By KATE MOLLETT, regional manager for Africa at Veeam
The concept of backups is debatable for businesses with a clear vision and strategy. Some executives will tell you that having a plan B means that plan A will never work. There is one type of backup option which is almost universally agreed on as being a necessity though. When it comes to file storage and applications, backup and replication is widely considered a given. In practice, however, the importance of backing up is sometimes overlooked – an error which no business should fall foul of.
Whether it’s due to outages caused by hardware failure, cyber-attack or user error, you always need a plan B when it comes to business continuity and protecting the availability of data. When disaster strikes, IT departments are under pressure to minimise the impact of employees and customers as much as possible, and this is a continuous effort rather than a job which can be done once in a while. World Backup Day is an opportunity to remind businesses of the importance of protecting their data and having a disaster recovery plan in place.
According to statistics from the Market Research Future, the cloud backup market is forecasted to reach $5.6 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 21% over a five-year period. Given the explosion of the global cloud computing market, which is expected to grow to $623.3 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 18% over a five-year period, this growth in cloud backup is fairly unsurprising. It is still encouraging though to see that businesses are clearly planning to invest in backup and replication and taking data availability seriously.
After all, consumers are certainly beginning to take their own data much more seriously, with newsworthy events such as Cambridge Analytica as well as GDPR and POPIA bringing personal data into mainstream public consciousness.
Eat, sleep, backup, repeat…
The biggest threat to data availability is an outage across a company’s IT provision. Given the complexity of data management ecosystems, with many businesses now exploring hybrid IT and multi-cloud strategies, IT departments have more plates to keep spinning than ever before. This can also be seen as a blessing. In the age of the cloud, businesses are not reliant on a single point of failure and can create virtual backups to remote locations for every packet of data they produce. This has to be balanced against the privacy protocols and value of certain data, as well as considerations such as budgetary constraints and business priorities.
To strike that balance, businesses can ensure that data is available at all times by having a robust cloud backup and disaster recovery strategy in place. After all, some data is more important to backup than other data. Mission-critical data and applications should be backed up continuously. Unplanned downtime is referred to as such because it can strike at any time.
So, backups need to be running as and when data is altered to ensure that the fundamental information and systems on which the business relies can be recovered to the state they were in when an outage of fault occurs. Solutions such as Backup-as-a-service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) provide continuous protection to business continuity. Using op-ex based pricing, the ‘x as a service’ model allows businesses to pay for services based on what they use, rather than making restrictive capital investments up-front which lead to IT wastage. Crucially, organisations need to see their backup and recovery services as a fundamental part of their wider data management and cloud strategy.
Awareness of the value of data is on the up, so on World Backup Day, IT managers should take a moment to reflect whether their backup and recovery strategy is fit for purpose and in line with their business continuity needs. Given that the demands on data availability in the digital business continue to evolve, having a future-proofed infrastructure is a must for modern enterprises.
Vodacom cuts cost of smallest bundle by 40%
The country’s largest mobile operator has kept to a promise made last month to slash the price of entry-level data packages
Vodacom has cut the data price of its lowest-cost bundle by 40%, reducing the price of a 50MB 30-day bundle from R20 to to R12. This follows from the operator’s promise in March, when it announced a 33% cut in the cost of 1GB bundles, to reduce prices of all smaller bundles by up to 40%.
Vodacom’s various 30-day data bundle prices will be cut across all of its channels, with the new pricing as follows:
|30-day bundle size||New Price||Reduction|
Vodacom confirmed it will provide free data to access essential services through Vodacom’s zero-rated platform ConnectU with immediate effect. The value of these initiatives, it says, is R2.7-billion over the next year.
“Vodacom can play a critical role in supporting society during this challenging time and we’re committed to doing whatever we can to help customers stay connected,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business Unit. “Since we started our pricing transformation strategy three years ago, our customers have benefitted from significant reductions in data prices and the cost of voice calls. Over the same period, we invested over R26 billion in infrastructure and new technologies, so our customers enjoy wider 2G, 3G and 4G coverage and vastly increased data speeds.”
The latest data reductions will complement the discounted bundle offers that will also be made available to prepaid customers in more than 2,000 less affluent suburbs and villages around the country. For qualifying communities to access further discounted voice and data deals, they need to click on the scrolling ConnectU banner on the platform via connectu.vodacom.co.za
ConnectU – which is a zero-rated platform – also went live this week. It will provide content aimed at social development and offers a variety of essential services for free. Learners and students enrolled in schools and universities can access relevant information for free, with no data costs. The ConnectU portal includes a search engine linked to open sources such as Wikipedia and Wiktionary as well as free access to job portals; free educational content on the e-School platform; free health and wellness information and free access to Facebook Flex, the low data alternative to Facebook that enables customers to stay socially connected.
Vodacom’s popular Just4You platform has been a significant contributor to the approximately 50% reduction in effective data prices over the past two years. Substantial cuts in out-of-bundle tariffs and the introduction of hourly, daily and weekly bundles with much lower effective prices have also driven increased value and affordability, resulting in R2-billion in savings for customers in 2019.
OneBlade shaves price of electric precision
Electric razors and their blades are usually quite expensive. But the Philips OneBlade shaves the cost, writes SEAN BACHER
Electric razors come in all shapes and forms and their prices vary as well. When your nearest electronic retail outlet opens again, you will be able to pay a small fortune for a wet and dry razor that cleans itself, shows you when it needs to be recharged, and tells you to replace the cleaning solution – all via a little LCD panel in the handle.
But does everyone want that? Does everyone need that? Surely there must be customers who want an easy-to-use, no-mess, no-fuss razor that gets the job done just as well as a “smart razor”?
With this in mind, Philips has launched its OneBlade wet and dry electric razor. The razor is dead simple to use. It comes with three stubble combs – 1mm, 3mm and 5 mm – which can be clicked onto the head much like one would with a hair shaver. Should you want a really close shave, simply the combs off. I found this to be the most effective as I don’t have a beard.
The razor’s blade is the size of the striking side of a matchbox and has 90-degree angles all round. This offers precise shaving and, because of its small size, it is able to get just about anywhere on a person’s face.
The blade has a usage indicator that shows when it is time to replace the blade – usually after four months – and an additional blade is included in the box.
The OneBlade’s battery takes up to eight hours to charge, and will give up to 45 minutes shaving time.
Overall, the Philips OneBlade will give a man a comfortable and precise shave. Its battery life, combined with its size, makes it a perfect travel companion as it is no bigger than an electric toothbrush. Its relatively low price compared to other electric razors also counts in its favour.
The One Blade can be bought from most electronic retailers or can be ordered online from websites like takealot.com. The razor retails for R650 and a set of two new blades will cost around R450.