We are in the age where data is no longer the endgame for businesses, it’s merely a place to start. Deep insights that drive innovation, enhance customer engagement, and improve business outcomes can be pulled from data. So, how you treat your data can have a profound bearing on the conclusions you draw and the business success you realize.

Businesses that want to move their big data applications to the cloud (like SAP, Oracle, HPC) in order to open up the vast opportunities the cloud offers in terms of data treatment have, historically, faced significant barriers.

Traditionally, the biggest obstacles have been bandwidth limitations in getting the applications to the cloud and a lack of control over data, both in-transit and at rest. After data has been migrated to the cloud, you won’t necessarily have the same suite of tooling to manage it that you would have on-premises. The business process differs as that data moves. And, of course, data-in-transit faces more potential exposure and is therefore more vulnerable.

However, with advancements in both internet infrastructure and secure data management solutions, the barriers that have held companies back from the cloud in the past have been removed. Now, there is really nothing keeping organizations from moving large, business-critical workloads to the cloud so that they can fully benefit from everything the cloud has to offer–cost savings and scalability, for instance.

As your company moves forward on its digital transformation journey, there are three truths that you need to know about moving large workloads to the cloud.

Truth #1: Nothing is “un-migratable” anymore.

Until recently, companies that relied on performance-intensive and latency-sensitive applications like SAP and Oracle, or that used big CAD files, were locked on-premises. Organizations that were looking to adopt the cloud found there were areas where their adoption was getting blocked. A lot had to do with storage. In addition, the act of moving and re-architecting these applications was extremely complex, and there was a significant drop in performance once/if they reached the cloud.

Thanks to innovative solutions like Azure NetApp Files (a jointly engineered solution from Microsoft and the storage specialists at NetApp), even the biggest, most complex enterprise workloads can now move into the cloud and experience the same performance, if not better, than when they were on-premises. Azure NetApp Files is often used as the underlying shared file storage service for lift-and-shift migrations of Linux and Windows applications, databases, HPC infrastructures, and applications, as well as enterprise web applications – which were locked on-premises until now. Great news, but how do you protect those critical applications?

Truth #2: Data backup conversations need to happen in parallel with application conversations (and are not just for IT).

Data backup and security is often not a conversation that happens in parallel with application and digital transformation conversations, but should  be. My background, historically, is in more holistic kinds of application data center architecture. I believe that you can’t have an application without it being protected.

Not to sound dramatic, but how you treat your data will impact your business: if your data is vulnerable, your business is vulnerable. Previously, backup or data protection would have been an afterthought. No one paid much attention to it until they needed it. Now, with threats like ransomware, it’s much more of a concern than it used to be. For CEOs who are concerned with security and increasing data privacy regulations, data protection is now top-of-mind.

For tips on how to combat ransomware, read this eBook: How to Develop a Ransomware Remediation Plan for Cyber Resiliency.

Truth #3: To protect your organization and ensure regulatory compliance, you need control and visibility over your data.

Ransomware is growing increasingly worrisome as the frequency and ramifications of these attacks intensify. The F.B.I. noted that ransomware attacks were becoming “more targeted, sophisticated, and costly.” Europol, the European Union’s Law Enforcement Agency, calls ransomware the “most widespread and financially damaging form of cyberattack.”*

Organizations need to protect themselves. Having security measures in place and employing appropriate levels of data backup are critical steps. As they move to the cloud, having a backup solution built to span and protect data across their entire infrastructure becomes even more critical. Just as important is having control over, and visibility into, your data. Data visibility takes data protection to another level, and is something that most data management platforms can’t offer their clients.

Rubrik offers customers the same data protection engine, policies, workflows, REST APIs, and management and protection suite, whether they’re protecting their on-premises data, their SAP HANA data that’s running on Azure NetApp Files, or their unstructured data that are running in the cloud.

There is a unified management control plane for data—regardless of if it resides in the cloud, at the edge, or on-premises—and the protection of that data. Rubrik also offers ransomware detection and anomaly detection of data sets, which are good for unstructured data.

In addition, Sonar, part of Rubrik’s Polaris SaaS offering, can interrogate data sets for things like PII, HIPAA data, and GDPR for EMEA. It allows visibility into the backup data set. Above and beyond just the data protection and data management piece, Rubrik offers value-adds around ransomware detection and data classification, which you wouldn’t typically get with a data protection product.

Truth in Action

Kern Medical Center offers an excellent example of how the right data management solution can make all the difference when faced with data compromise, such as ransomware, while also enabling an easy transition to cloud.

Kern Medical Center, like many other organizations, experienced a serious ransomware attack that infiltrated their environment and began encrypting data, rendering it unusable.

The attack was discovered after an hour when users reported they couldn’t access their systems. With Rubrik, Kern Medical Center quickly recovered 100% of the systems the solution protected. Impressed by their experience, the organization made the decision to move more legacy systems to Rubrik. In the words of Craig Witmer, CTO at Kern Medical Center, “[We] are fully confident that Rubrik’s immutable backups will protect us from future incidents.”

Rubrik’s innovative technology also supported the organization’s cloud journey via a seamless integration to Microsoft Azure. Witmer explained, “As a healthcare organization, we are required to retain data for up to 25 years for pediatric patients. With Rubrik, we were able to archive our data in Azure and quickly retrieve any information if necessary.”

That is the power of an intelligent data strategy. That’s why data management and protection need to be part of the digital transformation conversation, and not an afterthought.

If you want to have a data management conversation, the specialists at Rubrik can help. To learn more about ransomware and data protection, check out this infographic.


*New York Times, “Ransomware Attacks Grow, Crippling Cities and Businesses.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/09/technology/ransomware-attacks.html

** Forbes, “Two Russian Ransomware attacks Take Down North Carolina City and County Government Systems.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2020/03/10/two-russian-ransomware-attacks-take-down-north-carolina-city-and-county-government-systems/#51997627588f