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Availability is the key

By  Peter Ruchatz
March 31 2016: World Backup Day (on March 31) is no longer relevant.  Enterprises have realized that the question is no longer “Are we backed up?”  The question is now “Are we available?”  What we know as traditional backup is being replaced by a new category of Availability.
The beauty of our industry is the constant speed of innovation and huge impact on – as I used to say – how mankind creates and delivers products and services. This Digital Transformation is fueled by what IDC calls the 3rd Platform (mobile, social, cloud technologies), and this transformation wil be felt in every industry.
I want to illustrate the significant importance Availability plays to all businesses, no matter industry or business-size. The reliance of enterprises on 24/7/365 Availability is more than a concept, it’s a necessity for survival.  Modern users demand… sorry, expect, unfettered access to applications and data whether it’s streaming media or CRM tools. The ramifications of not meeting these expectations run deeper than just an inconvenience to customers, but can cause the kind of issues that keep everyone from the IT Pro to the CEO awake at night.
Great example: a cruise ship. A floating, around-the clock entertainment and food center the size of a small city designed to provide a seamless customer experience.  All of the experiences on that ship are software defined: access to your cabin, onboard shopping, entertainment streamed to thousands of rooms and devices, surveillance and security networks, electronic booking systems for restaurant tables, fitness classes, excursions etc.  And of course, the systems running the engines and the ship itself.
Guess what happens if all of that, or even just parts of it, go offline.  Think about it.  Bang goes the customer experience – together with the availability, brand confidence and reputation of the cruise line itself.
That ship is an Always-On EnterpriseTM. The passengers, crew, and staff all need non-stop access 24/7/365.  They do not need backup; they need availability.  And, they only have a few people on board running the entire IT infrastructure for these floating cities.  For this very reason, brands such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Viking Line use Veeam.  All the ships‘ data centers are fully virtualized and available thanks to us.
Every business is like that cruise ship, whether a Fortune 500 brand or a small independent start-up.  Every business is embracing Digital Transformation in some form and they demand ubiqitous availbility.  That creates a new market, and Veeam is this new market.
However, 84% of senior executives admit that they have not solved their availability challenges, and may be in the “awake at night” category” I mentioned previously.  Global businesses freely admitted in a recent Veeam survey that downtime can result in the loss of customer confidence (68%) and damage to their organizations’ brands (62%). This shows that downtime has a clear and lasting impact to organizations that goes beyond the data center or even the wider financial implications. Furthermore, in the same survey around half of respondents stated that downtime can result in the loss of employee confidence as well, demonstrating that the negative impact is felt internally with potentially wider implications for morale and performance.
Therefore, based on the feedback from global executives in our survey and my cruise ship example, we have to conclude that World Backup Day is dead… long live World Availability Day.

The 2016 Veeam Availability Report, gathering insight from 1,140 senior IT decision makers (ITDMs) across
24 countries, clearly shows that the needs of the Always-On Enterprise™ are not being met, and that
enterprises need to make availability a strategic priority or risk up to $16 million each year in lost revenue.

Key Findings compared to 2014 results:

  • Increase in unplanned downtime:
    1.4 to 1.9 hours for mission-critical applications
    4.0 to 5.8 hours for non-mission-critical applications
  • The average recovery time objective (RTO) for mission-critical applications is 3.0 hours vs service level agreements (SLAs) requiring 1.6 hours. Similarly, current recovery point objective (RPO) is 4.2 hours, but should ideally be 2.9 hours.
  • Annual downtime cost has risen a staggering $6M within a 12 month period 
    Founded in 2006, Veeam currently has 37,000 ProPartners and more than 183,000 customers worldwide. Veeam's global headquarters are located in Baar, Switzerland, and the company has offices throughout the world