Monday, March 25, 2013

What happens when we break up?

That’s right, not if, but when. Nobody wants to enter a relationship thinking about the end, but with business technology, it’s an inevitable. Applications evolve, business needs shift, employees and their preferences change. Vendors establish long term, but ultimately transient relationships with customers. About the only thing that is expected to last forever is your data, which is why this is such an important question when it comes to Cloud Storage Gateways (Cloud Storage Controllers).

Many Cloud Storage Controllers store your data in a proprietary format in the cloud. This creates a closed system requiring you to access your data through its interface. During normal operation, this may or may not be a big deal. You simply deploy another Controller at each and every location you want to access your data. But what happens when it’s time to make a change?

Let’s look at the case where a business has 50TB under management of a Cloud Storage Controller and they want to change. They’re happy with cloud storage, but no longer want the Storage Controller. In order to switch, they must make two complete migrations of their data: one to get their data out of the proprietary format, and another to put it back into cloud storage.

What will switching cost at today’s prices?
  • An entry-level storage platform with 50TB of usable capacity will run $20,000-25,000
  • ~6-8U of rack space plus required power in your data center
  • Outbound bandwidth for 50TB from the storage provider will run ~$5000
  • 3-4 months of total data transfer time (assuming ~100Mbps sustained)
  • Same amount of time for an administrator to babysit the process

All in, a business with 50TB under management would be looking at close to $50,000 (a full $1/GB, or about a years worth of cloud storage) just to change Storage Controllers.

But just for argument's sake, let’s say this truly is that match made in heaven. Even then, has the vendor guaranteed backwards compatibility with the format they are currently using? How long before the technology and format evolves? Ever wanted to read that old LTO-2 tape with an LTO-5 device? Typically you’re forced to maintain outdated hardware or undergo a migration to the updated system.

On the other hand, the Maldivica Storage Connector provides an open system, storing data in its native format and ensuring you are always able to access it. In fact, because we store content in its native format, any authorized application (ecosystem tools, custom applications, etc.) that uses the storage API can access your data directly without requiring an instance of Maldivica being deployed as an intermediary, saving time and money as your applications evolve. Even content encrypted by Maldivica uses industry standard AES256 encryption meaning you are able to decrypt it without needing the Maldivica platform. Storing data in its native format means you will never be required to undergo massive data migrations or face daunting forklift upgrades.

So what happens when we break up?

We still hope that never happens, but when your needs change and Maldivica is no longer necessary in your environment, you shut down our Storage Connectors, close your account, and move on with your business. Your data remains safe, intact in the storage platform you chose and entirely under your control.

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