A new cloud market is emerging for online backup and storage of data and a whole new glossary of terms are being built around this market. The term cloud seems to have been coined from the Internet drawing used to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it defines.

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of shared business applications online for access via a web browser with data and software being stored in remote servers. Cloud architectures comprise of hardware and software that is designed by a cloud architect and involves could components that are used to communicate with each other. Centralized metadata servers are avoided to enable scaling of data delivery to applications. The cloud is characterized by on demand self service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service.

Enterprises using cloud architecture services appreciate the potential of using CPU cycles without buying computers. Online backup and storage services too are seen to provide a way to store data and documents offsite without the attendant hassles of having to buy, hire servers or warehouses. The trend also indicates that there is a paradigm shift in IT that has come about by commoditization and standardization of technologies and in a sense virtualization of service oriented architectures for backup and storage of data. There is a perceived opportunity to shape the relationship between those who use IT backup and storage services and those who sell them.

Consequently, a number of users have signed up for the services. At the lower end of the spectrum of cloud users, are small sized businesses exploring the public cloud to leverage the advantages of online data storage at economical rates. At higher end of the spectrum are large enterprises with huge budgets seeking to establish external or internal dedicated private networks in the cloud. Somewhere between the two are mid scale enterprises with limited budgets that are hesitant to adopt the same strategy as their smaller brethren or to emulate their big brothers. They are looking for something that provides a greater level of privacy and security with lower costs even if it means riding the public network.

Accordingly, the cloud seems to come in many flavors. One hears talk of public clouds, private clouds, external clouds and virtual private clouds. These are defined as under:

  • A private cloud is a cloud that is not shared.
  • A public cloud is a cloud that is shared.
  • A virtual private cloud is a cloud that is private but, is delivered over a public network with virtual privacy protocols in place.
  • An external cloud is a cloud that is a dedicated private cloud and is delivered over a private network by third parties who build and manage it.
  • An internal cloud is a cloud that is built and managed by the enterprise.

The distinction appears to lie in the type of network that is used for the cloud ”public or private” and whether it is shared or not.

However, the cloud architecture is still an emerging concept that may take years to mature and become the widely accepted mode of backup and storage of mission critical information. There have been hiccups and backed up data vanishings that have caused a furor and fear. Therefore, it is not surprising that online backup and storage in a cloud is being exploited more for anytime, anywhere access to information rather than as a primary storage option.

When organizations cross the threshold between the Internet as a communications channel and the deliberate delivery of service over the Internet, then we truly start to head for an economy based on consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.

SecurStore provides a bespoke offsite backup solution catered for customers who have both mission critical data and non-critical data, i.e., it provides customers with a secure & efficient backup and recovery solution which is sustainable over time. This coupled with agentless technology and advanced support for all environments and applications makes it suitable for any type of business, data centre provider or reseller.