1. a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage.

There are many reasons that a company may experience a data disaster–from a fire or flood impacting a data center to increasingly prevalent ransomware attacks, even to insider threats or just plain old human error. If the corresponding downtime stretches on or business-critical data can’t be retrieved, company brand reputations suffer, profits slide, and sometimes doors shut permanently. Here are some interesting reads on how widespread outages impact over 95% of enterprises, costing them up to $400,000 per hour of downtime. An outage can really cripple your business, but I’m not writing to relay tales of doom and gloom. Quite the opposite.

While you can’t avoid a disaster, you can prepare for it. Business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) are not new concepts; however, many of the threats faced and the way businesses respond to them are. This is why it’s imperative to pivot the conversation from the traditional, expensive disaster recovery (DR) plans, which provide weak guarantees on the amount of data lost or restart time, to on-demand recovery.

The message is simple: minimize the impact of a catastrophe. Recover from an outage rapidly. Lower RTOs. No more ransom.

Why is on-demand recovery important for this? Let’s take three scenarios that many enterprises face.

Ransomware Attacks: Cleaning Up Isn’t Easy

Ransomware is a legitimate concern for organizations of all sizes. Ransomware attacks in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone grew by 148%, with new ransomware families detected.* It’s an expensive crime: ransomware damages are predicted to increase to $20 billion by 2021The New York Times reports that “even these numbers underestimate the true cost of ransomware attacks, which have disrupted factories and basic infrastructure and forced businesses to shut down.”

From the same article: “What we find most concerning is that it causes not just direct costs, but also indirect costs of lost operations,” states Herbert Stapleton, Cybersection Chief, F.B.I. “We certainly view it as one of the most serious cybercriminal problems we face right now.”

Recovery, and the speed of returning to normal operations after a disaster event like ransomware, is an important conversation. But when I start discussing DR with either partners or customers, they almost instantaneously think about recovery point objectives (RPOs), failover, failback, and all the other traditional DR concepts. It sounds complex. It can feel overwhelming. But it shouldn’t be. Data recovery should be easy.

The Difficulties of NAS Recovery

Typically, when you need to protect or back up NAS data, it’s a three-phase process:

  1. Scan for the changes to know exactly when you need to back up compared to the previous backup.
  2. Fetch any new data.
  3. Write the new data to the backup storage.

The first step can be quite a time consuming because data protection solutions or backup software usually need to scan through the entire shares, files, and folders to identify what has changed since the previous backup. That can take a lot of time. Obviously, the impact is that the backup window – the total time it takes to do the actual backup from start to finish–is longer. If it’s longer, it means that the RPO is impacted because the backup is going to occur less frequently.

Data Access for Rapid Restores

Ensuring that your organization can maintain business continuity in the case of an unplanned outage, security threat, or attack is imperative. Most DR strategies focus solely on recovering mission-critical and revenue-impacting data and systems. But testing and development work environments are often overlooked.

Many organizations have testing to do, whether for development, migrations from on-premises to the cloud, or an upgrade of an application to the newest version. Running those tests on-premises may require businesses to mobilize or perhaps even add more hardware in.

Regardless of the reason–DR or routine testing–the ability to provision and restore is often required, and that means time, hardware, and human resourcing.

On-Demand Recovery, As Simple as Pushing a Button

On-demand recovery means you should be able to recover when and where you want, whether on-premises or in the cloud, and from a variety of recovery points, all at the push of a button.

Enterprises want access to their data, but historically that has been no easy feat. Often, organizations want an all-in-one data management and security solution, but end up with an extensive portfolio as they navigate the complex and convoluted data web. Data management would be so much easier if data were consolidated and lived in a single location. However, in the digital age, data is sprawling and scattered–it generates continuously and lives everywhere. Since data isn’t going to change, how we protect, manage, and more importantly, recover it, does. On-demand recovery should be as simple as pushing a button.

Thanks to Rubrik’s immutable file system, each backup can alert you to irregular behavior. If an attack occurs, you’re able to see how your data was changed. Rubrik makes it possible for organizations to restore to the most recent clean data with just a few clicks. And because Rubrik policies can be configured to seamlessly send a copy of the backup data to Azure, you know that you can always retrieve your data from the cloud if required.

At Rubrik, we have natively integrated with NetApp’s change-list API, called SnapDiff, so when changes happen with your data, you don’t need to waste time on a search-and-find mission; Rubrik can just ask NetApp via a simple API call. This results in significant time savings on the overall backup duration, which means you can back up critical NAS data more frequently, ultimately getting more recovery points and better RPOs.

Finally, if you look at enabling innovation with rapid access to data, Rubrik has you covered with on-demand cloud instantiation. Azure offers flexibility so that you won’t have to dedicate or provision additional hardware on-premises. You can spin up VM workloads in Azure from your backups that have already been sent out to Azure, and pay just for what you’re consuming and only for the time that these machines are running. It brings a lot more flexibility and a lot less complexity as well as rapid cloud restores.

Data recovery doesn’t have to be complex, time-consuming, and expensive. That’s why the conversation needs to move away from DR, which is laden with weak guarantees surrounding data loss and restart time, to on-demand recovery. No more lengthy downtime, no more ransom payment. Rubrik has your back.

With Rubrik, no matter where your data and applications live, whether on-premises, at the edge, or in the cloud, they can be protected with the same policy-based approach and easy-to-use experience. We emphasize data management simplicity and offer on-demand recovery at the push of a button. For a deeper dive into Rubrik NAS backup, read our white paper.

* McAfee, “McAfee Threat Report – December 2019.”

Additional Sources: