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Fundamental Data Protection Topics, Part I

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Fundamental Data Protection Topics, Part I

In Part I of this series, we take a high-level, introductory look at data protection and data security, and review the basic terminology involved.

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This is Part I of a multi-part series on Data Protection fundamental tools, topics, techniques, terms, technologies, trends, and tradecraft tips as a follow-up to my Data Protection Diaries series. In addition, this series includes excerpts from and is a companion to my book Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials – Cloud, Converged, Virtual Server Storage I/O Fundamental tradecraft (CRC Press 2017). Here is a link to Google Books where you can enter various data infrastructure and IT related topics, for example, DZone, which appear in the book.

The focus of this series is around data protection fundamental topics including Data Infrastructure Services: Availability, RAS, RAID and Erasure Codes (including LRC) (Chapter 9), Data Infrastructure Services: Availability, Recovery Point (Chapter 10). Additional Data Protection related chapters, including Storage Mediums and Component Devices (Chapter 7), Management, Access, Tenancy, and Performance (Chapter 8), as well as Capacity, Data Footprint Reduction (Chapter 11), Storage Systems and Solutions Products and Cloud (Chapter 12), Data Infrastructure and Software-Defined Management (Chapter 13), among others.

Posts in the series include excerpts from Software Defined Data Infrastructure (SDDI) pertaining to data protection for legacy along with software-defined data centers (SDDC), data infrastructures in general along with related topics. In addition to excerpts, the posts will also contain links to articles, tips, posts, videos, webinars, events, and other companion materials. Note that figure numbers in this series are those from the SDDI book and not in the order that they appear in the posts.

Posts in this data protection fundamental series include:

  • Part 1Data Infrastructure/Data Protection Fundamentals
  • Part 2 – Reliability, Availability, Serviceability (RAS) Data Protection Fundamentals
  • Part 3 – Data Protection Access Availability RAID/Erasure Codes (EC), including LRC
  • Part 4 – Data Protection Recovery Points (Archive, Backup, Snapshots, Versions)
  • Part 5 – Point-in-Time Data Protection, Granularity, Points of Interest
  • Part 6 – Data Protection Security, Logical Physical Software Defined
  • Part 7 – Data Protection Tools, Technologies, Toolbox, Buzzword Bingo Trends
  • Part 8 – Data Protection Diaries, Walking the Data Protection Talk
  • Part 9 – Who’s Doing What (Toolbox, Technology, Tools)
  • Part 10 – Data Protection Resources, Where to Learn More

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Data Infrastructures

Data Infrastructures exist to support business, cloud, and information technology (IT) among other applications that transform data into information or services. The fundamental role of data infrastructures is to provide a platform environment for applications and data that is resilient, flexible, scalable, agile, and efficient as well as cost-effective.

Put another way, data infrastructures exist to protect, preserve, process, move, secure, and serve data as well as their applications for information services delivery. Technologies that make up data infrastructures include hardware, software, or managed services, servers, storage, I/O and networking, plus people, processes, and policies along with various tools spanning legacy, software-defined virtual containers, and cloud. Read more about data infrastructures (it's what’s inside data centers) here.

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Various Needs Demand Drivers For Data Protection Fundamentals

Why the Need for Data Protection?

Data Protection encompasses many different things, from accessibility, durability, resiliency, reliability, and serviceability (RAS) to security and data protection along with consistency. Availability includes basic, high availability (HA), business continuance (BC), business resiliency (BR), disaster recovery (DR), archiving, backup, logical and physical security, fault tolerance, isolation and containment spanning systems, applications, data, metadata, settings, and configurations.

From a data infrastructure perspective, the availability of data services spans from local to remote, physical to logical and software-defined, virtual, container, and cloud, as well as mobile devices. The following figure shows various data infrastructures' availability, accessibility, protection, and security points of interest.

On the left side of the \ figure are various data protection and security threat risks and scenarios that can impact availability, or result in a data loss event (DLE), data loss access (DLA), or disaster. The right side of the following figure shows various techniques, tools, technologies, and best practices to protect data infrastructures, applications, and data from threat risks.

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A fundamental role of data infrastructures (and data centers) is to protect, preserve, secure and serve information when needed, and to do so with consistency. This also means that the data infrastructure resources (servers, storage, I/O networks, hardware, software, external services) and the applications (and data) they combine and are defined to protect are also accessible, durable, and secure.

Data Protection topics include:

  • Maintaining availability, accessibility to information services, applications, and data.
  • Data includes software, actual data, metadata, settings, certificates, and telemetry.
  • Ensuring data is durable, consistent, secure, and recoverable to past points in time.
  • Everything is not the same across different environments, applications, and data.
  • Aligning techniques and technologies to meet various service level objectives (SLO).

Data Protection Fundamental Tradecraft Skills Experience Knowledge

Tools, technologies, and trends are part of Data Protection, and so too are the techniques of knowing (e.g. tradecraft) what to use when, where, why, and how to protect against various threats risks (challenges, issues, problems).

Part of what is covered in this series of posts as well as in the Software Defined Data Infrastructure (SDDI) Essentials book is tradecraft skills, tips, experiences, and insight into what to use, as well as how to use old and new things in new ways.

This means looking outside the technology box towards what it is that you need to protect and why, then knowing how to use different skills, experiences, and techniques as part of your tradecraft, combined with data protection tools. 

What This All Means

Everything is not the same across environments, data centers, data infrastructures, and applications.

Likewise, everything is and does not have to be the same when it comes to Data Protection. Data protection fundamentals encompass different hardware, software, and services, including cloud technologies, tools, techniques, best practices, policies, and tradecraft experience skills.

Since everything is not the same, various data protection approaches are needed to address various application performance availability capacity economic (PACE) needs, as well as SLO and SLAs.

Ok, nuff said for now.


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