What is data resiliency?

One of the most valuable assets in recent ages is information. Everyone is concerned about their data. Everyone has become attuned to securing their private and organizational data, from executive clients to customers.

Data Resiliency

Dealing with the hassles caused by cyber-attacks is quite arduous. But data resiliency is a way to handle this more effectively and with more minor damage. According to TechTarget, the resiliency of any information technology system ( a network, a server, a storage system, or a data center) is defined by its ability to rebound quickly and resume its original operation after a sudden halt.

The importance of Data resiliency to tech companies cannot be overemphasized. Data resiliency saves an organization from unneeded public examination and unexpected declines in sales and yields. It also protects the business from falling apart.

Actually, data resiliency is like a bounce-back procedure. We can call it a plan for the unforeseen circumstances and contingencies that may come up during the course of running a business. Data resiliency is a well-structured aspect of a facility’s architecture for maintaining data protection and also enforcing data protection when breaches occur.

DataResilience.com.au puts it to us that Cyber-attacks and Data breaching are among the most regular headlines in today’s world. And forestalling such deleterious attacks has become the primary concern of all companies. Data is undeniable of enormous value in today’s world and is necessary for the smooth running of modern businesses.

The overreliance of modern businesses on digitized data also comes with its downsides. Data is the force behind revenue; data creates connections in business. Techcrunch affirms that data can be an organization’s most valuable corporate asset. If a company utilizes its business well, it can improve the business and cause accelerated growth.

Nevertheless, as the business increases in value, its dependency on data also increases. The ever-dynamic computing landscape necessitates the need to protect the data from cybercriminals. Comparitech affirms that about 45% of the companies in the United States of America have experienced a data breach, and this percentage might be higher considering the undetected data breaches.

What is Data Resiliency?

Spectra refers to data resiliency as the data’s ability to “spring back” whenever there is a compromise. Data Resilience is an essential strategy aiming to protect data while offering swift responses to alleviate data breaches. In essence, data resilience entails fortifying data against threats and recovering jeopardized data. These features make it crystal clear that data resiliency ensures an uninterrupted business.

Data resilience is of utmost priority in most organizations because the hazards caused by data breaching are numerous. Data threats and cyber-attacks interfere with the usual mode of operation of businesses, thereby causing a massive setback in the growth and development of the business. Moreover, data breaches cause an organization to lose its worth. The customers and clients start to develop a negative impression about such organizations.

What Does Data Resiliency Entail?

TechTarget affirms that for data resiliency to be achieved, redundant systems and facilities have to be utilized. Such that immediately an aspect of the element malfunctions, the redundant elements assume control without any delay or setback to ensure uninterrupted delivery of computer services. The survival of a business depends on its emergency response and way of handling incidents. These form the bedrock of an organization’s resilience.

The primary aim of resilience is to keep downtimes to the smallest amount possible such that system users won’t even know that there’s been a disruption. That’s one scenario. In a more severe case whereby the data in a specific location becomes inaccessible either due to physical occurrences or because it’s corrupted, data resiliency ensures that availability is maintained by storing multiple copies of the data in different locations. With that, users can still access data seamlessly as long as they have access to the secondary location where the data is not jeopardized.

This brings us to the realization that redundancy is an excellent feature of Data Resiliency. For an organization to protect its data via data resiliency, the data must be protected in different locations by making redundant copies of that data. Data resiliency entails several techniques which ensure its success.

Data Resiliency Techniques

The resiliency techniques employed by an organization will vary contingent upon the workload. Often, the prioritized data resiliency techniques are those that deal with mission-critical data workflows; these are those that support real-time or transactional businesses. Spectra affirms that these techniques shorten the duration of recovery and prevent extended outages.

A business has to consider several things when choosing the perfect data resiliency techniques, such as business needs, the general business continuity plan, and putting in place recovery time objectives for several data functionalities depending on the data usage. An all-inclusive data resiliency technique might entail several strategies such as snapshots, backups, synchronous and asynchronous replication, mirrored copies of data, and off-site redundancy, among others.

The issue of off-site data redundancy is settled by cloud storage, specifically cloud storage at multiple locations. The duration of data should also be noted when selecting the most suitable resiliency technique for a particular data workload. One location doesn’t dominate the others; availability and accessibility are ensured when data is stored in multiple locations.

MirroringBcmpedia defines mirroring as a scheme that maintains the concerned data to ensure that both the local and remote copies of the data are synchronized. Mirroring is a strategy that entails two or more active sites. Each site can assume control over the other’s workload in the event of downtime or disaster.

