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Managing Data Protection Policies
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Managing Data Protection Policies

In the book “Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World,” Donald Sull and Kathleen Eisenhardt make a compelling argument for how simple rules are critical to succeed in a complex world. From all of their research they found that successful companies not only created a simple set of rules or guiding principles, but were quite specific. This point not only applies to how to run companies, but also how to create and manage processes in organizations.

Protecting corporate data is a must have and not a choice. The responsibility of protecting data lies on the backup admin, but the people who decide on what the policy should be to protect any given data typically are the data officers, business line managers and legal staff. They talk in a language that says how long to keep the data, what is the max data loss they can sustain and what to do in the event of a disaster. The challenge the backup admin has is how to translate that language into actionable policies in his or her backup tool. Today, most tools talk in technical jargon that does not represent what the business wants. So, backup admins do what they believe they understand the business wants and what they think their tool can handle.

When we began designing HYCU, the purpose-built backup and recovery tool for Nutanix, we told ourselves that we have the opportunity to rethink how to do data protection. We wanted the policy, i.e. the contract between the business and IT administrative staff, to be in a simple language that will be easy to understand and never in doubt as to what the outcome will be. This makes the entire communication process transparent and makes even the day-to-day reporting extremely simple and easy to track. This design for transparency also helps us to align with the as-a-service philosophy that is supposed to make it easy for customers/consumers of the service to make the right choice.

We didn’t just stop there though. We took it another step. And the feedback we hear from our customers now is that HYCU reduces the amount of time they need to spend creating, managing and maintaining their policies. The entire policy creation is just one single wizard page! Even if you want to spend more time, sorry you don’t have a choice. Simplicity also reduces errors and thus reduces the troubleshooting time!

Today, to set a data protection policy, HYCU asks three questions:

  1. How often to backup (your recovery point objective)
  2. How much time do you have to recover the data and bring the VM or application back online (your recovery time objective)
  3. How long does the business need to keep backups before they are deleted from the backup target and HYCU (your retention time)

Optionally, if a customer wants multiple copies, then they just need to state how long they want to keep the additional copy.

As I had mentioned in one of my previous blogs, we designed HYCU with the “set and forget” or “manage by exception” philosophy.

  1. In HYCU you don’t even need to do any selection of backup targets, we automatically choose the right targets for your VMs and Apps based on their size, your policy selection and capabilities and usage of your backup targets.
  2. Customers who want to make sure every VM in their environment is protected, can just set one of their policies as a default policy and every VM that gets created will automatically get protected.
  3. Today, by default we tell customers if all of their environment is protected or not. It gives them confidence to tell their management that they are safe! But, there may be situations where you do not want to backup a VM or an application. By assigning a pre-defined “Exclude Policy,” HYCU will consider it as not required for backup and will ignore it in all dashboard calculations and not warn you that you are unprotected.

We wanted HYCU to give customers back time and peace of mind. Policies are a key part of setting the system on the right track. But again, don’t take our word for it, check out the video and take HYCU for a test drive! You won’t be disappointed.