
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