In many cases, when we mention Data Protection for the Hybrid Cloud, we are usually talking about backing up to the cloud. The cloud becomes a repository of our backup images and in some cases those backup images can be launched within clouds that use the same technology. Being able to send data to the cloud is becoming table stakes for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) data protection. However, once we move outside the realm of IaaS to Platform or Software as a Service (PaaS or SaaS), data protection is hit or miss.
In a recent set of announcements the make virtualization backup and data protection companies have announced support for tape. Tape has always been supported indirectly by virtualization backup companies such as Veeam, Quantum, and PhD Virtual as well as directly by Symantec, HP, CommVault, etc. It is interesting to note that there is a convergence on tape support using two distinct methods. The first is to add support for tape libraries directly into their products: Veeam. The second is to add tape support by better integration with their existing product suite: Quantum. Even so, we know that tape still reigns for storing of large amounts of data. We just cannot seem to be rid of it nor do I think we ever will.
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A major aspect of virtualizing any business critical application is data protection which encompasses not only backup, but disaster recovery, and business continuity. It is imperative that our data be protected. While this is true of all workloads, it becomes a bigger concern when virtualizing business critical applications. Not only do we need backups, but we need to protect the business, which is where business continuity comes into play.
Is it possible to use a Cloud Framework to better secure your datacenter? Does cloud technologies provide a secure framework for building more than just clouds? We all know that virtualization is a building block to the cloud, but there may be a way to use cloud frameworks to first secure your datacenter before you launch a private, public, or hybrid cloud. In essence, we can use tools like vCloud Director to provide a more secure environment that properly segregates trustzones from one another while allowing specific accesses.
It is possible to get data protection for your virtual and cloud environments for free today, but there are are often limits. Trialware as it is called provides just enough of a taste for the data protection tool to convince you to buy the versions with more capabilities. However, for the SMB, the free versions may be good enough.
There is an ever increasing number of data protection providers creating replication receiver clouds as they team up with cloud service providers. This could herald the end of on premise tape use for some enterprises, leaving tape to be used primarily by cloud providers. There are major benefits for Quantum, Zerto, Veeam, and others to form replication receiver clouds, but these clouds are not just or storage anymore. They could be purely for storage, but this is not a big win for the cloud service providers. So why would cloud service providers be interested in being a storage endpoint for data protection? Why are they concerned with backup and offering it as a service?