Those of you who were around in the storage industry back in the late 90's probably remember the amazing rise and fall of storage as a service, or SaaS. There was real buzz in the industry back then around outsourcing storage resources to third parties, and how it would enable companies to focus on their core business rather than IT.
A few companies did fairly well until the dot com bubble burst, and the dream disapeared overnight. Many of those startup companies lost everything back then, even though the concept and business case was sound. Well, guess what, ever hear of cloud computing? the idea is back big time, and it's not just about storage anymore. Advances in networks, deduplication, and virtualization for both servers and storage have finally made the concept a reality. Within the cloud, SaaS now means both Storage as a Service AND "Software as a Service". SalesForce.com and Google are good examples of the software SaaS space, and cloud storage SaaS companies are now poping up all over the place. Backup and DR are the first IT functions that will be outsourced to the storage SaaS folks. In fact, my own personal computer is backing itself up to the cloud as I write this! Another force driving companies to cloud based SaaS is the fact many companies are moving away from tape based disaster recovery. Instead of just shipping tapes, large companies are coping with the idea of building out new datacenter sites to house their critical applications during a disaster. It makes great economical sense for companies to NOT have to build out massive new data centers, and instead just purchase those functions in the cloud from a SaaS vendor at a simple price per GB (as long as the security concerns are eliminated) . Backup and DR may be the first functions to be outsourced, but as the services get better, and networks get faster, applications based on virtual servers can be run anywhere. New services will begin to spring up in 2010 with these type of offerings. One good example is a new offering for the legal field from a company called LegalCloud
. Another is our own PrimeVault solution, and others, which focus more on the home office front are mozy
, and carbonite
. Stay tuned here to learn more about how Cloud computing, with the re-introduction of Software based SaaS, and Storage based SaaS will be impacting your IT career!