Category Archives: Big Data

Top Startup Ecosystems – Cities Leading The Way

Top Startup Ecosystems – Cities Leading The Way

Top Startup Ecosystems

During the first few years of the 21st Century, the business rule book has been torn up and rewritten by startups which barely existed 15 years ago. Consider that companies like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Twitter, Groupon, and even Apple to an extent (Pre ibook/pod/pad/phone era) were all startups or even non-existent at the turn of the century. Together, these modern giants now contribute nearly $1 trillion dollars to the annual US GDP.

The era of the startup is firmly upon us and one of the critical features of any startup is a sophisticated, nurturing ecosystem which allows the company to grow and expand into a global player. A new study by Compass, entitled the Global Startup Ecosystem Report raises some very interesting points about where growth is happening and how to expand it even further. “There has never been a better time to be a tech entrepreneur, as entrepreneurs are now blessed with the tools, resources, and market conditions to scale a company to billion dollar ‘Unicorn’ status faster than ever before,” according to the report.


The United States still dominates globally, with 6 of the top 10 startup ecosystems, yet increasingly the startup ecosystem is a global phenomenon with governments around the world learning how to facilitate environments for this emerging work culture. Silicon Valley retains the top spot, followed by New York and then Los Angeles. Outside of the US, the cities of Tel Aviv, London and Berlin are the best places for startups to emerge and be nurtured.

The rise of startup ecosystems is unlikely to slow any time soon. “Information Era businesses have become the dominant source of economic growth, significantly automating or altering much of the industrial and service businesses of the previous economic era.

Hacking For Growth

Growth hacking is a key endeavor of all startups, which is defined by Wikipedia as “creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure”. The report discovered a number of key insights when developing the report about successful ecosystems and their ability to fast-track growth.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Primarily, startup ecosystems have become much more interconnected and international, both in staff and investors. One third of all ecosystems have at least one funder from abroad and at the same time, one third of employees in a startup is foreign to the country where the startup is located.

The report states that “The ecosystems with the most growth in VC investments were Bangalore (4x), Boston (3.7x), Amsterdam (2x), and Seattle (2x). Almost all of the increase in Silicon Valley funding was in late stage Series B and Series C+ capital rather than early stage capital” which talks to the maturity of the Silicon Valley market.

Interestingly, it seems that being part of an ecosystem is more important than ever. More and more companies that start outside of an ecosystem seem to move into it in order to fuel further growth. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of startups moving into an established system multiplied by 8 times. “Overall, the trend for female entrepreneurs is significantly up—the number of female founders in the global startup ecosystem has grown by 80% over the last three years.” The number is still small but its growing fast and the glass ceiling for female employees appears to be cracking.

Ultimately, the report places a lot of faith in technology startups as the hope for humanity in the 21st Century, claiming that “they are the primary growth engine of the Information Era and nurturing startup ecosystems can keep the world on a path to greater prosperity.

By Jeremy Daniel

OpenText CEO Predictions For The Enterprise In 2016

OpenText CEO Predictions For The Enterprise In 2016

Predictions For The Enterprise


  1. The IoT will be reality

In 2016, we’ll work smarter, not harder. Human beings, appliances, homes, factories, cars, businesses, and cities will become more interconnected. If these items aren’t already, they’ll soon be “talking” to the Internet of Things (IoT). In a few short years, there will be more than 25 billion devices generating data about every topic imaginable. We’ll see broader enterprise adoption of the IoT due to its economic impact (which analysts estimate to be between $4 trillion to $11 trillion in the next few years), as well as in terms of opportunities to improve productivity and gain better business insight.

The IoT will cause massive disruption through better automation, integration, and communication. Insurance companies are deploying sensors and software to monitor how drivers behave and generate risk profiles using big data analytics that accurately align to or construct on-demand products to suit individual behavior. Thermostats communicate with residents and accumulate behavioral data to formulate the most energy efficient and comfortable schedules and settings. Software agents move money, stocks, goods, and people around the world, routing, optimizing, and transacting innumerable times a year—and these are just three examples already in enterprise use today. They will quickly evolve and proliferate into 2016.