In mirroring, each site is embedded with sufficient processing power to retrieve data from the other site and to tolerate the increased workload when there’s a disruption. An ideal thing to do is to ensure that the sites are physically distanced from one another and should be reasonably resistant to regional environmental hazards. Several mirroring techniques exist. An organization might decide to store the mirrored copy on the same disk drive as the original copy. Alternatively, mirrored copies can be stored on a remote system. Generally, mirroring techniques can be synchronous or asynchronous.

A synchronous mirroring technique connotes that the data copies are identical, and the problem of latency can emerge due to the distance barrier that is allowed between primary and secondary locations. Asynchronous mirroring doesn’t usually come with distance limitations. However, if the system experiences an impromptu failure, the latency might lead to data loss. At the hardware scope, peer-to-peer remote copying can be the origin of a mirroring strategy that provides resource services with the ability to act as a switchover.

● Snapshots – Snapshots are physical copies of a detailed data that can be created more rapidly than the physical copy. See them as backup copies that are created at several points. Snapshots are space-efficient and function as logical instantaneous images of the base volume. Snapshots of logical disk units can handle a backup that cuts across individual applications. Nevertheless, they might not perform excellently with several mirrored and striped data techniques.

Snapshots improve data protection by creating multiple archived copies for rapid retrieval, bolstering the backup process of the snapshot volume. Snapshots can be accessed instantaneously relative to other applications that play a role in data protection, analysis, and replication. The copies that pertain to the data will be available to the application all the time, but the snapshots will be available as backup copies that carry out other functions on the data.

● Flash Copies – Judging by its name, a flash copy creates a rapid point-in-time copy of a particular data. These copies can be used to establish an application separately. Also, this technique can augment the ability to successfully create an offline backup and even increase the data for non-production systems. Flash copy, as a technique, enables you to develop complete volume copies that are available for perusal or editing with the FlashCopy function. These copies are referred to as point-in-time copies.

After initiating a FlashCopy operation, a mapping relationship is established. This means that the source volume establishes a FlashCopy relationship with the target volume. This mapping relationship makes it possible for the point-in-time copies of the source volume to be copied to the related target volume. This FlashCopy relationship remains intact between both volumes from the point you activate the FlashCopy operation till when the storage has successfully copied all data from the source volume to the target volume.

● Hardware Replication – The importance of replication as an aspect of data protection strategy for an organization can not be overemphasized. Nevertheless, for an organization to make the most of data replication, it must decide whether it should be done at the hardware or software levels.

Hardware replication is usually carried out at the operating system level rather than the object level. Several organizations’ storage vendors incorporate hardware-level functionality into their systems. With such systems connected to a high-speed network connection, any data that is written to the primary storage device will automatically replicate exact operations to a secondary device. The source of this replication is the system’s firmware, and it doesn’t need an external software application.

Moreover, several storage vendors have also adopted block-level replication. This implies that the primary storage device oversees the created or reformed blocks and then replicates those blocks to the secondary device. A significant advantage that hardware replication confers is that it can be done at a lower level. When this replication is carried out synchronously, an organization will most certainly have identical copies of the data.

● Software Replication – Software replication comes in handy when you intend to switch to auxiliary systems, such as a data warehouse. Software replication is also referred to as database replication; it is based on the notion of using an operating system. This operating system serves as the hypervisor that replicates the data from one location to another.

The replication process utilized in this data resilience technique doesn’t have to be supported at the hardware level. In the same way, the applications also carry out a software replication called logical replication. Logical replication takes note of objects that have been replicated and those that haven’t been replicated. Logical replication is done based on the object’s primary key.

Is Backup Part Of Data Resiliency Philosophy?

During the earlier days of technology, organizations retrieved their data via data backups. Oftentimes, these backups are stored on a single application which is accessed whenever there is a need to restore data. However, in today’s correlated world in which applications are linked, backups can experience serious resynchronization issues. A gap of lost data can emanate from the latency that exists between backups.

Contingent upon the fundamental technologies of the data stores, the data gap loss keeps expanding if a logging system isn’t available. Moreover, backups may not be adequate for today’s cumbersome database. Since backups are restored incrementally, it might be arduous to restore specific data.

When data safety is at risk, organizations must put in place measures that prevent permanent data loss. An effective data resiliency strategy dramatically reduces an organization’s data vulnerability and minimizes the impact of threats.

For Storware, this knowledge allows us to create data protection software that goes beyond basic backup. Innovative data security techniques, snapshots, deduplication, encryption, automation, instant recovery, protection of virtual machines, applications, databases, container and cloud environments – are the perfect support for any company’s data resilience strategy. Learn more.

Paweł Mączka Photo

text written by:

Pawel Maczka, CTO at Storware