Cloud

PRISM Exposes Enterprise Risks

An article in the Guardian last week revealed the U.S. government's PRISM program. The article outlined the government's alleged monitoring of communications at the largest Internet providers (seemingly with the help of these providers). This list of Internet providers includes Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple. Now, I want to point out that these are all allegations and that none of this has been verified yet. However, it certainly raises a lot of questions. I wanted to hone in one of the areas that I took note of. There was a mention in this report of other providers the government wanted to monitor, including Dropbox. This again exposes some of the risks that are faced not only by consumers using Dropbox (and similar services) but also the exposure that enterprises and enterprise users face when using these types of services.

Cloud-Enabled, Dual-Destination Backup

Data is the lifeblood of any business, and it’s growing at lightning speed year-over-year. In fact, it’s estimated that five exabytes of data are created every two days! But, as important as all this data is, could the majority of organizations honestly answer that they feel confident in the protection and constant availability of their mission-critical data? What about the company data employees store on personal devices like smartphones and tablets? Is it safe from security breaches, malware and malicious hacker attacks?

Without a comprehensive data protection strategy in place, the answer is most likely “no,” and it’s time for these organizations to start worrying.

In this modern computing world with a multitude of various trends and innovations, we sometimes find ourselves lost in between new technologies, terminologies and words. Why do we tend to make things more difficult than they have to be? That was my thought when I started planning a set of blog posts describing new computing trends in a simple way.

Even though it is popular today, cloud computing is still a mystery for a lot of computer users. We hear about it here and there, but what is it? Why is it good for me personally or for my business?

Here is a quick analogy to simplify the concept of cloud:

Many would agree that two copies are better than one. But redundancy has its cost, too. And then you have management overheads for two backup destinations and uncertainty of your recovery success rate with tape, disk or cloud. Sounds like a puzzle to solve. The key to efficient backup strategy with guaranteed outcome is to clearly define which goal you meet with each type of backup, and combine the two in the right way. Hybrid is not just about two copies, software vendors or service providers. It’s about making a smart – and budget-friendly – decision about your entire backup and recovery plan.

Public cloud storage spending is accelerating in the U.S. and Asia, but European businesses still hesitate moving their data in the global providers’ clouds because of data protection regulations. Software-defined storage technology can help European IT companies put their customers’ data into smaller local clouds while delivering the cost efficiency and reliability available only to global players.

Gartner estimates that the public cloud services market will grow above $130 billion by 2017. That is huge growth, and everyone knows it. But when it comes to such numbers it’s not the bulk amount or growth rate that really deserves attention. Instead, let’s take a look at the underlying patterns. Gartner provides some insightful and intriguing numbers for the curious. We’ll pick up what make sense for the data storage and data protection industry.

When I think about backing up data, I don’t think about the features of a particular product. Instead, I think about the problem I am trying to solve and the right solution to do the job. When thinking about backups and eliminating a single point of failure, or creating a ‘Plan B’ disaster recovery location, the cloud comes to mind as the solution. 

Cloud is a broad term, so I will dive into the problem I am trying to solve:

The problem: I need a second location for my backups to know that if anything happens, I can go to an off-site location to recover my data. I know that I want to use a destination in the cloud for such storage. At the same time, I don’t want to invest money in a new location and I certainly don’t want to have the conversation with my CFO on CAPEX budget. So I look for a solution to add off-site backup to my existing strategy. 

But the problem continues: I know my primary solution needs to give me the ability to do three things:

Five Changes in Backup and Recovery You'll See Happen this Year

Thanks to all the beautiful minds, a revolution in IT happens about once in every decade, leading to a major shift in nearly every area, including backup and recovery. Old and once mighty kings go away and dinosaurs die as they can no longer adapt to new conditions. We’re lucky to live in a time when so many breakthrough changes are happening at once: from explosive growth of Internet bandwidth and storage capacities, to global adoption of mobile devices, virtualization and cloud. In 2013 we will finally start to see huge effects of this mix. 

Here are five changes in backup and recovery you’ll see happen this year: