This content is part of the Essential Guide: Data protection technologies changing the market

Can integrating data protection and management work?

While you may want to jump on the data management and protection train, consider first how combining the two in one product will affect your systems and users.

The integration of data management platforms into the backup architecture represents a new approach to the backup process. Therefore, backup administrators must take into account considerations that go beyond those of traditional backup and recovery products.

One such consideration for a data protection and management platform is whether the product provides a seamless user experience. Some data management platforms provide users with access to both their working data and previous versions of that data. Ideally, such a platform should provide a seamless experience that does not get in the user's way. Otherwise, productivity may be impacted, and the number of support calls within the organization will likely increase.

A data protection and management platform must be future-proof. As we all know, technology is constantly evolving. If an organization were to adopt a new type of storage array or transition to a new set of applications, those changes should not break the backup process. The platform should continue to function regardless of the underlying storage hardware and the type of data that needs to be protected.

Another feature that is starting to show up in some data protection and management platforms is integrated data lifecycle management. These types of products not only retain and provide access to older versions of unstructured data, but can also use policies to purge aging data in accordance with the organization's data lifecycle management policy. As such, the product acts not only as a backup platform, but also as a tool for keeping the excessive accumulation of legacy data in check.

Finally, the data protection and management product must be secure. One of the risks associated with using this type of product is that the backup offering provides unified access to every bit of the organization's data. An insecure platform could put all of the organization's data at risk. However, security by itself isn't enough. The software must also respect the access control permissions that the organization has established. A user should not be able to access data through the backup software that isn't typically accessible.

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