Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Bob Gourley, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Michael Jannery

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Security, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud Backup & Disaster Recovery Predictions for 2014

Cloud backup adoption made great strides in 2013 but it was also a year of learning lessons

Author: Nick Mueller, Zetta.net

2013 was a banner year for cloud backup adoption. It was also a year of wake-up calls: simple cloud backup doesn't constitute DR, transfer speeds are vital, and beware cloud as a commodity. Let's look to 2014 for more trends in cloud backup and DR in the cloud.

1. Cloud backup vendors with slow performance will fail
This trend showed up in the news as well-known cloud backup vendors ceased production. Symantec Backup Exec Cloud was the biggest casualty of slow performance, and more cloud hosting products struggled or went down because they were not optimized for speed of backup or recovery.

Just offering a backup to cloud option isn't enough anymore. Users appreciate the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the cloud but they also want the same level of performance in backup and restore that they had on-premise. Native cloud optimization for the Internet and high data transfer speeds are the only way to achieve this performance level.

2. MSPs and VARs Will Embrace Cloud Backup as a Profit Center
Many MSPs and VARs want to offer Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) because their customers want it. But profit margins are thin and it's tough to bring in enough revenue to make a profit, let alone invest in higher priced services. MSPs know they need to raise recurring revenue and lower client backup management costs, and they need a cost-effective and high performance service to make that happen. MSPs can build recurring revenue by offering features like these:

  • Optimize cloud backup and recovery so the MSP's service is at least as fast as their customers' on-premise backup.
  • Earn customer trust with verified backup, which takes the burden of continual checking off their customers' backs.
  • Offer a high performance cloud without high cost to the MSP. This means a solution that's natively optimized for the cloud without the costs of a hardware appliance.

Profit margins grow with less cost on the backend and the MSP sees recurring revenue from happy customers. MSPs and VARs can afford to develop premium services and faster go-to-market.

3. Appliance-Based Backup Solutions Show their Age
A lot of traditional backup vendors extended backup to the cloud using on-premise appliances. Early appliances were an innovative way to collect backup data and then transfer it to the cloud; they were also a good way for backup vendors with big installed bases to keep their customers.

The problem is that an on-premise appliance can be an expensive proposition and does little to accelerate cloud performance. This is particularly awkward if you are an MSP: customer site hardware appliances need repair and replacement, and software appliances need troubleshooting and upgrades.

You can replace appliances with a cloud-native cloud backup offering with features like WAN optimization and multi-channel communications like REST. This takes the burden of supporting appliances off the table and speeds up performance.

4. Commodity Cloud Doesn't Work Unless Your Name is Azure, Amazon or Google
Big established cloud hosts make money with their huge economies of scale and the volume of data they have under management. Otherwise commodity cloud is a losing game as Nirvanix can attest. Nirvanix declared Chapter 11 because they decided to build their own cloud infrastructure. In spite of big clients like IBM they could not boost enough revenue to counter their astronomical expenditure.

Moving into 2014, the brightest opportunities in the cloud are specific business solutions focused on businesses that are willing to pay for them. Disaster recovery in the cloud is one of the most attractive offerings moving forward. True cloud DR isn't just backup to the cloud. It's specifically architected and custom built for enterprise-grade backup and recovery performance.

Zetta for example is specifically built for the Internet with WAN optimization and accelerated cloud performance, and achieves speeds that are often faster than local backup.

5. Companies Realize that Cloud Backup Means Cloud Recovery Too
Recovering data over a slow pipe can be even worse than the initial backup: just when companies need to recover their data fast, slow data transfer speeds threaten the whole recovery process.

Commodity cloud storage from legacy backup software won't work for companies with high performance recovery needs. Recovery from the cloud is all about RTO and that's just what legacy backup to the cloud can't do. Some vendors get around the problem by downloading customer recovery files on disk and trucking them to the customer site. Better than an impossibly long recovery time over the WAN but hardly the stuff that dreams are made of.

Companies avoid this problem by only backing up data that they can stand to recover in a longer period of time. They can't apply the economies of the cloud for priority data that is constrained by recovery time, unless they turn to an optimized cloud backup and DR offering. We'll see a lot more of this customer movement to cloud-native services in 2014.

We built these predictions for 2014 on 2013 events and Zetta customer needs and wants.

Nick is Zetta's Chief Content Officer, and has been working with writing and social media teams to create digital content since the days when the BBS reign

More Stories By Derek Kol

Derek Kol is a technology specialist focused on SMB and enterprise IT innovations.

@CloudExpo Stories
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
BMC Software plans to acquire assets of CDB Software, Inc., a mainframe data management company that has developed utilities for managing IBM DB2 databases with virtually no outage. Focusing on the availability of mission-critical applications is strategic for BMC as it continues to help its customers transform IT into a competitive advantage for their business. CDB's technology complements BMC's existing mainframe data management portfolio, which includes software utilities for DB2 administrat...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Software AG and Wipro Ltd. have announced a joint solution platform for streaming analytics that provides real-time actionable intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “The key to successfully addressing the IoT market is the ability to rapidly build and evolve apps that tap into, analyze and make smart decisions on fast, big data”, said John Bates, Global Head of Industry Solutions and CMO, Software AG. To address the huge market potential created by streaming analytics in conj...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
OneCloud Software has launched the OneCloud Partner Program. Responding to demand from prospective partners, the Program offers managed service providers (MSPs) and resellers the resources they need to grow their business with the OneCloud Recovery solution. OneCloud Recovery is an automated solution for disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC), which leverages Amazon Web Services as the disaster recovery site. “This is a tremendous opportunity with an innovative hybrid cloud-based DR pro...
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Axios Systems on Tuesday announced it has selected CenturyLink Cloud as the hosting platform for Axios Systems’ IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions in Canada. CenturyLink, a global provider of communications and IT services, joins other leading technology providers across North America, Europe and APAC to help Axios’ international customers drive efficiencies and innovation across their service management provision. The arrangement with CenturyLink enables Axios to further strengthen its pres...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your onlin...