As we move forward through 2016 and beyond, more devices, agents, sensors, and people will join the IoT. Perhaps we will even progress as a society to a post-scarcity economy and information itself will become our commodity of trade. Monetizing the exchange of information, micro-licensing, and transactions become prominent tasks as our automation and machine-to-machine networks take care of daily needs. Imagine algorithms as apps for applying big data analysis over the connected masses of information generated by the IoT and its billions upon billions of connected devices in every aspect of our lives. Owning the data, analyzing the data, and improving and innovating become the keys to corporate success—all empowered by a connected digital society.

Though this may have some Orwellian overtones, the IoT is really about the Zen of Things—our application of software and technology to help customers consume products and to help businesses build better products and deliver better services. In 2016, the IoT will continue to combine Big data, Analytics, The Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, and Automation to propel industries forward and create the next industrial revolution.

  1. Millennials enter the management ranks and reshape the world 

In 2016, we will see Millennials enter management-level roles. These young leaders will radically restructure all aspects of business—from productivity tools to HR policies (like working from home and remote offices), and organizational structure to corporate cultural—essentially reinventing the workplace as we know it.


As managers, Millennials will be in a position to transform corporate culture, accommodating expectations like social media freedom, device flexibility, and a high tolerance for risk taking. Innovation will be a key competitive differentiator and its application will be based on new ways to collaborate that include crowdsourcing and co-creation with customers. Communication will be open, two-way, and always “on.” The office of the future will take root in 2016. Holographic images, interactive surfaces, and video conferencing will begin to replace the boardroom in earnest. The mobile office will replace the cubicle and work and life will reach an equilibrium and intermixing we haven’t seen before in this digital age.

As Millennials undergo a professional “coming of age,” the enterprise will follow suit. Culture will be a determining factor for failure or success in the digital world. Millennial managers will pull from a global pool of talent, hiring the best employees from around the world to create highly skilled, dispersed teams. Organizations with cultures that can attract (and keep) top talent will emerge as winners, changing the game and disrupting traditional business models—and even entire industries.

  1. Fast-growing, no-profit SaaS companies will collapse

The rise of Internet-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies over the years has been tied to a new model: cash over time, rather than the traditional cash upfront model. But, the aim of profitability remains the same: no more waiting. Cash is still king and businesses need profit.

Many of these so-called multi-billion dollar businesses have no revenue, no asset value, no employees and no chance of survival, as long-standing, cash, asset, idea, and employee-rich companies reorganize to compete. Nimble, fast, and flexible is great—and the startups have done a great job in cornering that market. Enterprises might learn slowly, but they learn. And the further along they are on their journey towards digitalization, the more market share they can win back. So, as quickly as the fast-growing, no-profit SaaS companies have appeared, they will now begin to collapse.

  1. Digital becomes top priority for CEOs 

cloud-connectedIt’s clear that in 2016 digital disruption will impact all markets. Earlier this year, I predicted that 50% of all market leaders will be obsolete in the coming decade because of digital disruption. Competition will come fast and furious from unforeseen sources. In a 2015 CEO survey, 58% of CEOs surveyed consider the rapid-fire rate of digital disruption a challenge to their business. But where there is risk there is also opportunity: 80% believe that disruptive technologies (Mobile, the Cloud, Analytics) will bring tremendous value to their business. That’s a heartening statistic.

To capitalize on opportunity, CEOs will need to understand how disruption impacts all functions of their organization. In 2016, CEOs will become the drivers of digital transformation initiatives, incorporating them in their corporate strategies and all parts of the business. Adaptive and creative leadership will succeed. Across the C-Suite, transformational leadership will overcome outmoded structures and old management styles to empower Millennials to self-direct, make decisions, experiment, innovate, and take risks; while providing the systems, structure and governance to protect the company, its assets and information from this ‘digital sandbox’ style cultural transformation. CEOs will have to obsess even more about the customer and rethink customer value and experiences. They will extend their ecosystems with a new willingness to partner to discover new consumers and markets.

Over the next five years, CEOs will lead by example, adopting a Digital Mindset. The Digital Mindset is driven by disruption, immediacy, and scale with centricity on journeys, experience, and a real-time-ness. Just like we have an IQ and EQ, organizations need to develop a DQ, a digital quotient, where strategy, culture, people, and capabilities converge. The CEO will lead this charge.


mark-barrenecheaBy Mark Barrenechea , CEO / OpenText

As CEO of Canada’s largest software company, Mr. Barrenechea oversees the strategic direction of the organization and upholds the company’s position at the forefront of the industry. Under his direction, the company has grown both organically and through strategic acquisitions, into a $1.85 billion technology company.

