What was once thought of as an innocent and efficient way to store information has been getting a completely new look and is a buzzword these days. The “Cloud” has struggled through some turbulent times in recent past: its name was slandered when Nirvanix closed its doors and Snowden's ‘escape' to Russia did little to ease concerns over information security.
The customer demand for security in the cloud has become a top priority. First and foremost, customers are increasingly changing on how they choose what to store and where to store it.
Security, flexibility and trust have become ever more important, giving rise to a new market of tools and services that protect information. Additionally, smaller service providers emphasize their proximity and personal service to woo customers and differentiate themselves from larger, more dominant cloud service providers.
There are a number of innovations that will have a positive impact on the cloud storage world for years to come. Highlighted below are some of them.
Rising Emphasis on Security
After living through a year of PRISM and other Snowden-like disclosures, consumers and businesses are much more aware of what data and information they are willing to upload to off-premise, potentially non-secure servers. Keeping that in mind, many companies are taking steps to increase their security measures and better protect sensitive information.
Despite Dropbox's high prospects and valuation, there are more companies blocking access to services like Dropbox and shift from public clouds toward private, more secure clouds hosted on their premises, allowing data to remain under their own control. This has also given rise to the hybrid cloud which brings a mix of public cloud and on premise storage into picture.
New Tools and Services to Protect Data in the Cloud
As more and more people choose to store their business-critical workload in the cloud, issues of business continuity become front and center. With larger volumes of data being stored, the likelihood of a significant disaster or failure increases. Due to increased risks, there is a demand in the market for new, innovative solutions to combat downtime and data loss in the cloud. Companies are utilizing different ways to back up cloud-based data, and migrate machines to other clouds quickly and seamlessly.
Increased Focus on Physical Location of Cloud Servers
Customers opt to use cloud providers who store data in a geographically proximate location-most importantly within their own country. This has become very evident throughout the globe. This ‘data nationalism' provides perceived protection from foreign governments. At the same time, it gives smaller, local cloud service providers an edge over giants like Amazon. These smaller providers are now able to devote significant time and energy to offering personalized, local services that better fit to an individual customer's needs.
Jan-Jaap Jager is executive vice president of APJ & Emerging Markets at Acronis