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Cloud enablement

Verizon, IBM Offer Cloud-Based Data Backup

Verizon Enterprise Solutions and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) have joined forces to offer a cloud-based data backup system to let enterprises securely store data in a way the companies say is more reliable and easier to retrieve than many current data storage methods.

Both IBM and Verizon will sell the Managed Data Vault, a usage-based utility service designed for both very large data stores and transactional database contents. The new cloud-based backup service is intended to replace tape backups, which are traditionally transported via third-party trucking operations to remote locations, and to augment or replace public Internet-based backup services.

The idea is to create a single network-based repository for all enterprise data, up to hundreds of terabytes, and enable fast retrieval of that data when required.

The tape backup systems commonly used today are capital intensive, and both inconvenient and time-consuming when it comes to retrieving data, said Bart Vansevenant, director of integrated solutions for Verizon Business.

"IBM research has also shown that the success rate of these data backups is only 60 percent to 80 percent," Vansevenant said. "Most businesses are unaware of the data failure until they attempt to access a backup tape, because they aren't monitoring the systems."

Internet-based backup systems have their place, Vansevenant said, but they are time-consuming for large file backup and retrieval.

"When there are a lot of changes being made, it can take hours or more than a day to do a backup," he said.

The Managed Data Vault is accessible via three flavors of connections: Verizon private IP services that are MPLS-based; Ethernet connections; or optical services.

In addition to connectivity, Verizon is providing data center expertise, IT consulting services, and application-aware capabilities. IBM provides backup infrastructure and management, and business continuity experience and expertise, in what is an exclusive deal between the two companies.

The service will be priced on a per-gigabyte basis, Vansevenant said, but the exact price will depend on the features to which an enterprise subscribes, such as the length of storage, type of encryption, and degree of professional services/consulting sought.

Both IBM and Verizon are providing data centers at which the actual storage takes place.

The Managed Data Vault service is initially available in New York City but will be rolled out across the country over the next year.

"Our first target market is the high-end customers with very large data footprints, but we will be moving this down market as well," Vansevenant said.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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