The public Cloud has been around for some time now and millions of users have tested the technology. A lot has been written about the benefits that customers can derive from using public Clouds for backup of organizational data. Data breaches have raised questions, and solutions have been found, implemented. The Cloud backup technology has moved from strength to strength, adding new applications and new features to its repository. It’s time to pause and find out what and how customers have adapted to this technology.

When public Cloud backups hit the market, the primary concern was data security.  The fears were triggered by the unknown and Cloud backup solutions were regarded with suspicion. A few data breaches that occurred served to fuel the fear and kept wary organizations in a “wait and watch” mode. A few organizations that took the bold step and “belled the cat” enjoyed the benefits of the Cloud backup and transformed themselves from a local to a global organization. As they gained confidence, they adopted Cloud backups for even mission-critical applications that directly impacted their business operations. These customers are the change champions for the public Cloud.

Market watchers agree that today Cloud backup applications are selected for security. The public Cloud has successful built up a reputation of being able to address and resolve security problems. They are able to meet squarely and rapidly the security needs of different organizations and the compliance mandates of the several privacy and security legislations that are being passed by Governments across the world. This is especially relevant for industries like health care and financial services, which are burdened with security regulations and must demonstrate compliance to the relevant authorities. Public Cloud backups and applications are being adopted for reasons other than cost savings, lower capital investments and scalability!

Security is no longer about location. It is all about implementation and operationalization of security. Security must be integral to the software and automatically enforced at all points of contact between the organization and the public Cloud backup vendor, and thereafter between the vendor’s system and the access point of the stakeholder.

Virtualization and VMware have changed perceptions of the public Cloud. VMware’s Cloud backup architecture has been tested and tried and the robustness of the solution has been proven. The hard coding of policies into the virtual machines that are deployed outside the ambit of current IT security practices (in the public Cloud) ensure that security is maintained uninterrupted.

The above discussion has tended to focus on the general perceptions about the benefits of public Cloud backup systems. In the next article in this series (in Part II), we shall focus on specific aspects of the public Cloud that has made it a successful data backup model.

[This article is to be continued in the second part— Public Clouds—Customer Perception —Part II]