Are you wary of subscribing to the cloud because a cyber storm evaporated your service provider and left you floundering? You need no longer despair. The Storage and Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA) Technical Work Group is developing an API that will enable cloud service providers migrate your data to another cloud service, if the ship is sinking or you choose to leave the service provider.

It is expected that this API will gain importance over the next decade. Currently, the customer has to authorize another cloud service provider to log in to the original service provider’s cloud server and download all data/information in a cloud to cloud migration and delete the data residing in the server after download. However, the original service provider may continue to retain enterprise data in redundant storage. This data will get deleted only if there is a well defined deletion process/strategy in place or at least a “garbage collection” method for deleting old data in the original service provider’s system. This could take months or even a year. Meanwhile, the data is vulnerable and prove to be a constant source of problems, especially for highly regulated industries such as financial services or law firms. 

It is, therefore, not surprising that the industry has been working hard to resolve these issues and there is a scramble to handle the backlash that is being faced by cloud service providers. This is visible in:

  1. “Secure deletion services” being offered by some service providers.
  2. Hybrid storage services with onsite/offsite storage options (onsite appliances for primary storage and offsite cloud stores for secondary stores).
  3. Tie ups between cloud storage providers with offers to replicate compressed data stores in repositories maintained by two or more storage service providers.
  4. Provisioning for Third Party Auditors’ (TPA) to verify data stores on behalf of clients.

The Cloud Storage Technical Work Group orchestrating the above trends feel, that the implementation of the gradually maturing versions of the API will create a strong ecosystem of partners, alliances and supporting programs.  It will demonstrate and initiate relationships with nationally and internationally recognized standards bodies and will deliver value to customers.