Managed Services

Qwest Helps SMEs Avoid Cloud Disaster

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is offering small and mid-sized businesses a cloud-based online backup service that prevents interruptions to such online business applications as email or databases in the event of disasters or systems failures.

Like their larger counterparts, SMEs are doing more business online, and their applications and data are vulnerable to server crashes or natural disasters, including floods and snowstorms, that damage or restrict access to office premises, says Eric Bozich, vice president of Qwest Product Management. The Qwest Real-Time Application Recovery service promises all the benefits of cloud offerings.

"The customer benefits by not having to spend capital. They can consume the service as needed, scale up and scale down, and only pay for what they use, with built-in efficiencies that they don't have to try to replicate," Bozich says. "They can access services rapidly and on-demand. We use our size and scale to bring these things to the marketplace to help them implement a disaster recovery strategy."

Although any company with online and database applications can make use of the service, SMEs typically don't have the resources to do their own backups, or may find those backups, such as tape systems, logistically difficult, Bozich says.

"We basically eliminate that time between the failure of the event and the restoral -- it can be instantaneously," Bozich says. By contrast, tape or CD backups may take more time to restore or may not be available, depending on the disaster.

Qwest chose to partner with Geminare, which has been in the recovery-as-a-service (RaaS) market with its own software, in keeping with its policy of partnering with best-of-breed solutions, Bozich says. Geminaire's RaaS solution will be hosted in a Qwest CyberCenter and supported by Qwest customer service reps, with assistance from Geminare experts.

Partnering with Geminare also enabled Qwest to get into the market more quickly than the company could have brought an internally developed option to market.

SMEs pay a $785 setup fee per server and a monthly fee of $550 to $665 per server, depending on the length of contract.

Bozich says Qwest will continue to build its cloud-based service portfolio as a major strategy initiative. (See Qwest Cloud Courts Middle Market.)

"A lot of what we are investing in and will be bringing out to the marketplace over the next several years will have some tie-in to cloud services as part of our cloud strategy."

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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