Before joining OpenText, Mr. Barrenechea was President and Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Graphics International Corporation (SGI), where he also served as a member of the Board.

Avoiding Downtime With Disaster Recovery Services

Avoiding Downtime With Disaster Recovery Services

Disaster Recovery Services

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) differs from traditional disaster recovery solutions in that it replicates and hosts physical and virtual servers off-site, typically in the cloud. Businesses avoid downtime because DRaaS is able to bring computing environments back online without first needing to restore computing. DRaaS additionally offers the typical cloud benefits of being more affordable, scalable, and easier to implement.

The flexibility the cloud provides for IT infrastructure, applications, and software isn’t possible with traditional server and data center configurations, and disaster recovery solutions built into the cloud utilize this flexibility for fast implementation and rapid scaling. DRaaS strategies also minimize effects of disasters due to almost instantaneous continuity in operations should primary servers go down, and the high speed with which solutions can be put into effect allows for improved service level agreements with far superior recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives than seen in the past.


Reducing Business Risk

According to Gartner, a major loss of data resulted in 43% of companies immediately going out of business, while another 51% were able to last no more than two years. This means that only 6% of enterprises survive these losses, and makes it clear that every company needs disaster recovery, scaling a range of potential threats including natural disasters, human error, and cyber-attacks. Disruption circles are calculated to determine effective data center placement, taking as many of these factors into account as feasible, with the definition of these circles varying between different users and service providers.

David-TrossellRecovery data centers are typically placed outside of geographic circles of disruption, meaning that recovery from natural disasters is quick and efficient – data-wise anyway. Bridgeworks CEO, David Trossell, notes, “Many CIOs are faced with a dilemma of how to balance the need of having two data centers located within the same Metro area to ensure synchronization for failover capability, yet in their hearts they know that both sites will probably be within the circle of disruption.” Typically a lack of technology and resources results in data centers being placed too close to one another within a circle of disruption, and so utilizing cloud data centers in places such as Scandinavia and Iceland offer not only a more green approach to data management but greater protection.

The Necessity of Regular Testing

Unfortunately, disaster recovery plans aren’t being regularly tested. A recent study surveying UK and German businesses found that 62% of respondents tested their disaster recovery plans either less than once a year or not at all. Says Paul Le Messurier, Program and Operations Manager at Kroll Ontrack, “These findings are a clear indication that many companies still face significant risks in terms of data security, data loss, and data recovery. They also lack a thought-out disaster recovery plan that is tested regularly and is bullet-proof when a real disaster strikes the company and it is faced with system failure and data loss. Without an effective plan in place, companies face the prospect of a loss of business continuity plus reputational and financial damage. It’s important that disaster recovery plans are in place, but it’s just as important to ensure that they are tested regularly and updated accordingly.

Perhaps it’s time for a check-up? Take a look at OneCloud Insight’s video discussing the costs of leveraging AWS as a disaster recovery site for more benefits of DRaaS as well as some implementation approaches.

By Jennifer Klosterman

‘Tis The Season To Be Deploying Sensors

‘Tis The Season To Be Deploying Sensors

Deploying Sensors

Overhead the Christmas Drones are buzzing, delivering packages to the good girls and boys. Back at the main location people are analyzing the good and bad data collected over the year about each person. Data analytics that is creating a list, gathering all the data and then checking the data on that list (Twice). In the end to produce two lists. The good list of kids. The bad list of kids. I am pretty sure I am on the bad list, again.


Cyber Physical Systems Wishlist

It is the season of giving. So far this year I’ve gotten two colds and a wooden Jaguar. Needless to say I kept the Jaguar (it is actually quite nice) and have done my best to get rid of the colds. I decided to share my wish list for Cyber Physical Systems for the next year to help spread the Christmas cheer!

1. Other than my two front teeth I also want Cyber Physical System device security. Replaceable security modules that can be quickly replaced without requiring the organization replace the entire CPS device.

2. A bicycle and Cyber Physical System data management. Perhaps a standard for and support of on device data, cached data, data in transit and also data on that cell phone in your pocket.

3. Please don’t bring me ghosts again Santa, five years in a row is enough. Beyond no ghosts I would also like to see a Cyber Physical Systems integration standard. The growing number of CPS devices deployed make it really hard to integrate everything. Going forward the value of integration for the devices will be critical.

