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‘More than 50%’ ready for cloud archiving – CommVault

Keep the recent stuff close, but archive into the cloud.

That’s the message CommVault is advancing, saying the benefits of on-demand capacity and reduced admin make the case for long term online data storage. It also reckons the notion is finding favour, saying more than 50% of its customers are interested in the concept.

Country manager Simon Probert says for most companies, keeping a copy of recent information close to the source is a no-brainer.

“Typically, you want maybe a week’s worth on local equipment for a very fast restore. Anything older and the cloud is grabbing hold as a better option for long term retention and archiving,” he says.

Describing cloud in enthusiastic terms, Probert says it is ‘a fantastic play, with such advantages as low cost of management and the ability to connect to data from anywhere in the world’.

“And that works well with most disaster recovery suites, with the necessary connectivity,” he adds.

The ever-present questions of security and data sovereignty means the market is ‘understandably cautious’, Probert concedes.

“Certainly things like Megaupload make CIOs look up and say ‘is this really a good idea’; but when one looked at in more detail, there shouldn’t be a great deal of concern,” he says; in other words, with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft (which uses CommVault’s software for its Azure managed archiving) providing such services, the FBI is rather unlikely to delete the whole lot.

With the application of techniques like deduplication and encryption, he reckons online archiving becomes simpler and sufficiently secure.

“Depending on what type of data it is, there are different levels of security available,” Probert notes.

He compares online archiving with the most likely predecessor: tape storage subsystems.

“These things are a pain in the neck. You’ve got different formats and machines, ever-growing data volumes, physical space required for devices and tapes themselves and the cost of managing it all. Add to that the complexity of these environments and most of our customers reporting a doubling of capacity every 6 to 12 months…”

All that, says Probert, supports the elegance of stuffing data into the cloud – and it’s not small quantities, either.

“We’re talking hundreds of terabytes where we’re proposing these solutions. In effect, we’re proposing making archiving simple with no capacity limits, no managing of devices and a platform which stays updated – all the usual advantages offered by cloud computing.”

While noting that it is ‘hard to talk dollars’ in terms of demand, Probert nevertheless says more than half of CommVault’s customers find the concept intriguing.

“Of those who have expressed an interest, a small percentage are interested in trialling and some and in proof of concept. But one thing is for sure: it is a question of when, not if. As equipment refresh cycles start kicking in, more[CIOs] will be asking themselves if they really need to buy devices or if they shouldn’t be putting the data into the cloud.”