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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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August 13, 2010 |

Cloud Backup and Recovery: Standards and Applications Coming

MSPs take note: A new Storage Networking Industry Association group for cloud-based backup and recovery will promote standards, so migrating stored cloud-based data “will be a piece of cake.” By Colleen Frye

Cloud Backup and Recovery: Standards and Applications Coming

MSPs take note: A new Storage Networking Industry Association group for cloud-based backup and recovery will promote standards, so migrating stored cloud-based data “will be a piece of cake.”

By Colleen Frye

To make cloud-based backup and recovery services less, well, “cloudy” for end customers and the industry in general, the Storage Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA) new Cloud Backup and Recovery (BUR) Special Interest Group (SIG) will be working to define and promote standards and applications around cloud BUR, as well as providing marketing, education, and channel relations services around the topic. Newly formed in late July, the Cloud BUR SIG is a project of SNIA’s Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI). Chairing the SIG is Ashar Baig, senior director of product marketing at Toronto-based Asigra Inc., a cloud backup and recovery software provider.

Baig says he has been meeting with SNIA and CSI members for about three months. Previously, Asigra had developed its own vendor-neutral definition of cloud-based backup and recovery, which the company had vetted with numerous industry analysts and others, and brought that definition to SNIA.

The Cloud BUR SIG will be promoting that definition as well as the SNIA Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) standard and other standards the group works on. The intent of the CDMI is that applications will use the interface to create, retrieve, update, and delete data elements from the cloud. According to Baig, CDMI will enable customers to move stored data from one public cloud to another more easily.

“Standards helps all MSPs [managed service providers],” Baig says. “They don’t have to worry abut maintaining and updating their own APIs. It also eliminates being tied to one MSP because you can’t move your data. In the data world, when you abandon an MSP, the MSP destroys the data, and you take new data to your new MSP.” He likens that to leaving money behind in one bank account when you close the account, and opening a second account with “new” money in a different bank. With standards, he says, migrating stored cloud-based data “will be a piece of cake.”

The first directive for the new group is to build an eco-system of channel partners and vendors, Baig says, adding that he expects SNIA to have the group’s landing page and online signup available within a few days, and expects to set the first meeting date in about 10 days. Along with Asigra, founding members of the SNIA Cloud Backup and Recovery SIG include EMC, NetApp, i365, CoreVault, TeraSky, EVS, Terremark Worldwide, HMK, and Recovery Networks. Already, though, Baig says he’s got at least 25 MSPs waiting to join.

The work of the Cloud BUR SIG will help the channel, Baig believes, by promoting use cases and different applications on its Web site and at trade shows, and educating the market. For example, he says, a small MSP in Boise, Idaho, can now compete against a large MSP in Frankfurt, Germany. “It blurs geographic boundaries—that’s the real power of the cloud. A small player from a small town can now bid for large opportunities in the rest of the world.”

Baig says the Cloud BUR SIG made the decision not to charge for membership to remove any barriers to participation. However, members must belong to SNIA and the CSI. He acknowledges that the price of membership can be a barrier to smaller MSPs, but says SNIA does offer pricing based on company size, and is currently offering bundled pricing that includes 25 percent off both SNIA and CSI memberships if a company joins both groups.


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