It’s a short list and frankly I hope to get all of them by the end of the year. The concept of replaceable security modules within CPS devices is a great opportunity. That way you won’t have to replace your CPS devices as security standards change. You just replace the security hardware.


CPS or the more consumer Internet of Things (IoT) represents a growing number of systems. As more and more of these devices are deployed the opportunity for a single unified management standard will be of significant value. A unified management protocol and standard would allow organizations to implement devices knowing they can quickly connect and manage them!

The next concept is that of integration is critical for CPS. Today there are 10 billion devices in the world. They offer services, data and connection in any number of ways. A standardized approach to integrating all these devices will be a great present.

Santa knows the value of CPS and supply chain management. I suspect if you asked him what his holiday list was about it would be just that. Taking the integration framework and management framework and applying that to the entire supply chain. Know where your parts are at all times. Create a JIT (Just-in-Time) supply chain that doesn’t have parts paid for and waiting for parts that are delayed or still in transit. Have a system where the parts arrive and are paid for at the same time. Reduce the time from ordering parts to selling your system by managing where parts are in the system and when they will be in your facility. I think Santa would like such a system. I might even get off the naughty list.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Scott Andersen

Principles For Data Protection In The Cloud In 2016

Principles For Data Protection In The Cloud In 2016

Data Protection In The Cloud

2015 ushered in the start of a data economy. As organizations amass more detailed consumer profiles they have begun realizing that data could equal or surpass the value of the products and services they sell, especially in the Internet of Things era with its constant and very personal streams of data. Data breaches such as the Office of Personal Management and toymaker, VTech are indicative of increasing hactivist interest in more personal data and also of the growing value of that data.


At the same time the concept of cloud is changing. In our hyper connected era traditional backend clouds where the bulk of data processing takes place have been superseded by waves of cloud migration that are closer to where the data transaction is occurring. This allows for real-time data exchanges.  Additionally, the lines between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are becoming blurred with hybrid models such as SaaS built upon PaaS.  With the confluence of a data economy, blurring of cloud models, and far more egregious data breaches I have outlined principles that Information Security Practitioners may want to consider as we move into 2016.

1. Bake standard data security profiles into a cloud brokerage platform that can be applied on as needed consumption basis.  This will more easily allow IT and InfoSec to keep pace with new instantiations by the business across the cloud-extended data center.

2. Place increasing importance on federated identity schemes with individuals having multiple devices across different cloud services.

3. Build a data brokerage to help calculate the value of data.  It’s the most effective way for business users to learn the value of the data they create, collect or handle.

Protect data according to the following domains:


Data Classification

  • State data classification in business consumable terms if you want business users to own up to protecting data according to its business risk.
  • Leverage machine learning for dynamic data classification as data changes value over the course of its lifecycle.

Data Ownership

  • Where possible digitally tag or watermark data that is transacted, stored or processed with a cloud provider.  This minimizes confusion around data ownership and entitlement rights.

Data Protection and Lifecycle Management

  • Ensure policy management extends to access management at the various admin layers for the cloud provider as well as for the elements of the cloud stack you as an organization have control over.
  • Enable data owners to specify what actions users can take– read, write, copy, modify.
  • Ensure that data lifecycle management – creation, modification, retention, destruction is built into your policies.
  • Set encryption settings – key strength and key management parameters based on data sensitivity.
  • Continuously log all actions based on the context of who, what when and where.

By Evelyn de Souza

Vendors To Enter The Cyber Security Game

Vendors To Enter The Cyber Security Game

IT Regulatory Compliance as the Next Big Focus for Cloud Vendors

Back in October 2014, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) submitted a public request for information, calling for the assessment of the marketplace’s ability to “provide cloud ecosystems and services in two integration models that place vendor cloud services on DoD networks for use by the DoD community and mission partner.”

This was one of most serious steps a US government department had made to enable a wider cloud adoption and also a move that marked a significant shift in perception on the usability of cloud technologies in regulated industries. Namely, like other industries that operate with huge volumes of sensitive data, government agencies were slow to adopt the cloud due to the associated security concerns. However, in recent years there has been a striking shift in attitudes towards public cloud resources, which have become central to government, healthcare, finance and legal institutions.

healthcare (2)

In relation to this, a report by Markets and Markets suggests that the cloud adoption within government agencies will continue at a stable rate, while healthcare institutions are expected to invest $5.4 billion in cloud computing by 2017. These figures point to a greater interest in the public cloud, while vendors simultaneously focus on building secure solutions to meet the demand. Today, most of the big names in the industry have a solution particularly designed for regulated industries.

