Taking the lead in Public Cloud continuity
Over the last year or so, behind the scenes, a lot has been changing at Databarracks. Instead of providing Backup and Disaster Recovery services into our own data centres, we have shifted entirely to the Public Cloud.
Our customers now back up and replicate their data to Microsoft Azure, AWS or Google Cloud.
Backup and DR to the Public Cloud is something we’ve been advocates of, for a long time. Several years ago, a customer needed to back up to a local data centre in Asia so we began using AWS Availability Zones in Singapore. Later, when Azure Site Recovery and Zerto began offering replication to Microsoft Azure, we quickly offered that service too.
They proved to be very popular. So much so, we made the decision to completely change how we deliver our services. In addition to bringing new customers onto these public cloud platforms, we would move our hundreds of existing customers too.
Over the last 12 months we have migrated these customers and moved PBs of data out of our data centres and into the public cloud.
We are now the largest provider of public cloud Backup and DR services for our software partners Zerto and Commvault.
For almost 20 years, Databarracks has provided Backup and Disaster Recovery services to SMEs in the UK. We provided these services from our ex-military nuclear bunker data centres.
In 2003 when we were founded, online backup was one of the first true ‘cloud’ services.
Since then, as costs have fallen (particularly for storage and bandwidth) a range of cloud services have become viable and commonplace.
The scale and breadth of services offered by the ‘hyperscale’ public cloud providers has changed the market dramatically.
Our view is that modern IT is hybrid.
- Organisations will have some production systems in Azure, AWS or other public clouds.
- Productivity software will increasingly move to SaaS solutions like Office 365 and Google Workspaces.
- Some systems will remain on-premises.
Organisations need to be able to protect this data, wherever it lives and be able to back up to and recover into other clouds.
Why Public Cloud continuity?
Over the last decade, when cloud-hype was at its peak, it seemed like every technology company tried to become a ‘cloud provider’. MSPs, hosting companies, telcos, data centre providers, management consultancies and more tried to cash-in on cloud computing.
Over time, it became clear that there were specific competencies required to succeed. There are skills in building data centres, software engineering to build the clouds and service skills to manage customers.
Most smaller cloud providers provide their services from a VMware vCloud or similar open-source cloud platform. To develop your own cloud platform requires an enormous investment in software development and engineering. The hyperscale public cloud providers have delivered the best product because they have been able to invest at the scale required.
The hyperscale clouds are built differently to traditional IT. One of the big benefits of cloud computing is that it decouples the individual building blocks of IT into discrete services. You don’t buy a server, you buy object storage, compute and networking. The benefit is that you consume exactly what you need. The downside is that it needs more thought and consideration.
We realised that the value we provide to our customers is building and configuring the IT continuity services and managing them.
The outcome our customers want is a reliable solution, managed for them, allowing them to focus on business challenges.
Most customers were already investigating moving their production IT to the public clouds. If they were not quite ready to move their production IT, moving DR to Azure or AWS is an attractive stepping-stone. It provides a chance to get experience with the cloud and creates a simple pathway for migration when they are ready.
There have been several benefits, both for our customers and for our own operations.
- Reduced costs for Backup due to the low cost of cloud Object Storage (and archive storage)
- Increased choice of data centres (in the UK and internationally)
- Reduced cost for Disaster Recovery - because environments can be provisioned at the point of recovery