Posted by: Michael Tidmarsh
Cloud, Data Protection
Post by Al Perlman
The latest dinner event in the Quantum-sponsored series Virtualization, Cloud and the New Realities for Data Protection took place last week at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Ct. The location turned out to be pretty apt because one of the big issues that keeps coming up at these events is IT executives not wanting to gamble with their data protection, particularly in the cloud. One of the great things about the event series, which has now played in a dozen locations, is that the participants are able to voice their concerns and talk to one another – and the experts on hand – to figure out how to address the issues they have with protecting data in the cloud.
So what are some of those issues? Glad you asked.
Security is certainly one of the big issues. Participants looking at cloud solutions want to know how safe their data is in the cloud; how secure it is; is their information going to be protected against leaks; will it remain private; will they know exactly where it will be protected – even to the point of knowing in what country the data will be located; how reliable cloud service providers will be in terms of availability and performance; and what kind of scalability they can expect from their cloud solutions.
For Greg Schulz, the keynote speaker at the event series, these questions are critical steps in helping IT pros figure out how to address their data protection challenges in the cloud. “If you know what your concerns are, you can address them,” Schulz says. “You can map out your challenges and then address what you need to do and what you may need to work around. The key is don’t be scared – do your homework. If you’ve read about someone else’s data being compromised, find out why. Remember, the cloud is a shared responsibility. Yes the service provider has responsibilities to living up to your SLAs, but as the customer you have the responsibility of choosing the SLAs.”
One of the tradeoffs in choosing a cloud supplier is in price and capacity versus performance. One of the participants at Mohegan Sun brought up the Amazon Glacier data archiving storage infrastructure and it’s low cost of approximately a penny a gigabyte per month. Schulz pointed out that the at this price you are getting “very, very, very low performance.” He said in looking at data protection strategies in the cloud, it’s important to look beyond the sheer cost per gigabyte and look at your service objective: What do you need to accomplish and what level of performance do you require for your goals. One of the larger points that came up at Mohegan Sun was to look beyond costs and even look beyond availability and focus on what you actually get for your response time. There are other areas where you can save costs – for example, focusing on changing how often you are backing up data. One way to save money is to look only at data that is changing for regular backup: By only focusing on this data you can continue to enhance availability and quality of service without necessarily spending more money.
The theme and played very well for Quantum, which two days before the event announced it’s Q-Cloud, which – unlike Amazon Glacier – is an enterprise-performance backup solution that provides cost-competitive storage with much higher performance and reliability for business uses. Quantum has characterized Q-Cloud as a “business-class solution” as opposed to Amazon Glacier as “economy class.” Q-Cloud is setting new standards for business-level backup and archiving, combining on-premise storage with cloud storage. How can Q-Cloud help you deal with the “new realities for data protection?” Tune in next week for our next blog post.
Meanwhile, the event series continues next week in three more cities: Monday, Sept. 10 in St.. Louis; Tuesday, Sept. 11 in Portland, Ore.; and Thursday, September 13 in King of Prussia, PA. If you are close to any of these cities and you have any concerns about data backup, this is your chance to get free expert advice and talk to your peers. Register here.