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New Options for Off-Site Data Backup and Remote Computing

(November 2008) posted on Wed Nov 05, 2008

Ensuring the safety and security of your business


If we’ve learned anything in the past seven years, it’s that we’re vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. Attacks on the World Trade Center, catastrophic hurricanes, and other tragic events have cost us dearly—but they’ve also served as a wake-up call for government and industry. As we move to a more and more paperless business, our historical data—as well as all of our daily operations—are resident on computers and storage drives, most of which are located on our own premises. How well would your business survive if something were to happen that would unexpectedly wipe out all of your data?

 

Remote backup

Most of us have experienced the pain of a hard-drive failure, but few have experienced complete data loss. One emerging, inexpensive service can help prevent a total loss of business-critical data: remote backup via Amazon Web Services (http://aws.amazon.com). Amazon has figured out that they not only have excess capacity in their vast data centers, but they also can le-verage their own IT resources to create an entirely new revenue channel by selling these services and capabilities.

This concept is the basis for a very good and green idea: server virtualization. It allows companies to radically reduce or eliminate the numbers of servers they run within their own companies, as well as the dedicated and hosted servers they have located in numerous data centers everywhere. In California, one very large utility (Pacific Gas and Electric) estimates the electrical load reduction possible in data centers by virtualizing server farms can be as much as 96% of the current usage—a number that’s hugely significant in today’s energy-starved economy. It accounts not only for a reduction in electrical usage, but also a corresponding reduction in the carbon footprint associated with that usage.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) provides a simple Web-services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the Web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data-storage infrastructure that Amazon.com uses to run its own global network of Websites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers and end users.


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