SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Microservices Journal, 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.

Latest Stories
"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.
DevOps is a seismic change for organizations that offers great potential but comes with technical and cultural implications that can be difficult to navigate. In his session at DevOps Summit, Jeremy Steinert, DevOps Services Practice Lead at WSM International, will discuss best practices for successful DevOps deployments that create accountability, ensure secure access controls and create buy-in at all levels. He will include specific examples of successful DevOps deployments and the results a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the new data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Herzeliya, Israel, Stratoscale is redefining the data center, developing a hardware-agnostic, software platform hyper-converging compute, storage and networking across the rack or data center. The self-optimizing platform automatically distributes all physical...
ScriptRock has been included in the list of "Cool Vendors" in the "Cool Vendors in DevOps 2015" report by Gartner, Inc.* ScriptRock provides visibility into the configuration state of an organization's IT environments, enabling the continuous delivery of mission critical services. For enterprises where downtime is not an option, ScriptRock's system-wide overwatch offers the assurance that misconfigurations and anomalies are caught before they affect the business. By satisfying this fundamental ...
Puppet Labs on Wednesday released the DevOps Salary Report, based on salary data gathered from Puppet Labs' industry-recognized State of DevOps Report. The data confirms that market demand for DevOps skills is growing, and that DevOps engineers are among the highest paid IT practitioners today. That's because IT organizations today are grappling with how to be more agile and responsive to the business, while maintaining the stability of their infrastructure. DevOps practices, such as continuous ...
In a world of ever-accelerating business cycles and fast-changing client expectations, the cloud increasingly serves as a growth engine and a path to new business models. Dynamic clouds enable businesses to continuously reinvent themselves, adapting their business processes, their service and software delivery and their operations to achieve speed-to-market and quick response to customer feedback. As the cloud evolves, the industry has multiple competing cloud technologies, offering on-premises ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Blue Box as launched a popular blog feed on Cloud Computing Journal. Cloud Computing Journal aims to help open the eyes of Enterprise IT professionals to the economics and strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Blue Box Cloud gives you unequaled agility, without the burden of designing, deploying and managing your own infrastructure. It’s the right choice when public cloud just won’t do. Blue Box Cloud is a managed Private Cloud as a Service (...
Artifactory binary repository management system. As one of the most widely used binary repositories and the only repository that offers a high availability clustered solution, the integration with Artifactory helps customers easily adopt CA Release Automation to optimize their entire software development lifecycle. “Artifactory is a standard maker at the continuous-integration domain and provides the user a powerful repository experience with the freedom to choose his own tools set and ecosyste...
This talk focuses on the application of DevOps fundamentals to include network infrastructure. It draws from real deployment case studies on the extension of today's paradigms to address the challenges of the network infrastructures' ability to seamlessly and cohesively integrate into agile workflows. In this session at DevOps Summit, Arista Networks will focus on configuration management using automation with a nod to future work necessary to include telemetry and ephemeral state information....
Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around...
SYS-CON Events announced today that dcVAST, a leader in IT infrastructure management, support service and cloud service, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. dcVAST provides cutting-edge IT services and IT infrastructure management services. dcVAST builds robust systems that are simple, secure and serviceable. dcVAST’s IT infrastructure support and IT services expertise can help companies r...
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developmen...
While Docker continues to be the darling of startups, enterprises and IT innovators around the world, networking continues to be a real mess. Indeed, managing the interaction between Docker containers and networks has always been fraught with complications. Without automation in networking, the vision of running Docker at scale and letting IT run the same apps unchanged on the laptop and in the data center or for any cloud cannot be realized.
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
The OnPage SOAP API provides programmatic access to OnPage messaging services. Typical applications include sending messages to individual OnPage users or groups and receiving tracking information for messages such as delivery and read timestamps or reply information. The API is based on open standards known collectively as "Web Services," which includes the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), and the XML Schema Definition language (XSD).