Q&A: Veeam Software's Ratmir Timashev Details The 5 Stages Of Data Management

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As data explodes within businesses, Veeam Software Co-Founder Ratmir Timashev has ideas on how they can manage it intelligently.

No challenge is more vital to modern business than that presented by data management. As data grows exponentially within organizations and more businesses realize the power of ­analytics, they need intelligent solutions to store and protect their data.

BizTech discussed these issues with Ratmir Timashev, co-founder and executive vice president of Veeam Software, one of the leading providers of storage, backup and disaster recovery solutions.

SEE MORE: Check out how small businesses can use the cloud as a strategic business driver.

BIZTECH: You speak often about businesses’ data management journey. What does that journey entail, and how far along on it are most ­businesses today?

TIMASHEV: We think there are five stages in that journey. The basic stage is backup, and most businesses today — about 60 percent — say they have to update their legacy backup in the next 24 months. They will either completely replace or augment their existing backup process, tools and practices.

The next stage is what we call ­aggregation, and that’s when you use your data for additional business purposes. For example, you might want to use the same backup data to create a sandbox environment for testing and development, or for security to test software updates for compliance. Or for analytics.

The third stage is when you get full visibility about where your data is in a multicloud world, and you understand how your data is changing.

The fourth stage, orchestration, is where you actually want to coordinate data movement and recovery. When you have more systems and more data, the process has to be orchestrated. In case of a disaster, you want to restore your systems by following certain steps. For example, when you restore your mail server, first you have to restore your Active Directory servers, the DNS servers, and then your Exchange Server.

The final stage is automation. This is the ultimate stage, where everything is done without human intervention: The system understands what’s happening and acts automatically. Even in a well-orchestrated system that isn’t fully a­utomated, a human still has to act — someone has to push the “restore” button. When you reach the automation stage, the system understands that, for example, I have ransomware in the network. It takes the backup and then it deletes the ransomware and restores the system automatically.

BIZTECH: If most businesses today are still at the first stage of this process, what does it take to make it all the way through?

TIMASHEV: Some of them are implementing different components from different stages at various times. It’s not necessarily a linear journey, where a business moves in a straight line from one stage to the next. They’re adding components from different stages along the way, as the needs of the business demand.