A Different Risk from Cloud-based Services

Recently, reports started coming out of the IT press that a well-known cloud provider had announced it was closing its doors, giving customers 30 days to move their data. For most of their clients, this would be an inconvenience, for some that have hundreds of TBs in this public cloud it will be much more than that. The point is that out-sourcing business services carries some risk for users, especially when they can’t easily be moved back in house or to another services company.

Unfortunately, cloud-based business is a relatively new model and many of the companies in this space are start-ups that are depending on success in these new markets for their survival. While security risks of data in flight and at rest in the cloud are well known, the risk of potential business failure at a cloud services provider should also be considered when choosing a vendor.

Barracuda has built a business in security and intrusion protection that’s over ten years old, with services that include network firewalls, web filters, email security as well as spam and virus protection. About five years ago, they added backup services using an on-site appliance to provide local restores and to manage the transfer of data to the cloud. Barracuda has also added an email archiving solution, file sync and share, and an eSigning platform to its list of services.

Over the past ten years, the company has built a large customer base and a cloud infrastructure with multiple data centers around the world. Most of these services use a hybrid cloud model with an on-site appliance for better performance and easy implementation. Now Barracuda’s file sync and share and eSignature services will also leverage this cloud infrastructure. But these new services will leverage a decade of experience and business success as well.

Most of the data services that Barracuda offers are also offered by other companies, many of them start-ups. These companies are relying on their abilities to deliver the right products and accumulate the customers they need in order to stay in business. If they miss the market, or just take too long to build their customer base, they can go out of business, like the cloud storage company mentioned at the beginning of this report.

Barracuda has a stable, profitable business that’s supported by their cloud infrastructure and network of channel partners already in place. New services they add don’t have the burden of supporting the company, as is often the case with start-ups. For end users this means peace of mind, knowing the continuation of their new cloud-based service and often the survival of their cloud services company, isn’t riding on how well their business model performs out of the gate.

Storage Swiss Take

Barracuda has taken a different route into the cloud market than most others have. Starting with security and then data protection they’ve been quietly running their business, adding to their IP stack and building their cloud infrastructure as they expand services offerings and their customer base. What they’ve found is that many other data services can be supported by this cloud infrastructure, using a hybrid cloud model; many can even be run on the same appliances. This allows them to add services that bring a minimum of business risk to the company and less risk to their customers as well.

Barracuda is not a client of Storage Switzerland

Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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Posted in Briefing Note
One comment on “A Different Risk from Cloud-based Services
  1. […] power and data center floorspace goes up. But using cloud-based IT services is also out-sourcing, a step that brings its own risks and merits careful consideration by potential […]

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