Zetta Blog

Internet of Things backup

The Internet of Things That Also Need To Be Backed Up

by Laura Knight

Fact: we live in the future. Sure, we might not be quite up to flying cars and teleportation (yet). But just imagine trying to tell someone in the mid-1990s that within 20 years, they could text their fridge from the grocery store to double-check if they’re out of something (they’d probably smile and slowly edge away).

With the rise –and more importantly, increased accessibility – of the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more ideas that once seemed like the realm of sci fi are becoming just a fact of modern life. As usual, consumer applications like the texting fridge get most of the press. But the Internet of Things also encompasses new business and industrial technology like jet engines that alert a maintenance crew for service or robots that signal a production problem on the shop floor.

At home or in the office, IoT devices have one big thing in common. They all generate lots and lots of data, some of which may eventually need to be protected as part of an enterprise backup plan. According to Gartner estimates, the IoT will encompass 26 billion units by 2020, creating data volumes that will need to be processed and analyzed in real time and transforming data center technologies, including backup and storage.

Obviously the life and times of the break room toaster doesn’t need to be backed up for posterity (unless your company is very, very serious about toast). But as more smart, connected devices become part of the workplace tableau, and as sensor-equipped factory floors and other key enterprise assets begin to propagate terabytes of real-time data, companies are going to need a strategy to deal with the data influx as part of their backup and recovery plans.

Inevitably, office or health care workers using something like Google Glass or a smartwatch during their daily routines will end up with critical business data on their devices, such customer information or a patient’s medical history (obviously companies are ALSO going to need a strategy to deal with security implications, but that’s a different discussion). It’s going to be up to IT to factor IoT data into their existing and future backup practices.

As part of that exercise, IT needs to think big when it comes to capacity and performance, including how to cut through the clutter to back up the data that actually matters (a recent TechTarget article argues that automated workflows are the only feasible solution to this). The deluge of IoT data is going to demand a lot of backup space and the ability to easily get more, especially for organizations subject to stringent data-retention regulations.

Here’s where cloud comes in. Designed-for-enterprise cloud backup and disaster recovery can be particularly useful in an IoT scenario. Unlike a hardware-based solution, the cloud doesn’t run out of storage, and won’t require a forklift upgrade to scale.

Well-architected cloud solutions are built specifically to move large datasets over the Internet, and use technology like WAN optimization and parallelization to handle lots of data quickly (more on how Zetta specifically handles speed and bandwidth). With the amount of data likely to materialize, performance will be more important than ever for enterprise backup solutions, ensuring backup windows (and, by extensions, RPOs) can be met.

Smart Everything is here. Backup needs to be just as smart to keep up.

Laura Knight
Laura Knight

As Content Marketing Manager, Laura writes, edits, designs and is always on the lookout for new ways to tell the Zetta story.