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World Backup Day highlights importance of sustainable data practices
Fri, 22nd Mar 2024

In the lead-up to World Backup Day on March 31, global digital storage leaders, including Seagate Technology, are underscoring the importance of secure and environmentally-friendly data backup practices.

Reflecting on the ASD Cyber Threat Report 2022-2023, which highlighted that a cyber security incident is reported approximately every six minutes in Australia, the data storage experts are reminding individuals and businesses that maintaining an "enduring focus" on cybersecurity essentials remains crucial."

As the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) escalates across industries, businesses must realise that data acts as the principal driver. It assists in drawing valuable insights from previously untapped information already in possession. Colin Presly, Head of Customer Success at Seagate Technology, reinforced the severity of the situation, stating, “Data backups are not just an IT and security imperative. They are critical for business operations.”

Presly also emphasised the pressing need for companies to reassess their data storage strategies to ensure data availability, while minimising cost and energy consumption, in light of ‘the AI boom’.

The International Energy Agency warns of the massive electricity consumption by data centres, projected to hit 1,000 terawatts by 2026, roughly mirroring Japan's current total electricity consumption. To address this sustainability challenge, businesses are encouraged to opt for new 'areally dense' solutions. According to Seagate, HAMR-enabled hard drives can significantly improve areal density at more efficient power consumption levels, thereby supporting scaling and cost-reduction, while prioritising sustainability.

There is also a growing call to support refurbished and recycled drives to make data storage more sustainable and limit electronic waste. The Circular Drive Initiative, a cooperation of global digital storage industry leaders, promotes refurbishment, repair, reuse, and recycling of data drives. Enterprise leaders are urged to consider storage solutions that abide by these principles of circular economy as a sustainable priority.

Despite the advancements in AI and the mounting sustainability concerns, data storage experts have not deviated from the conventional wisdom of the '3-2-1 rule'. The rule suggests keeping three versions of data (the original and two copies), stored across two different media, with one copy kept offsite for disaster recovery. Selecting cost-optimising storage solutions to preserve essential business data remains a valuable strategy in the face of growing cyber threats.

As we observe World Backup Day, businesses and individuals are reminded to shore up their data backup practices. As the weight of data becomes more critical due to the integration of Artificial Intelligence and amidst growing sustainability concerns, prioritising secure, efficient, and environmentally considerate backup practices can shield from cyber threats while demonstrating good corporate citizenship.