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cluding smartphones, desktops and laptops, and servers, irrespective of operating system or database. All customers need to do is provide an interface server in their environment on which the back-up software can be implemented. The software then interacts with the local network to deduplicate, compress, and encrypt data from various devices, before sending it to the public cloud, an infrastructure hosted and owned by Ace Data. For users—from individual users and professionals to mid-to-large enterprises—this eliminates the need to invest in back-up servers, various back-up devices like tapes or disks, software licenses and manpower. The investment that’s been pumped into Backup Vault, technically a white label product from Ace Data, is phenomenal. At the back-end of Backup Vault, the infrastructure comprises servers from HP, storage from EMC, networking from Cisco, virtualization tools from VMware, and back-up software from the Canada-based Asigra. Ace Data has topped this with its monitoring and billing tools. Backup Vault is currently provisioned to host 100 TB of data, and its capacity is increased on a regular basis.

FROM DRIZZLE TO SHOWER For other system integrators who want to follow his lead, Mediratta says that they should expect the gradual adoption of cloud storage that he’s experiencing. Data-sensitive organizations, he says, will take some more time to move to the cloud. Mediratta says that as of now, CIOs are trying to understand the concept and are

WHAT TO EXPECT If you’re a system integrator that wants to evolve into a cloudstorage provider, here’s what you want to be prepared for.

v Recognize that while uptake is slow, it is sure. A high percentage of clients who test cloud storage services end up signing much larger deals.

v Realize that because of

the cloud’s opex model, it opens up a whole new layer of clients who couldn’t previously afford storage.

v Figure out that the best

time to approach a potential client for cloud storage is when they are refreshing hardware and software for back-up storage.

v Understand that you need to create attractive, but simple, pricing models.

backed on the cloud. And many of the multi-terabyte customers that Ace Data currently has, initially moved only small gigabytes of data to the Backup Vault cloud. Mediratta isn’t surprised or disheartened by the gradual uptake. “Growth hasn’t been phenomenal, but it’s in line with what we expected,” he says. Ace Data already has a few enterprise-class customers from various industries

are only going to be repeated. They will have to invest in tapes and other back-up solutions as they generate more data,” he says. On his end, Mediratta is doing his best to make cloud storage an attractive proposition by creating pricing slabs. One of the principals Ace Data’s pricing model uses is ‘the more you store, the less you pay’, ensuring a win-win proposition for both Ace Data and its customers. Also, the piece of software that the user deploys allows users to set various policies for archival and compliance, and ensures complete control over how data has to be stored and archived. While a lot of CIOs are still worried about putting their data onto the cloud, thanks to compliance and security-related reasons, back-up is something they will soon move to the cloud, Mediratta firmly believes. In the last year, Ace Data has seen a number of its on-premise customers move to a subscription model. Its recent deal with Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals is a case in point. The hospital has moved lot of its business critical data to the Backup Vault. Mediratta also believes that more CIOs will investigate cloud-based back-up when the next cycle of reinvesting in back-up solutions comes around. “We did not venture into the cloud with the expectation of winning a lot of customers overnight. We know that it’s going to be a gradual transition,” he says. Despite the growing interest in Ace Data’s cloud offerings, traditional back-up solutions still form a significant chunk of its revenues. That, Mediratta believes, will change. “Our

Like a tiger that’s tasted blood, customers who have savoured the benefits of cloud storage want more. Many of the multi-terabyte customers that Ace Data currently has, initially moved only small gigabytes of data to the Backup Vault cloud. testing it with small amounts of noncritical data. But like a tiger that’s tasted blood, customers who have savoured the benefits of cloud storage want more, he says. Mediratta points to clients who have tested Ace Data’s cloud offerings who are now seriously looking at moving big chunks of data to be

including healthcare, media, exports, and real estate, among others, and he expects more to sign on. “Cloud-based backup is now being considered by customers who haven’t, so far, looked at back-up seriously. And, those who have already invested in on-premise back-up solutions realize that their investments

on-premise solutions are going to those customers who do not want to send data to the cloud or who are too large for a cloud model. They are upgrading their on-premise backup solutions. But a more dynamic CIO would surely see more value in the cloud; that has been our experience so far,” he says n




Channelworld Magazine November 2012 Issue  

Channelworld Magazine November 2012 Issue