Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, David Stanley, Adrian Bridgwater, Michael Bushong, Lori MacVittie

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.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
“The Internet of Things is a wave that has arrived and it’s growing really fast. The concern at Aria Systems is making sure that people understand the ramifications of their attempts to monetize whatever it is they build on the Internet of Things," explained C Brendan O’Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect at Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
“About two years ago Brother launched a new group called Brother Online. We thought it was a good idea for a hardware company to get into the cloud services market and our first step into that market was web conferencing,” explained Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
"So many teams have been stuck in their own practices for the last ten years and it's really hard to sell all the latest and greatest tools, but the reality is all the tools around operations have evolved so much you are starting to see a big shift toward upgrading that tool set, focusing more on automation, more on cloud," explained Dustin Whittle, Developer Evangelist at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the DevOps Summit, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City.
“We provide disaster recovery services as well as solutions. We also provide back-up solutions that work across your internal on-premise assets as well as in the public and private cloud," stated Joel Ferman, Vice President of Marketing at InMage Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo® (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com/), held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US and large in-house IT organizations.
“Distrix fits into the overall cloud and IoT model around software-defined networking. There’s a broad category around software-defined networking that’s focused on data center, and we focus on the WAN,” explained Jay Friedman, President of Distrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
“Dell Cloud Manager is a cloud management environment for the consumption of cloud resources and we provide a consistent interface, both in terms of API and in terms of user interface for doing a wide variety of activities core to deploying and operating software in cloud," explained James Urquhart, Technologist & Director of Cloud Management Solutions at Dell, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC ) has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Cloud Standards Customer Council is an end user advocacy group dedicated to accelerating cloud's successful adoption, and drilling down into the standards, security and interoperability issues surrounding the transition to the cloud. The Council will provide cloud users with the opportunity to drive client requirements into standards development organizations and deliver materials such as best practices and use cases to assist other enterprises.
“Ambernet Technologies is an innovative software company and we’ve been very focused on building enterprise grade cloud management and cloud brokerage software," explained Troy Halford, CSO of Ambernet Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“We introduced our product called AgilData. It’s basically the first Agile view, a streaming view of looking at a database and data as a streaming real-time dynamic capability," explained Cory Isaacson, CEO/CTO of CodeFutures Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“As the move to the cloud started, we stayed ahead of that by providing security solutions to our enterprise customers, financial customers, and now a whole new range of customers, which are application developers," explained John Gunn, VP of Corporate Communications for VASCO Data Security, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
The industry is heated with debates on whether adopting private or public cloud is the smartest, best, cheapest, you name it choice. But this debate is missing the mark. Businesses shouldn’t be discussing public vs. private, but rather how can they make the two work together to their greatest advantage. The ideal is to merge on-premise and off-premise into a seamless environment that can be managed as a single entity – a forward-looking stance that will eventually see major adoption. But as of late 2013, hybrid cloud was still “rare,” noted Gartner analyst Tom Bittman. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, will discuss how public clouds need on-premise satellites to win and, conversely, how on-premise environments cannot be really powerful unless they are connected to the public cloud. It’s not two competing worlds; it’s two dimensions of the same world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Wall Street Technology Association (WSTA) has been named "Association Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Wall Street Technology Association (WSTA®) provides financial industry technology professionals, vendors, service providers, and consultants with forums to learn from and connect with each other. The WSTA facilitates seminars and networking events where members meet and exchange ideas and best practices that assist them in effectively capitalizing on technology advances and dealing with financial industry business challenges. Founded in 1967, the WSTA is a not-for-profit association with a long history of evolving to meet the needs of its members.
“We just completed the roll out of our first public and private cloud offerings, which are a combination of public, hybrid, and private cloud,” stated Erik Levitt, CEO of Open Data Centers, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“Veeam Cloud Connect is about being able to connect service providers with Veeam end users and Veeam customers and giving Veeam customers a quick, easy and secure way to get their backup files up to the cloud,” explained Doug Hazelman, VP, Product Strategy, and Chief Evangelist at Veeam, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.