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What are 3 top data protection trends expected in 2019?

Top trends in data protection include more comprehensive backup platforms. With data in many different places, including multiple clouds, products must cover a lot of ground.

From the constant threat of cyberattacks and natural disasters to new innovations, 2018 was a busy one in terms of data protection. With 2019 rapidly approaching, it is time to begin thinking about what we might expect with regard to data protection in the coming year.

There are three overarching data protection trends that I expect to define 2019.

1. Multi-cloud protection

The biggest of the data protection trends for 2019 is going to be increased acceptance of multi-cloud. Multi-cloud is nothing new, but there are still a number of backup providers that specialize in backing up to or from one specific cloud. Eventually, however, such providers are going to be left out in the cold unless they embrace the multi-cloud trend.

This actually brings up another important point. Backup providers and network administrators alike will need to place an increased emphasis on cross-cloud, software-defined networking. This will be essential if an organization is to centrally manage its backup operations. It's one thing to set up a virtual backup appliance in the AWS cloud and set up another virtual backup appliance in a different cloud, such as Microsoft Azure. It is quite another thing for those virtual backup appliances to be able to communicate with one another and for a backup administrator to be able to centrally manage all of an organization's cloud backups. To put it another way, backup software will need to become cloud-agnostic.

2. Better support for SaaS

Over the last year or two, companies have finally woken up to the idea that the data within their SaaS applications needs to be backed up. Even so, support for backing up SaaS applications still leaves a lot to be desired. In the case of Microsoft Office 365, for example, backup providers commonly offer protection for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, but support for lesser-known Office 365 applications, such as Flow, Planner and Stream, is almost nonexistent.

Over the next year, I look for backup vendors to provide more comprehensive support for SaaS applications. In fact, given these data protection trends, backup vendors may even begin competing with one another based on the number of applications that they are able to protect.

3. Hyper-convergence

Although most of the talk about data protection trends these days centers on cloud backup, hyper-convergence has gained significant traction over the last year for its use as a backup platform. I look for hyper-converged systems to become the go-to platform for organizations that are creating backups on premises.

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