Back-up Your Data

Ahmad Khattab vice president Sales, Growth Markets EMEA and Henry Martinez, vice president, Sales Engineering, from Vision Solutions discuss what steps companies should be taking to ensure proper protection of vital data.

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Back-up Your Data Ahmad Khattab of Vision Solutions says that having a data back-up and recovery system is vital for any business.
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By  Georgina Enzer Published  July 15, 2012

Ahmad Khattab vice president Sales, Growth Markets EMEA and Henry Martinez, vice president, Sales Engineering, with data back-up and recovery specialists Vision Solutions discuss what steps companies should be taking to ensure proper protection of vital data.

Do companies in the Middle East fully realise the importance of data back-up and recovery systems?

Khattab: Yes they do, since the mid 90s they have. If you look at Dubal – our first customer in the Middle East and one of our first customers to be on disaster recovery and it still is. The Middle Eastern companies really have that focus and have had that focus since early on in the process even before some countries in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Has there been an increase in awareness in data recovery solutions since the unrest in the region?

Khattab: A great deal. The companies that had put it off and thought it was not important have really increased their interest in data recovery and back-up since the advent of the Arab Spring and have moved towards implementation. We did see an increase of activity both during and after the Arab Spring and organisations now, across the board from banking to distribution, to retail, and cross-sectors are looking at disaster recovery differently than they did prior to the unrest.

What percentage of the large enterprises in the Middle East have a strong data back-up and recovery solution implemented?

Khattab: I would say that the financial sector has one of the strongest data back-up and recovery implementations I have seen around the world – they have all adopted. If you look at Emirates Bank, Dubai Stock Market, Abu Dhabi Stockmarket, Bahrain etc, all the financial sector – I would say adoption is in the 90% range. Other sectors in the market I would say in the 50% to 60% margin.

How do you do data back-up and recovery for public and private cloud?

Khattab: From our perspective, we look at the cloud as the future – our company can support the physical world, the virtual world and now the cloud, where companies choose to take a bunch of software, but instead of taking it to another hardware they take it to the cloud.

We do have the flexibility to work in the cloud and it is cost-effective for them not to maintain the hardware and go to the cloud, public or private.

Martinez: If your internet service provider goes down you lose access to the cloud so if you need to run your business at all costs, you need to look at where you copy your data. Look at a virtual back-up on site – if you back it up on site, you don’t need the internet to restore and continue – if you rely strictly on cloud and you don’t have a virtual copy and your ISP connection goes down it can be a problem.

We can go physical, which means you can have a local replicated image, we can go physical to virtual which means you can take a computer and slice it up like a loaf of bread and each piece of the bread can hold one instance of the OS and data base or you can go to the cloud which in some cases has a real cost advantage because you don’t have to buy the second computer.

Khattab: But you still depend on the provider, if the provider goes down, you are still stuck to that.

Martinez: That is the difference between private and public cloud in private cloud you could be using the local area network of your business to create you private cloud, if you use the WAN that can be riskier. Most companies that are large are doing private clouds.

What should large enterprises have as a minimum back up solution?

Khattab: For a large enterprise the absolute minimum is to have a disaster recovery site, which is a back-up from a provider.

They rent a space somewhere - that is the absolute minimum. Some customers can afford hours offline, some cannot afford even seconds, so the solution they implement depends on their needs and that is where the investment should go – if they can afford three or four hours offline – they should go to a disaster recovery site – if they can’t afford that they must have their own infrastructure. Where they want to be is the key issue in the decision process. If you look at the banking sector, they do have their own needs.

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