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What’s the future of endpoint backup?
Endpoint backup: does it make sense nowadays?
Who of you intentionally makes data backups from endpoint devices? I mean smartphones, laptops, tablets, personal computers… Certainly not many of you. So what is the future of endpoint and cloud applications backup? Actually, there is none. At least not for endpoint backup as we understand it today. Period. Why? In this article, you will find out why some solutions will become outdated in the coming years and what will probably replace them.
Backup on the consumer market
If we are thinking about the consumer market (end users), we can tell, based on our own experience, that in most cases users make copies of important files manually. They store data locally, on portable drives, NAS devices (which most often have integrated software for data backup) or use software delivered with the system. There are also file synchronization services – for example Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox, which are not only making a copy of the data, but also allow access from any device. In this case, dedicated endpoint protection software will not gain any interest.
In many cases, small organizations follow the same practices that are common to end users: some use Office 365 or Google Suits for file sharing and document editing. They feel safe as their data roams somewhere in “the Cloud”.
In the case of big organizations, however, there is a growing standardization of desktops and images of operating systems installed on them. Users are normally required to follow DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan) instructions. The general assumption is that employees are obliged to keep the data in a specific place, and when something bad happens, only the broken device is replaced with another one. The data should be safe.
The largest organizations that are aware of the current dangers related to data security are in the process of resource migration towards solutions based on thin client infrastructure. So we have one large server, to which we get through the thin client terminal. Everything is already on the server. Additionally, we have hybrid and virtual environments where desktops are virtualized and users can connect to them using any device on a remote desktop basis.
Therefore, we anticipate that this “endpoint backup” solution will no longer be actively implemented in organizations over the next five years.
It is worth mentioning that users often do not know that their data is being backed up. The most common discovery occurs when configuring a new phone and the user’s settings, contacts or other data automatically appear on the new device. These things often happen without the knowledge of the users, who do not even know where their private data is being stored.
Roaming profiles – something is following me…
Apple users, for instance, have definitely noticed the solutions that iCloud offers, where they can set up an automatic desktop and “my documents” folder backup. This solution is definitely noteworthy. Roaming profiles are already part of the Windows ecosystem: we can log in to the same account on any Windows 10 device and all of our personal settings will be synchronized. It is simple and very comfortable. This trend is spreading. Certainly, giants such as Apple or Microsoft will prepare intelligent solutions for companies in this area. Data will follow the user, and users will not notice it at all.
Undoubtedly, cloud applications will develop, and different user’s applications will be available thanks to the SaaS model. Let’s see how Adobe solved this issue. Thanks to Adobe Cloud, we have access to a whole range of products we can install and use, through a single service. We do not have to buy separate products – Adobe Cloud has everything we need. We can log on from any computer and gain access to our files. Microsoft Office also operates in the cloud. There are also ecosystems based on Google Chrome, and so on.
Therefore, the future of such a backup lies on the server and infrastructure side, not on the client side.
Storware is highly aware of the fact that endpoint backup should be just a feature, not the essence. In this area, we see many opportunities in the field of intelligent data synchronization. We have data, the “task” of which is to follow the user (who can access the data everywhere, from any device and on demand, and of course in a safe way). We know that not all companies want their data to land in the clouds operated by Apple, Google or other public entities, so our solution assumes that the data is stored on-premise, that is, on a server somewhere in the company’s headquarters or in a selected location. Another option is a hybrid model, where part of the infrastructure is on the client’s side and long-term storage rests with the chosen service provider. It all depends on a given corporate data management policy, the company’s security policy, the corporation itself, and on the client.
What we want to achieve is to convince users that in the event of a failure, for whatever reason, their data will not be lost and can be easily and quickly recovered on any device.
It is worth adding that cloud providers do not take responsibility for data that is (voluntarily or unconsciously) stored on their servers. Certainly, in the case of smaller suppliers, we have more control over the nature of how the backup should take place, whether we want to use the 3-2-1 model, or if we have any other requirements regarding data security strategy.
5% of uncertainty
Cloud services and Office 365 – although we can say that 95% of this infrastructure will not be destroyed, and even if, the data is duplicated, after all, the question remains: Why to backup any data stored in the cloud?
- There always remains the 5% of uncertainty
- The service provider, in the event of a failure, does not take responsibility for the lost data, and we are left with nothing.
- There are also irresponsible users, bugs, hackers, etc. We hear of stories where users wanted to migrate from one cloud to another, which resulted in a total loss of data because the administrator misunderstood the migration mechanism. Or we need access to an email we deleted half a year ago – backup comes in handy in such cases.
- Increasingly, we hear about campaigns directed against companies (burglary, infecting the company’s computers and so on) – these are situations we cannot control or predict. Even if we try to protect against them using software, the ingenuity of hackers is often underestimated.
In connection with the above, it is worth focusing not only on the endpoint backup, but on the efficient management of device fleet and solutions related to EFSS (enterprise file sync & share). These can definitely improve corporate processes, at the same time allowing us to save time and money.