Adapting the cloud to regulated industries

Apart from Amazon Web Services, which is currently used to process, store and transmit Department of Defense information, multiple other vendors have released their secure solutions over the last couple of years. Most notably, Box released their Governance platform to enable healthcare specialists to safely manage their data, while Salesforce launched Shield to provide a secure way to monitor and encrypt apps built on the Salesforce App Cloud.


Although the institutions in regulated industries are more open to cloud implementations lately, considerable data security concerns still exist. Ensuring compliance is an imperative for specific organizations, especially after some of the most serious breaches the public in the US has seen over the last few months. Most notably, the recent data breach that enabled hackers to obtain social security numbers of 21.5 million US citizens demonstrated the seriousness of this issue and emphasized the global need for more secure IT solutions.

To be able to manage data securely, while at the same time maintaining the necessary flexibility of key processes, organizations in regulated industries need data storage solutions that meet specific security standards. Suffice to say, most leading cloud vendors have recognized this gap and started focusing on this particular market to provide the requested IT resources and, of course, increase their market share.

Unsurprisingly, the value of cloud computing security services is estimated to grow astonishingly in the next few years. Namely, recent reports suggest that the cloud security market has grown from an estimated $4.5 billion in 2014 to $11 billion by 2022. Obviously, the greater demand for cloud-based security inspires more vendors to enter the cyber security game and enable the targeted industries to ensure regulatory compliance more easily.

Understanding the regulatory compliance

Among the recently launched secure cloud solutions, Salesforce Shield and Box Governance are designed to facilitate document management and communication, while minimizing the risks of data breach. However, gaining compliance extends beyond these basic processes and requires organizations to make sure their whole infrastructure is fully protected. Accordingly, they need to obtain relevant certifications such as FISMA, HIPAA, HITECH, PSQUIA, which are required in healthcare, federal and finance industries need to meet in order to ensure the safest possible digitization process.


In fact, these standards could be said to have completely redefined the role of an IT professional in the associated fields. As suggested by SecureLink, another major vendor that provides HIPAA-compliant solutions, “policies, procedures and access methods that may have been more than adequate a few years ago, may not be sufficient today.”

This is why the IT departments need to work closely with legal and security teams to ensure that all the IT components are integrated in a way that provides maximum security to sensitive data. Among the key processes, authentication, authorization and audit controls are essential to enaling a secure data flow. This means that IT professionals need to know exactly who and how accesses the organization’s networks in order to be able to early identify suspicious activities and prevent a potential breach. By providing the secure way to implement these practices, the new solutions mentioned above open the door to a true cloud innovation in regulated industries.


Although the cloud represents one of the most potent resources for reinventing IT infrastructure in large organizations, it is often associated with a partial loss of control over data security. Coupled with the general misinterpretation of client-vendor relations, this has been largely preventing more institutions in regulated industries to adopt the cloud solutions. However, the cloud standardization has come a long way, changing the opportunities for these industries. As the technology continues to grow in power, more and more institutions are embracing it as a resource for IT modernization. After years of accelerated adoption, it could be said that the year 2015 has finally brought a healthy focus on security that could permanently change the way we see the cloud.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Sarah Green

The Blended Mindset – Converging Through The Screen

The Blended Mindset – Converging Through The Screen

The Blended Mindset

It has been a long time since a phone was just a phone. In fact, people start to show their age when they refer to their device as a “cellphone.” It is far more than that. The modern portable device is capable of infinite tasks, whether it draws upon its own internal assets, or through apps that work with the rest of the world via cellular or wireless. In its immensely portable versatility, business leaders can see the future of their organizations: people and machinery demonstrating blended and agile abilities rather than sticking to one specific talent.


The smartphone (also a dated term) is a hand-held tool for life. So too is the modern car. Hand-held through the steering wheel at least, its available phone and 4G technologies, along with USB ports and remote diagnostics, turn it into an office with wheels, adaptable to any industry, from farming to construction to accounting. In a few more years, as the Internet of Things takes root, other traditionally single-function devices, from refrigerators to hospital gowns, will play a more active and diverse role in communicating back and forth between suppliers and consumers, making decisions and guiding actions.

