If different branches of your enterprise have signed up for different cloud vendor services or your cloud vendor has suddenly decided to close down and you want to transfer your data to another cloud vendor, you could be letting yourself in for a very hard time. You have very few options before you are given the current state of cloud vendor services. You could run into a number of problems, such as:

  1. You may not be able to access the data stored in the cloud vendor’s server independent of the application interface that was provided at the time of signing up for the account.
  2. Your cloud vendor may refuse to cooperate with you and you may find it extremely difficult to get your data back from the vendor’s servers without extreme measures.
  3. Your new cloud vendor may not have the same data architecture as your erstwhile vendor and transferring your data in the existing format may not be possible.

Of course, you could do it the hard way.

  1. You could spend long hours transferring your data back over the Internet into a local server and then send the consolidated data into the new online backup server—again over the Internet.
  2. You could ask your erstwhile vendor to make a removable disk copy of your data and get it shipped to you and then you may send the disk containing the data to your new vendor for uploading into your account.  If your data is encrypted in storage with vendor specific algorithms or has been compressed with the vendors compression module, then you may have to decrypt it/decompress it using the erstwhile online data backup vendor’s software and then copy it to the disk again in an unencrypted/uncompressed format for upload to your new vendor’s server.

Well, if you are willing to wait awhile, you should be in a position to consolidate your different accounts in the future. The new API being developed by The Storage Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA) Technical group specifies standards for cloud storage applications. Vendors can implement all or some of the standards specified and reduce the pains of migration for customers. This new interface is called Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) and will allow customers to migrate their data from one cloud service provider to another with some ease. It may prevent vendor lock-in and leave you free to transfer your data from one vendor to another. The Cloud Data Management Interface specification preserves metadata about content and sets standards for defining service levels in the cloud.