Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) plays a core role in business today, and here's why: because all companies use data in many forms, protecting data is a top priority for every organization. But not all companies can afford to invest in a skilled and resourceful IT team. Consequently, Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) makes better sense both financially and technically.
Pushing this trend: the increasing migration of traditional databases and services to the cloud amid escalating cybersecurity threats.
DPaaS is typically offered as a cloud-based service designed to meet organizations' data security and protection requirements while including options for resilient backup and recovery. The services are available via a subscription model.
Why DPaaS is Essential
A data-driven world generates an immense volume of data that needs to be processed, analyzed and used to help drive decisions. But data is vulnerable and requires elaborate protection. Risks include:
- Data loss due to cybercrime, human error, IT failures or natural disasters, such as the coronavirus pandemic for which too few organizations were prepared.
- Governance, risk management and compliance requirements, including data privacy considerations.
- Rapidly increasing storage and backup demands, amid fast-expanding volumes of data.
Transitioning to the cloud means responsibilities for data security, backup and recovery are shared between the organization and cloud provider. Critical services that would previously have been handled by teams, systems and infrastructure on site are shifted to the cloud provider, but cloud providers are not responsible when someone in your organization makes a mistake or you are specifically targeted by malicious actors.
This is where DPaaS comes in, offering ease of acquisition, maintenance and management, and enabling services to be scaled up or down as demands evolve. By encompassing backup, storage, and disaster recovery, DPaaS enables a unified approach to protecting data.
DPaaS essentially consists of three primary services:
Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS): Offered as a business software that undertakes the uploading of critical data via the internet. The facility enables organizations to retrieve their data efficiently and securely.
Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS): One of the most critical IT services, DRaaS allows organizations to move their systems and applications to the cloud. In case of an emergency, the service enables data to be restored to the pre-crisis state.
Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS): The STaaS facility backs up to an on-premises data storage system. This allows the organization to retain a physical copy of its data at all times.
A resilient DPaaS architecture must provide an integrated solution across storage, processing, networking, geography and management. This begins with establishing a reliable, scalable storage layer that protects the data from hardware errors and prevents data loss from deduplication errors and ransomware attacks.
On top of that, because many operations cannot afford extended downtime, the backup and recovery process must be quick, modular and restartable. A resilient service should auto-detect failed backups and restart, never interrupting other processes. Similarly, the system should avoid downtime for software updates or bug fixes.
As the network is usually the cause of most backup failures, a DPaaS architecture needs to be designed to mitigate exposure to network outages by transmitting as little data as possible, via features such as source-based deduplication, which when combined with a modular, restartable backup architecture will minimise the amount of data that needs to be transferred.
While network outages are one concern, another is the failure of datacenter hardware itself. Therefore, backup processing should not be tied to one datacenter but instead store data across multiple datacenters and geographies, keeping backups safe in the case of localised disasters.
In addition to the technical considerations, as with so many business services, two principal challenges associated with DPaaS emerge: cost and efficiency.
As a subscription service DPaaS enables organizations to choose the option that best suits their requirements, and at an affordable price. However, organizations must first confirm the efficiency and effectiveness of the service. It is also essential to evaluate whether or not your data and policies are fit for a DPaaS solution, and understand what DPaaS can and cannot do for the security of your cloud data, as well as what challenges you may need to deal with during adoption or when you need to recover data if disaster strikes.
DPaaS Demand is Surging
With the Covid-19 pandemic transforming how people work, more organizations are migrating to the cloud - if they haven't already, it's a safe bet they will do so in coming months and years. The migration will demand they invest in a robust and reliable DPaaS. Predictions vary: global market research firm, Allied Market Research, expects the DPaaS market to grow to $28.87 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 31.5% between 2016 and 2022. Transparency Market Research, meanwhile, projects the market to grow to $46 billion by 2024.
Despite the variations in the projections, the one constant is that substantial growth will drive the sector. DPaaS is already a well-known acronym among most organizations.
While the growth trends point to a strong play for the vendors, their challenge will be differentiation as their services become commoditized. That means DPaaS providers must offer compelling value and a clear roadmap for their development as cloud technology evolves.
While the subscription model is cost-effective, there is a pressing need for the facility to rationalize costs and offer their services at an affordable price for small and medium enterprises to benefit from the technology. Most importantly, with working from home becoming "the new normal," organizations will need to secure and protect the data buzzing through the fiber optic cables connecting employees from diverse geographical locations.
Leading DPaaS Providers
Amazon Web Services: The largest cloud service provider is also a leading DPaaS vendor. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) offers a highly scalable and durable storage service interface to secure and retrieve data. The facility uses a web service interface to store and retrieve data from anywhere over the internet.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise: The company's Data Protector offers dynamic and adaptive data backup and recovery software solution. The service is cost-effective and a reliable protector of information.
Clumio: Clumio earned its reputation as a capable SaaS data protector for an all-cloud ecosystem. The Santa Clara, California-based company manages complex cloud-related issues and delivers value by focusing on scale and the elasticity of cloud services.
Veritas Technology: Veritas offers storage management software and office backup service. The Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020 for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions names Veritas as a leader in the domain.
Commvault: A global leader in enterprise recovery and backup services, the company promotes its experience aiding organizations to become future-ready. With a customer support satisfaction score of 98%, according to the Gartner Critical Capabilities for Backup and Recovery, Commvault is a much sought-after DPaaS service provider. The Tinton Falls, New Jersey-based company promises to prevent costly data loss scenarios, delayed recovery SLAs, inefficient scaling and segregated data silos.