2020 has been a year of change and often intense pressure on technology teams. Cassius Rhue looks ahead to 2021 and considers how organizations may use 2020 as a springboard for further development in the areas of high availability and disaster recovery.
For IT teams (and everyone else), 2020 was a year of rapid, disruptive change. Among other things, IT teams suddenly had to support remote workforces - often with limited access to their on-premises data centers / centres. Business operations for entire industries had to change rapidly and creatively to stay competitive – putting unprecedented pressure on IT. Many IT teams responded to these pressures by moving critical systems into the cloud faster than they ever thought possible. Most are prioritizing systems and processes that keep critical operations running automatically and without adding complexity to their already complex environments. Some quickly realized that high availability and disaster recovery was also a must for this migration.
So, what will these changes mean for IT in the coming year? Here are a few predictions to consider:
Enterprises will migrate more mission-critical applications, ERPs, and databases to cloud
As the scalability and flexibility benefits of cloud continue to prove themselves, companies will consider moving their most complex and mission-critical applications, ERPs, and databases to the cloud. Concerns about the ability to meet 99.99 percent SLAs in the cloud have many companies slow to migrate these essential systems where SLAs only apply to hardware availability. More companies will look to implement sophisticated application-aware high availability solutions to provide the same level of protection for applications and data as they get in traditional on-premises environments.
Business continuity and disaster recovery will drive adoption of hybrid cloud and multi cloud configurations
As cloud adoption takes center/centre stage in IT infrastructure configurations, companies will begin using more hybrid and multi-cloud configurations to solve long-standing challenges to business continuity and disaster recovery. Companies will increasingly use the cloud to enable geographically separated offsite replication or failover for disaster protection. They will look to extend failover clustering not only across cloud availability zones but across different cloud vendors.
Enterprise reliance on databases and ERP systems will continue to grow
Powerful database and ERP systems, including Oracle, SAP S4/HANA and SQL Server will continue to increase in criticality for companies looking to manage and mine critical data, consolidate, and unify business processes. IoT technologies delivering new ways of gathering data and delivering services at the edge will only increase the importance of these systems that process it. Tolerance for even momentary downtime or minimal data loss for these systems will drive to zero.
Companies will look to use backup and high availability data for DevOps
Companies will look to get more value from replicated data ‘at rest’ to use it for more than simply disaster recovery. More companies will want to use this data for DevOps.
Containers adoption will peak
Container are continuing to make the headlines and are destined to be used in more use cases throughout the IT infrastructure. As the excitement wanes, companies will still run complex applications, databases, and ERPs in traditional on-premises and cloud environments.
Storage agnostic high availability and disaster recovery protection will be required
Companies are no longer tethered to their SAN or NFS storage. All manner of storage solutions are being used in the cloud and on premises. Protecting all of that data and enabling the flexibility to implement hybrid cloud environments will mean a greater need for high availability solutions that work equally well with all types of storage.
Expectations for automation and ease of use set by machine learning, artificial intelligence, will extend to more IT infrastructure purchasing
Enterprises will find new applications for machine learning technologies that automate manual processes and enhance monitoring capabilities. Companies will look for products that deliver deeper monitoring, more automation and value-added information across their IT spend. For example, availability solutions that provide application-aware monitoring and automation of configuration and management tasks would be prioritized over traditional failover solutions.
The changes forced on businesses in 2020 will have a profound effect on IT in 2021. IT teams are becoming singularly focused on finding ways to automate manual tasks, eliminate downtime and data loss, and provide higher levels of service while staying within tighter budgets. IT teams will increasingly implement systems that not only increase uptime, but also ensure they have access to their data, that their data is secure, and the data itself is highly available.
Cassius Rhue is VP, Customer Experience, SIOS Technology.