As we enter the hybrid cloud era one of the biggest challenges facing customers is how to get there. The most common approach is to use the cloud as secondary storage. Typically the cloud is either a primary backup repository or a redundant copy of backup data to be used in case of a disaster. Another common step to the cloud is to use it as an archive destination.,moving old, inactive data to the cloud and freeing up on-premises storage capacity. Finally, some organizations are already using a cloud based application like Salesforce.com or Office 365 so their version of hybrid may be to store a copy of this cloud based data on-site or in another cloud.
EMC is, through acquisition, providing solutions that can address each of these possible paths, and they were on display at EMC World.
EMC’s Cloud Path
EMC has added cloud capabilities for almost all of its on-premise backup and primary storage solutions. EMC’s CloudBoost, which is a result of last year’s acquisition of Maginatics, allows EMC data protection customers to leverage object storage as a secondary backup target, either as public or private. CloudArray, a result of the acquisition of TwinStrata, allows EMC storage systems to directly connect to cloud based providers. In this case, the cloud attachment can be used to archive older data to the cloud, keeping primary storage available for more active workloads.
Protecting the Cloud
A final acquisition, Spanning, allows EMC to offer data protection for cloud based services like Salesforce.com. At EMC World the ability to protect Office 365 was added to the list of providers that can be protected by the Spanning solutions.
The key is for EMC and other cloud-to-cloud backup providers to convince data centers that this is something they should do. While each of the providers do conduct their own backups, those are to protect them not necessarily their customers. Protecting cloud based application data should be viewed no differently than an application that is running in the data center.
We’ve moved past the point where IT professionals need to be convinced to use the cloud. It also seems clear that most organizations will adopt a hybrid model. Now IT professionals want to understand how to best make their move to the cloud. Backup and archive seem to be the logical first steps in that process for many data centers. EMC now offers a variety of choices to enable any of these first steps, but they can be implemented without changes to the on-site data center.