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How to Manage and Protect Your Data in a Hybrid Data Center

October 26th, 2022

Hybrid data centers let you strike a balance between your public and private clouds and on-premises data center so you can extract the most valuable benefits from all three. This flexibility is now critical because you must be able to deal with continuously emerging trends and threats that affect your business. It’s no wonder then that Statista predicts that in 2027 the global hybrid cloud market will grow to $262 billion, and the global data center market will reach $410 billion.   

That brings us to ransomware. It poses an ever-increasing threat to companies, large and small. How big is this threat? According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, ransomware breaches increased 13 percent over the year of the study, more than in the previous five years combined. To defend your company from these attacks, you need to secure your workloads wherever they are located—on-premises or in the cloud.

A hybrid data center gives you a flexible IT environment that lets you adapt quickly as your needs change. It can also deliver better security, performance, reliability, agility, scalability, and cost savings. But realizing these benefits is easier said than done because deploying and supporting a hybrid data center presents several management challenges.

A hybrid data center lets you more efficiently store data and shift workloads as needed—which translates to more control over your data. But hybrid environments also add complexity to managing servers, storage, networks, and software throughout your IT infrastructure.

For example, you must protect your data and applications in the cloud and on-premises. You must also be able to recover your data and applications in the cloud or on-premises, regardless of where the data and applications were originally hosted. You also have to manage backup and recovery across your entire environment—clouds and data center.

With that in mind, here are three steps you should take to successfully manage and protect your data in your hybrid data center.

1. Centralize Backup Management

Centralizing your backup management to a single console is essential to successful data protection in a hybrid data center. Many backup software providers integrate their backup software with the management console offered by the cloud, hypervisor, or operating system provider. That certainly makes managing backups as part of operations in specific environments easier. But a cloud-, hypervisor-, or operating system-centric approach to management isn’t practical in a hybrid data center.

Instead, you need a separate central console that manages data protection across your infrastructure. That enables your users and administrators to monitor and manage the backup and recovery of workloads on-premises and in the cloud. Equally important, you can centrally create and apply policies like service-level agreements (SLAs) for each environment.

2. Ensure Workload Mobility

Your workloads may reside in the cloud, on-premises, or in both places in a hybrid environment. A data protection solution must do more than identify the backup’s location. It also has to recognize the environment into which the workload will be recovered. That’s vital if the solution is going to facilitate the recovery of your data successfully.

You also must be able to back up and recover workloads as virtual machines in either a cloud or on-premises environment. And your chosen solution should integrate with the cloud, hypervisor, and operating system APIs to perform backups and recoveries.

3. Include Ransomware Protection

Backups help you defend against ransomware attacks. That’s why attackers are targeting them more frequently, as we recently noted in a post about the Conti ransomware strain. If your backups are compromised, you could be facing some painful consequences. That’s why your hybrid data center backup software needs to include prevention and mitigation measures.

It should authenticate and authorize every user requesting access by offering multifactor authentication (MFA). Once a user is verified, identity and access management (IAM) tools should be used to monitor and regulate user actions. IAM can even require multiple approvals before specific tasks can be carried out, like changing backup schedules or deleting a backup.

The backup software you choose should also support managing immutable storage technologies. Immutable storage keeps backups in a write-once, read-many-times format that can’t be altered or deleted. Ransomware is powerless when trying to encrypt or remove immutable backups. Your immutable storage also needs to work in the cloud and on-premises.

Your backup software also needs to support managing air-gapping technologies. Air gapping is a proven way to defend against ransomware by logically or physically separating your backups from your production environment. With logical air gapping, your immutable storage resides in the cloud or on-premises. With physical air gapping, your data is backed up on disks or tapes that are then kept outside the production environment in a secure location.

Secure Your Hybrid Data Center

While you may have already realized the benefits of your hybrid data center, ever-shifting security threats to your cloud and on-premises infrastructure demand a new approach to data security. Find out how Arcserve delivers on that promise by choosing an expert Arcserve technology partner.

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