I guess it is safe to say that the cloud is where many people and companies choose to backup their data today (not before a good local backup, of course), but it got me thinking where will they put their data tomorrow? Is the next best thing in data recovery already out there?
It got me thinking of an episode of “Sex and the City” when Carrie Bradshaw’s computer crashed, and she didn’t have access to any of her files. Everyone kept asking her how come she didn’t backup her work.
IBM’s Steve Woj had a good spin on it, saying, “historically, data has not been sexy, important, valuable, interesting, and many times even a burden right up until somebody NEEDS IT!”
At the time of the SATC episode – the late 1990s – the computer guy told Carrie to use a zip drive. It probably wasn’t much after that the CD-ROM was used to backup company data. I remember my former employer kept boxes of CDs that held frequently-used photos and copies of our published editions.
There were servers, but then data centers became popular. I probably have toured more data centers than I care to admit.
Interestingly enough, a TwinStrata survey found that 50 percent of 200 companies surveyed still keep their backed up data onsite. However, they are also branching out to more than one place. Forty-percent used a self-managed secondary location as well.
While scoping out the prospects, I found that Carrie might still be lucky with her zip drive. Some research suggests that Solid State Drives and other flash drives will become more viable as prices come down.
Paul Le Messurier, a data recovery operations manager at Kroll Ontrack UK said: “As storage drives continue to grow in size and intricacy so does the risk associated with storing data. We predict that SSD and HDD (hard disk drives) drives will increase in popularity in 2014, but the complexity of how they store data will also compromise people’s ability to erase data or recover it when things go wrong… Another trend will be a rise in recoveries for online cloud and on smartphones – particularly in workplaces adopting BYOD and CYOD [choose your own device] policies.”
While companies figure out the cloud and if it would benefit their operations, IT Business Edge predicts that a hybrid cloud model – cloud backup combined with on-premise backup, will increase in demand. That’s partly due companies wanting to use the cloud, but realizing it isn’t known for having the fastest of recovery times. “This hybrid model ensures company data in the cloud and information on the onsite physical appliance are constantly replicated and synched so companies can rapidly recover onsite or from the cloud whenever the need arises,” it said.
So it seems there really isn’t one new option, but perhaps many for data back-up and even storage. However, as Woj put it, “companies have been playing catch up in recent years to collect and store data to discover critical business insights, but backup and disaster recovery has been put on the back burner. 2014 will bring backup and DR back to the front burner and with the convergence of the various cloud offerings (private, public, & hybrid), security and data encryption will get us to a point where everyone is comfortable with some of their data residing off-site. Various models will blend into hybrid cloud deployments and the decision points will center on cost and availability.”