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Verizon says that the service will be its first incorporate IBM's backup infrastructure and management capabilities to help monitor and protect stored data.
Known as the Managed Data Vault, Verizon says the offering provides "security, quick and reliable daily backups and fast recovery of enterprise information." Verizon and IBM say the service will be particularly useful for enterprises that have to securely store data in the 15 to 150 terabyte range.
"It's targeted toward enterprises that need more security in their backup solution," says Laura Elliott, a manager for IT solutions at Verizon Business.
The service essentially works like this: a user will start by sending data over Verizon Business's network and into the storage vault. From there, IBM will monitor the vault every day to ensure that the data stays secure and available for use. Existing Verizon customers will be able to leverage their own existing networks for the service, be they Ethernet, MPLS or optical rings. Elliott says that the service is structured more like a utility and it charges users per gigabyte of data stored rather than a flat rate. In this way, it's more of a pay-as-you-go service than a subscription service.
But the biggest advantage for customers, says IBM strategy and program development executive Warren Sirota, is its convenience for enterprise users. "Buying equipment and setting up vaults is time consuming and capital intensive," he says.
While cloud storage has received a lot of hype, survey data suggests that so far enterprises have been reluctant to adopt it. According to a Forrester Research survey released early this year, only 3% of companies in North America and Europe have implemented some form of cloud-based storage. The survey asked users whether they planned to adopt any of the major cloud storage offerings, including Amazon S3, Atmos, Nirvanix, The Planet and AT&T. AT&T first released its own cloud storage offering in May of last year and also made pledges that its storage-as-a-service would help enterprise users cut down on their capital investments.
Read more about cloud computing in Network World's Cloud Computing section.