Data is the fuel that feeds business strategy, yet companies around the globe continue to struggle with effective approaches for managing and protecting their critical information.

More data means more cyberthreats — current research estimates attacks against enterprises grew significantly this year. On top of that, businesses are now being held responsible for an inability to protect critical customer information.

In a world where data infrastructures must be hardened and resilient, reliable data backup and recovery is essential. The technology must be able to seamlessly aggregate and process an extraordinary volume of data from disparate sources — not to mention scale as the business (and data) grows. One traditional solution is the use of purpose-built integrated backup appliances.

The idea of integrated backup appliances certainly isn’t new. For years, these solutions provided viable alternatives to traditional backup infrastructures with separate software applications and storage devices. Integrated backup appliances are self-contained and include hardware for storage and software that copies data from servers and computers to the storage system. Initially, these systems were better suited for small companies as they lacked the scalability and comprehensive features of traditional backup. But, the past several years has seen some remarkable advancements in integrated backup appliances in terms of scalability, flexibility, and robustness.

As storage and data processing technologies continue to improve, integrated backup and recovery appliances are emerging as a popular alternative for companies looking for holistic data protection. The combination of simple, prepackaged solutions and newly advanced functionality means a broader range of companies — both large and small — can now implement appliances. They are easy to integrate, which cuts costs for implementation, and they can be pre-tuned to fit the backup task at hand.

Until now, one of the biggest roadblocks for appliance adoption was limited range. There just wasn’t the breadth and depth of solutions necessary to support adding new disk appliances, tape, or other devices. Configurations could quickly become out of sync once changes were made. Today, industry leaders offer a range of appliances built for almost any use case. Based on these broader portfolios, customers can effectively tap into simple and efficient backup, storage, and deduplication on a single device. These offerings simplify data management with agile, scalable, integrated appliances to save both money and resources. Hardened security functionality means businesses can stay fully protected from both malware and ransomware.

Newly advanced solutions make it possible for enterprises to capitalize on a greater level of capacity, efficiency, and performance to reduce costs and meet department-level SLAs. These fully integrated backup appliances often deliver expandable storage and intelligent deduplication to handle physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Some of the leading solutions also include built-in ransomware protection, meaning customers are holistically protected from new and existing threats to better meet security and compliance requirements.

As data continues to grow in both size and complexity, companies are seeking any opportunity to more effectively backup, recover, and protect their information. Single-instance use case appliances have now evolved into robust alternatives to traditional backup and recovery infrastructures. Their simplicity not only helps enterprises streamline costs and resources but also gets these infrastructures up and running quickly.

Perhaps now’s the time to take a closer look at the new world of backup appliances.