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Nirvanix says cloud can ease data concerns in Japan

Cloud proponents look at the disasters in Japan and say even the most horrific incidents don’t have to cause people to lose data.

By cloud proponents, I mean people who sell cloud products and services. Cloud storage vendor Nirvanix has one of its five worldwide data centers in Japan. Although the Nirvanix data center is 200 miles from the area where Japan has been hit by an earthquake, tsunami and potential nuclear meltdown, it has offered to move any customer data from the Japan site to one of its other data centers for free. Nirvanix also has facilities in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, and Frankfurt, Germany.

Several of Nirvanix’s approximately 50 customers in Japan have taken the vendor up on its offer, Nirvanix CEO Scott Genereux said. But he said the offer was made mostly to give customers peace of mind. He said the data center has its own power and shouldn’t be affected by rolling blackouts expected in Japan. And even if the building were wiped out, all customer data could be restored at another site.

“Without having to touch tape filers, aging NAS filers onsite or a physical RAID box on the floor, customers can move their data,” he said. “They don’t have to wait for a repair specialist to come and add drives.

“This is the power of the public cloud. Customers can select the location of their data. You can’t do that with a private cloud. That’s just isolated storage.”

Of course, companies using private clouds or no clouds can also migrate data offsite. That’s one of the keys to good disaster recovery – getting data to a safe location in case your main location becomes unavailable. And the cloud can be a simple way to do that.

Dick Mulvihill, managing partner of Chicago-based data protection cloud provider HexiSTOR, said major disasters have eased a lot of his customers’ fears about trusting the management of their data to a separate party.

“The whole mindset of worry about data going off site to the cloud has changed,” he said. “It’s becoming a more popular option because of the simplicity and automation of the cloud. For dealing with natural and man-made disasters, using the cloud is good governance.”

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