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Statistics from the 2015 Cloud Survey by RightScale revealed that cloud adoption has grown up to 93% and 82% of enterprises have adopted multiple cloud environments that effectively couple public and private cloud solutions. The popularity of cloud storage may have to do with its advantages without compromising affordability and accessibility.
Entry of Traditional Vendors
The major use of cloud storage still remains bulk data storage along with efficient backup strategy, and because of this not only large-scale vendors are the ones providing cloud solutions in the market, but also traditional backup appliance vendors have entered the cloud market. The competition among the large vendors is mainly over price while small vendors have brought their focus on service and value-added functionality rather than competing on price alone.
The price of cloud storage service from a hyperscale cloud storage vendor isn’t high. You will have to pay a low price for using their cloud service. Along with this price, you’ll have to pay network egress fees and data retrieval fees which may vary across vendors. But all these costs are only confined to simple data storage and access, implying that as your data storage requirements increase, so does the cost. And to top it all these vendors may not provide any essential data management services.
As aforementioned, the hyperscale cloud model has its demerits. Perhaps, they can’t be blamed for it because they are after all created for general purpose uses such as storage, compute and SaaS. Data protection model on the other hand is designed with a specific purpose in mind – offering data protection. This alternative model is built particularly for services like backup and recovery which can offer a deeper, comprehensive solution.
Data protection vendors not always operate their own cloud and instead of building their own data centers, many partner with other cloud storage vendors. Nonetheless, they naturally offer data protection service along with the basic cloud services. In contrast to hyperscale vendors, they generally do not charge egress or data retrieval fees, and hence the price is more predictable.
The backup advantage can be considered as the most fundamental and familiar one. Backup offers data protection by creating duplicate copy or copies of the production copy (the original copy of the official data). Data protection model offer backup services to automate and simplify the process of routine backups in your business. Moreover, it is possible to replicate the files in your local server in their native format and file structure. You can back up not only file systems but also applications and databases.
Recovery is very often linked with backup and the two are considered as a single unit. Backup serves as a recovery solution in case the production copy gets lost, irretrievable or damaged. Data protection model supports easy and quick browsing and recovery not only of specific files but also entire servers.
Disaster recovery (DR) is the recovery of complete vital IT infrastructure at a remote site when the production site becomes unavailable. The DR plan is intended to prevent business operations to be brought to a halt due to unexpected natural or man-made events. The DR advantage saves the loss of productivity, reputation and revenue of your business.
Business continuity (BC) is capability of a business to carry on effectively with its essential operations during or after a disruptive incident. BC enables a business to recover quickly and effectively from any kind of disruption irrespective of its cause and extent. Data protection model with BC provides a major advantage at the time of crises. It lets you build and enhance the resilience of your business so that at critical times your business remains stable and secure.
High Availability (HA) offers effective failover protection against hardware and operating system outages within your business IT environment. HA takes into consideration the fact that a system or network consists of sub-systems and components that need to be fully functional so that the whole remains operational. It assumes that every component in a system can fail at some point of time and prepares for such failures. It is based on backup, failover processing, data storage and access. Data protection model ensures fault-tolerant systems streamlined for high availability.
Points to ponder
Data protection services may actually include services like backup-as-a-service (BaaS), recovery-as-a-service (RaaS), or disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS). But data protection vendors may not essentially label their service the same way. Besides, they may also combine data protection processes, for example BC/ DR. If you have decided to proceed with a data protection model, it is essential that you select the appropriate data protection vendor. And for this you shouldn’t get carried away by the buzzwords they chant like simple, cloud-enabled, scalable, hybrid cloud. It is recommended that you read not only the name of services but also their definitions because each vendor may use the same label for a feature but may offer different specialized services.
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