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Data Protection: How To Manage IT Security At Infrastructure Level

Data Protection is today the lifeblood of any company, in light of European regulations (such as the GDPR ), which require greater attention to privacy and data protection issues, even at an infrastructural and security-by-design level. Data protection has always been a crucial element of IT infrastructures and corporate Data Centers, often presenting many complexities in governance and management. Problems with certain types of infrastructures, such as HCI – Hyper Converged Infrastructure (hyper-converged infrastructures), have been overcome by natively integrating Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery into the system.

Data Protection: Why Protect And Secure Data At An Infrastructure Level

We will never tire of reiterating it; today, data represents the new oil and the value they represent for companies is becoming increasingly critical, if not vital. A condition that “obliges” companies to formulate adequate strategies for securing and protecting data that take into account all technological levels, including the infrastructural ones within which the data moves and is stored, archived, distributed, and used. 

A necessity that has become a real urgent challenge in the last decade due to, among other trends, the continuous proliferation of data, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the constant increase in cyber threats, attacks, and malware that, more and more often, they are targeting companies’ data and information assets. Data Protection must therefore enter a new phase, qualitatively more effective and better managed.

GDPR, The Regulatory Push For Data Protection Infrastructure

A phase that, thanks to the GDPR, has had a strong “jolt” given that the primary intention of the General Data Protection Regulation is precisely to establish more effective processes for the protection of personal data, thus impacting the choices and ways in which such data they are archived, consulted, used and eliminated, recalling in this sense the vital responsibility of the teams that deal with IT infrastructures.

However, the need to secure infrastructures in terms of Data Protection goes far beyond the challenges related to protecting personal and sensitive data. As is well known, today’s companies, even the smallest SMEs, rely on data. Any data loss, disruption, or downtime can cause disadvantages not only in operational terms but also in economic and business terms.

Hyperconvergence, Because It Is A Response To Data Protection

Resilience, Backup and Disaster Recovery are three essential pillars of hyper-converged infrastructures that raise companies’ data protection levels. Hyper convergence helps protect the individual disks on which the data is stored and the hardware appliance itself from failure by creating multiple copies available (as if the data were stored and saved on various disks and different systems). This allows any cluster to sustain one or more appliance failures without any data loss, thus ensuring the resilience of the entire infrastructure.

The critical elements of hyper-convergence infrastructures are Backup, Restore and Disaster Recovery, data protection and deduplication capabilities, and analysis and monitoring capabilities that allow you to always have “everything under control.” The most common use case for backups on hyper-converged infrastructures is the ability to granularly restore elements, such as files, e-mails or single virtual disks, up to entire virtual machines, a considerable opportunity that allows protection systems from accidental deletion and human error and harmful behavior. At the Disaster Recovery level, replication and shipping of the entire data set of the primary environment protects against failures at the cluster, rack or data center level.

As we know, there are two forms of replication: synchronous and asynchronous. The so-called “extended clusters” created with a hyper-converged infrastructure represent a particular form of synchronous replication that allows greater flexibility and integration between physical locations. Going further into Data Protection, managing data protection in traditional infrastructure requires a multitude of tools and solutions, often heterogeneous and coming from various suppliers. 

In a hyper-converged infrastructure, all the Data Protection tools are integrated into the technology stack without compromising the different technological levels of protection. The protection and security are ensured by the software management of all the components supporting the data, allowing IT teams to govern workloads and data movements as needed, even from the point of view of management and data protection (some workloads and some data require periodic backups, while others are more critical and require real-time protection: all activities and protection strategies that the same centralized infrastructure management system can efficiently govern).

The Advantages Of Hyper-Converged Systems

As known, hyperconverged systems are born to eliminate the classic IT management problems, being virtualized and preconfigured server platforms that combine processing, storage, network and management software resources with the possibility of being managed by a single application. In technical terms, this type of architecture is a “software layer thanks to which each node’s computing and storage resources are combined in a single pool and made available for any operation that needs to be carried out. ”

A hyper-converged system simplifies installation and management with integrated systems, offers hardware and software support from a single vendor, ensures business continuity and data availability, allows for simplified growth and updates, and protects data with backup and recovery support. These, therefore, are the advantages of hyper-converged systems:

  1. speed, the implementation of the methods is possible in a short time being able to count on pre configured systems;
  2. efficiency, simple vertical scalability with modular blocks and integrated infrastructure systems. These considerable advantages in terms of scalability also bring with them a business model based on “pay as you grow,” just add a block that will be automatically read and made compatible with the initial infrastructure;
  3. simplicity, no cloud specialist needed but only a single management platform typically equipped with user-friendly interfaces;
  4. cost reduction, using a single and simple management interface, implementation times are significantly reduced;
  5. and security, compared to traditional infrastructure, Backup, data recovery, Data Protection and Disaster Recovery are more efficient thanks to the ability to react quickly via the central administration panel. 
  6. Centralized security is the key: hypervisors provide appliance protection and protection shields for virtual machines that add multiple layers of protection for virtualization components.

Hyper converged systems make it possible to minimize the complexity (and time) of the management of IT resources (“masking” this complexity behind simple and intuitive management interfaces), making it easier to secure them, too, a fundamental prerequisite for Data Protection.


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