What's In Store for 2021

Cloud Backup

If 2020 taught us anything, beyond being resilient, being safe, becoming work from home and Zoom experts, it was that the Cloud was more critical than ever before. For organizations that were dealing with an unprecedented number of new remote workers and a reliance on supporting applications, data, VMs and workloads in new and modern ways, it illustrated the importance of focusing on eliminating complexity, redundancy, cost and streamlining support and resources.

2021 is showing us that it will provide more of the same with a number of new and interesting challenges that organizations will need to continue to address. Here’s a look at a few we know are already becoming the talk of 2021.

First, cloud adoption is not just here to stay but will continue to move forward quickly. This will be true across the board for data, applications and workloads. Fueled in large part by what we all faced in 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic and move to remote working and social distancing, companies spent more time leveraging the cloud than ever before.

Second, multi-cloud is now not just a concept but is firmly entrenched and moving forward into 2021 and beyond. Organizations will continue to look at which cloud is best for which workload or application. Some have decided to move workloads from public cloud to on-premises. Others are moving more workloads from on-premises to public clouds. Regardless of the strategy or approach, you will see more mixed environments across clouds than ever before. With it comes the challenge to ensure applications are available, data is protected and you minimize cost when migrating across clouds.

Third, there will also be continued interest and adoption with containers. Containerization is not in its infancy anymore and while it may not be as wide spread as some may say, it will be. We see it more with our FORTUNE 500 and Global 2,000 customers. The adoption of Kubernetes and containers is getting into much larger swaths of the data center and the data estate. More and larger applications will become more mainstream on containers into 2021 and beyond. With this comes the challenge of eliminating another silo and making sure the applications, data and VMs that reside within a container are protected, available and ready for recovery.

Fourth, the buzz around as a service, especially in the data protection, backup and recovery, and disaster recovery (DR) arena will continue. Traditional and legacy models of backing up and recovering applications, data and VMs don’t work well in the public cloud model. Public cloud users need solutions that are not just “cloud friendly” but that fully embrace the function and nature of a cloud environment. That requires backup solutions that can be deployed and delivered as a native service that do not require separate infrastructure to maintain and support. For example, there is a current trend of adopting backup as a service by deploying on-premises hardware and appliance models into the cloud requiring users to maintain and support an additional infrastructure.

Fifth and final, you will continue to see additional services and functionality become part of what was traditionally backup and recovery for data protection. This means solutions will include ransomware protection and enhanced security functionality as part of the overall solution set to make applications, data, VMs and workloads protected from user error and malicious outside threats.

All of this means, after two months, 2021 is already shaping up to be an exciting year. It really is a great time to be innovating and delivering solutions that truly make backup a cloud-native service.

(Editor's Note: A variation of this blog post originally appeared on VMBlog.)

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