The transformation of these devices from one-trick-ponies to jacks-of-all-trades must not go unnoticed by company leaders, since it reflects two levels of progress: machine and human. In league with technological change, people too are becoming more versatile in their skills and approaches, rendering the traditional career path and organizational chart hierarchy somewhat redundant.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Take IT as an example. In earlier years, the IT department lived and worked in essential isolation, its employees using their wizardry to ensure that networks and personal computers functioned properly and safely. But in recent times, the IT manager has been given a wider range of responsibility. No company operating today can consider itself relevant if it does not offer IT and security executives a seat at the C-suite table. With an ever-increasing variety and sophistication of cyber-attacks, the necessity of migrating to the cloud and the pressure to translate commerce into an omni-channel universe, IT executives must offer strategic leadership advice in concert with the technical facts.

Finding The Hidden Talent

IT, like all other departments in an organization, can no longer operate inside a silo. The silo has been flattened. Departments can now see each other better and talk to each other; but more importantly, they are becoming each other.

Employees too are becoming more diverse, not simply in age, culture or other demographic delineation, but in attitude and aptitude. This is why many employers are turning to social media to identify hidden talent. Whereas résumés and personality tests succeed in pegging individuals for certain jobs, a review of social media profiles tends to reveal latent talents that may otherwise go unnoticed. Leadership skills, emotional intelligence, creativity, comfort with risk and, most importantly, career self-determination paint pictures of individuals whose passions exist untapped, until discovered by reading between the lines on social media.

These “possessions” – like tiles that make up an individual personal mosaic – indicate skills and powers that an agile organization might see fit to employ for a certain task at a certain moment in time, without resorting to the traditions of seniority or process. This demands the same type of agility and versatility that exists within a mobile device.

More significantly, it matches the mindset demonstrated by the modern world’s most successful leaders such as Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. These individuals are mentioned often simply because they blend their fierce commitment to their sense of destiny, with a willingness to change and adapt to better ideas. This is the blended mindset that exists at the pinnacle of a successful company’s management structure, and which can and must be discovered and encouraged throughout the entire organization.

Human beings are very good at learning and adapting. Modern education need not enforce the traditional multi-year, Ivy-League style in order to yield practical skills and abilities; there are numerous online educational systems that give the knowledge away for free. Just like Elon Musk did with the code behind Tesla, openness and versatility continue to drive modern commerce.

Digital Social Transformation


It is very natural for those in positions of senior responsibility to greet the modern age of change with mistrust. But this is the age in which business is now being done. It will be of greater value for a company to shore up its presence on a growing social media platform – especially those favored by the younger generations, whose economic and social influence reaches every corner of the world economy – than to focus on more traditional mailing lists and CRM techniques from a decade ago. Business effectiveness in the next few years depends a great deal on a shift of mindset, from channels and hierarchies to an open concept, which pulls diverse and blending talents from all corners of a company’s human and technical resources to solve problems in real time and test them as they unfold.

Every time company leaders take their mobile phone out of their pocket, they should look at it anew. This is a device whose value exceeds the sum of its parts, and for which the telephone feature is merely a bit player. This is a blended device, and it has changed the world by virtue of its openness. And so will it be for businesses everywhere.

For more on this topic, go to sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

By Steve Prentice

The Profound Effects Of Virtualization Software And DRaaS

The Profound Effects Of Virtualization Software And DRaaS

Disaster Recover As A Service (DRaaS)

As a technologist, I am constantly thinking about leveraging the latest software or hardware to provide solutions to problems. My latest thoughts revolve around disaster recovery and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and how it can be made more accessible to the masses.

What is DRaaS? 

Before diving into the topic let’s first discuss what has enabled it for enterprises of all sizes – in a word, virtualization, a technology which has revolutionized today’s data center and been one of the biggest disrupting technologies of the last decade or so. Server virtualization products like VMware’s ESXi, Citrix’s Xenserver, Microsoft’s HyperV and various other hypervisor platforms have been the driving forces behind server virtualization. The concept of virtualization has bled over into other data center technologies such as storage and even networking. Though not as common as server virtualization, these technologies display the promise of providing cost savings while enabling agility and scalability.


Server virtualization has enabled enterprises to consolidate physical hardware and more effectively utilize server hardware, while providing a platform for cloud offerings such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to create a multi-billion dollar market for Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM.


