Cloud Storage Startups and Venture Capitalists

In my job I not only get to write a lot about business continuity, disaster recovery, replication, archiving, backup, and so on – but more importantly I get to read a lot.  And I’ve got to tell you – Chris Mellor over at “The Register” is a personal favorite of mine.  Of course I like the way he writes and his style of writing – but what I like the most is that quite often Chris will say things that everyone else is thinking – but not saying.

Which leads us to a recent article by Chris entitled “Backers: What’s this, another cloud storage upstart? Here, have $20m”  The title alone had me laughing.  But what I liked was the pithy analysis of the sheer number of dollars raised by one company – and the need to raise ever more money unhindered by even the remotest hint of  profitability.

Building business continuity data centers, as is noted in the article, is expensive – a lot of capital expenditure.  Meanwhile AWS (Amazon Web Services) is on its 24th price reduction for Amazon S3 storage and RRS.  Fascinating stuff.  You just have to wonder – at what point does the bill become due?

I think Chris raises an interesting point about cloud storage gateways versus cloud-based data protection.  My personal opinion is that cloud storage gateways are a reasonable alternative for smaller businesses that are more concerned with data availability and access than business continuity and disaster recovery.  But for business continuity and disaster recovery, particularly in heterogeneous non-trivial environments (a few dozen employees and higher), you can’t expect for IT to throw away their infrastructure and just adopt a fundamentally new paradigm – particularly when there are advantages in terms of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), ROI (Return on Investment), and agility to be able to provision storage as DAS (Direct Attached Storage), NAS (Network Attached Storage), and SAN (Storage Area Network.)  Pushan Rinnen and Dave Russell over at Gartner have a pretty good article entitled “Cloud File Sync/Share Is Not Backup” (sorry, the article is for Gartner clients only and thus is behind the Gartner paywall) on this very topic where they talk about this topic.

What do you think?


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