When it comes to data protection trends, I suspect that the next big thing will be something I like to call recover...
Several years ago, the introduction of instant virtual machine (VM) recovery revolutionized the backup industry. Instant recovery made it possible to bring virtualized workloads back online without having to wait for a restoration to complete. It did this by temporarily hosting the VM directly on the backup server, while a restoration completed in the background.
Recover anywhere will be an expansion of these capabilities. Although instant recovery remains a must-have feature, it does have its limitations, especially with regard to hypervisor support. Recover anywhere capabilities will largely overcome these limitations and top the list for hot data protection trends.
Having the ability to recover anywhere means the backup product will need to become hypervisor-agnostic. Hence, a VMware VM could conceivably be recovered to and run on a Hyper-V server. Likewise, a Hyper-V VM could be recovered to and run on VMware. Furthermore, the recovery server could be on premises, or it could be in the cloud. Today, Cohesity offers such capabilities, but I suspect that hypervisor-agnostic, recover anywhere capabilities will be part of the next data protection trends that draw vendors' focus.
Looking a little further out, inline integrity checking is on my list of data protection trends that will start to appear in the market. Over the last year or two, there have been documented instances of ransomware attacks that have also destroyed backups. Because ransomware remains one of the single greatest threats to an organization's data, backup vendors are working overtime to provide the best possible protection against ransomware.
Next-generation products will likely use heuristics to monitor backup processes and packets destined to back up servers and media in an effort to prevent these types of backups from becoming compromised by ransomware attacks.
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