Another benefit derived from server virtualization is a market propelled by a plethora of start-up companies offering Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). These companies are able to offer cost effective disaster recovery solutions to enterprises of all sizes. Dedicated hardware is no longer required at a disaster recovery site, as virtual servers can now easily be replicated to the disaster recovery site’s virtual environment. Software vendors also noted this opportunity and have begun to focus on developing disaster recovery software with greater capabilities and intelligence. Features include replication of virtual machines, agnostic of storage types and server hardware, which allow near instantaneous recovery point objectives for only the cost of bandwidth needed to keep up with the data flow. The automation in these newer software packages has also reduced possible recovery time from days down to hours.

Today, a cloud based disaster recovery service should offer the following capabilities if it is to earn your valued business.

  • The ability to seamlessly integrate into your virtual environment, meaning no required software upgrade to your virtual environment to be compatible with the provider’s solutions.
  • The solution should be storage agnostic, meaning your storage or SAN solution does not have to be the same as the provider’s storage solution.
  • A Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of seconds should be available and Recovery Time Objective of minutes should be possible depending on quantity of servers being recovered.
  • The solution should be completely managed by the provider taking the burden off you and your team. This includes supplying software, providing installation and performing ongoing management to assure replication is happening error-free, as well as performing and managing the fail-over process when a disaster is declared.
  • Allow the customer visibility into their environment to validate that RPO’s are in compliance with contract service level agreements and the service is operating error free as expected.
  • The ability to define protection group for a set of servers that need to be restored to the exact same point in time. Important for systems that exchange data with my one another.
  • Provide continuous replication of servers and allow point in time recovery.
  • Guarantee that when a disaster is declared the contracted resources will be available.

Now we have defined the bare requirements for DRaaS. In Part 2 we’ll put together a list of features that a service provider could offer that would make our lives easier, add value to our businesses and change the DRaaS market.

By Marc Malizia

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Security, Security, Security!! Get use to it as we’ll be hearing more and more of this in the coming years. Collaborative security efforts from around the world must start as sometimes it feels there is a sense of Fait Accompli, that it’s simply too late to feel safe in this digital age. We may not…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

DDoS Knocks Out Several Websites Cyber attacks targeting the internet infrastructure provider Dyn disrupted service on major sites such as Twitter and Spotify on Friday, mainly affecting users on the U.S. East Coast. It was not immediately clear who was responsible. Officials told Reuters that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau…

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms Above DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms, malware is the most common incident that security teams reported responding to in 2014, according to a recent survey from SANS Institute and late-stage security startup AlienVault. The average cost of a data breach? $3.5 million, or $145 per sensitive…

Timeline of the Massive DDoS DYN Attacks

Timeline of the Massive DDoS DYN Attacks

DYN DDOS Timeline This morning at 7am ET a DDoS attack was launched at Dyn (the site is still down at the minute), an Internet infrastructure company whose headquarters are in New Hampshire. So far the attack has come in 2 waves, the first at 11.10 UTC and the second at around 16.00 UTC. So…

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks! So we are all cheering as the FCC last week made the right choice in upholding the principle of net neutrality! For the general public it is a given that an ISP should be allowed to charge for bandwidth and Internet access but never to block or somehow…

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

A New Era for Cyber Crime Last September, the website of a well-known security journalist was hit by a massive DDoS attack. The site’s host stated it was the largest attack of that type they had ever seen. Rather than originating at an identifiable location, the attack seemed to come from everywhere, and it seemed…

Security: Avoiding A Hatton Garden-Style Data Center Heist

Security: Avoiding A Hatton Garden-Style Data Center Heist

Data Center Protection In April 2015, one of the world’s biggest jewelry heists occurred at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in London. Posing as workmen, the criminals entered the building through a lift shaft and cut through a 50cm-thick concrete wall with an industrial power drill. Once inside, the criminals had free and unlimited…

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Speed, flexibility, and innovation require multiple cloud services As businesses seek new paths to innovation, racing to market with new features and products, cloud services continue to grow in popularity. According to Gartner, 88% of total compute will be cloud-based by 2020, leaving just 12% on premise. Flexibility remains a key consideration, and…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence All businesses need a strategy and processes for governance, risk and compliance (GRC). Many still view GRC activity as a burdensome ‘must-do,’ approaching it reactively and managing it with non-specialized tools. GRC is a necessary business endeavor but it can be elevated from a cost drain to a value-add activity. By integrating…

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

Fast Data Analytics In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end…

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…


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