Feature

Archiving, DR join backup as online services

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Applications from Nirvanix, which offers the Storage Delivery Network (SDN), include CloudNAS, announced in June and in beta testing at press time. CloudNAS combines Nirvanix software agents with Linux or Windows servers at the customer's site for traditional NAS storage online. It runs on a laptop, and is used for backup, archiving and other apps that can endure latency.

"We knew we needed a way for the average IT manager in the average office to embrace this abstract idea of storage in the cloud," says Jonathan Buckley, Nirvanix's chief marketing officer. "A lot of companies set up their own data center. We're starting to take some of that data and put it up in the cloud as they're expanding their facilities."

Neil Hamilton is the managing director at Miana Technologies (which offers the WizzDrive online backup and file-sharing service) and a user of Nirvanix's SDN. He feels more than comfortable as a user in the current market. "If you start talking about using the Internet, it's just a hard drive, not a big barrier to jump through," he says.

Taneja says primary storage will pick up online, but others think it won't see the light of day for a while. "People tend to not want to outsource their primary data storage," says Jo Maitland, analyst at Cambridge, MA-based Forrester Research's IT infrastructure and operations group. "[But for] secondary storage for backup and

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archiving, they're willing to let a third party manage a copy of their data."

But there's time for things to improve on primary storage's end. "The market is in its infancy," says Taneja, "and we're just going to see tremendous growth."

--Matt Perkins

This was first published in September 2008

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