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Is Apple iCloud the New Model for Enterprise Storage and Data Protection?

Posted by Blog Administrator

Fri, Oct 14, 2011

Author: Bruce Hall, Director of Technology

You had to be living ‘off-grid’ this week if you didn’t hear about the widespread problems that resulted from the millions of consumers trying to download Apple’s new iCloud sharing and data protection service… come on you know you contributed to that problem, I know I was. 


If I can secure a simple solution to automatically share all my digital media with each member of my family, from any device while having off-site protection and reliable, simple recovery…all at a reasonable, predictable, monthly cost - just tell me where to sign up!  The widespread adoption of these consumer technologies (,, online-backup solutions etc…), begs the question why can’t the same benefits be realized for companies of all sizes? 


Unstructured data, one of the biggest drivers of explosive data growth is particularly well suited to cloud storage. Some early cloud-based solutions attempted to address this challenge with a 100% cloud solution, providing a gateway to direct primary data to and from the cloud.  The industry quickly learned that a hybrid solution is what consumers need, a combination of an onsite device for performance and availability and off-site capacity and data protection.  This led to the next round of hybrid NAS solutions.  Imagine an on-premises device that has the intelligence to cache the most frequently accessed files, based upon end-user demand, while seamlessly keeping 100% of all data in the cloud and moving data back and forth on-demand with limitless retention.  Then layer on multi-site access to the same file-space simultaneously, tablet and smart-phone access from anywhere in the world, and collaboration features, all for a predictable per gigabyte monthly charge.  Further imagine that disaster recovery of all this unstructured data is as simple as powering up a virtual machine and entering service credentials. Within minutes the entire directory tree is presented and file restoration from the cloud is automatic, prioritized by end-user demand. 


Cloud/on-line backup is not just viable for consumers and small businesses either.  With hybrid and private cloud solutions, on-premises devices provide high-performance backup and restore with automated off-site protection and reliable recovery, with the efficient block-level incremental forever (deduplication) technology to handle the volumes of today and tomorrow.  Engaging the right Managed Service Provider (MSP) to bring the expertise and services to phase in this technology can protect recent investments while reducing the legacy environment as time passes, until all historical data has expired and the legacy solution can be fully retired.  Free up your existing resources for more important tasks and gain control of your data protection challenges with a reliable solution for a predictable monthly per gigabyte cost. It’s getting close to being as simple and cost effective as the iCloud.