Between hurricanes, blizzards and impacts from extraterrestrial objects, disasters have made lots of headlines lately. That may be part of the reason why a new product announcement from disaster recovery vendor Vision Solutions caught my eye. But the technology that the company has unveiled is also interesting for the maturity and flexibility it adds to business continuity strategies for the cloud. Read on for the highlights.

The product, which the company is calling Cloud Protection & Recovery (CP&R) (it's unclear whether this is supposed to be a an hilarious pun on the choking-recovery technique cardiopulmonary resuscitation, otherwise known as "CPR," but I like to think it is), combines existing technologies from Vision Solutions' warehouse to offer a new solution for protecting data stored in the cloud. Designed, according to the company, to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, it includes three main features:
  • Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS), made possible using Vision Solutions' Double-Take platform for replicating data in real time in order to provide fast recovery in the event of a problem. It supports both Citrix CloudPlatform and Apache CloudStack.
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing, which the company is promoting as a more flexible model than similar cloud disaster-recovery platforms, and one that "reduces business risks for cloud providers."
  • A software-development kit featuring APIs that users can deploy to customize the technology in their cloud infrastructure. These are designed to make it easier to automate tasks and allow more flexibility in general.
Quoting Gartner Research, Vision Solutions noted in a statement that "the key attributes of cloud computing--service-based, scalable and elastic, shared, metered by use and Internet-based--deliver a strong alternative to more inflexible and expensive traditional disaster recovery services and may even be a superior alternative to an in-house self-managed approach." Providing a superior alternative to internal business continuity strategies is what CP&R is designed to do, and for organizations with a lot of data in the cloud, it may be an attractive solution.

CP&R, though, is only one of an increasing number of solutions in this market. But what helps Vision Solutions stand out is its focus on flexibility. With a RaaS-based approach to backup, and APIs that allow customers to tailor the software to meet the needs of their particular configurations, CP&R diverges from many other offerings in the cloud-recovery space.

That space, by the way, is one that will likely experience major growth in coming years. As we noted last fall, evidence suggests that many organizations currently have no plan for protecting data in the cloud. And disasters that knock out data centers or communication networks are making enterprises more aware of the reality that even data in the cloud is vulnerable. Expect cloud backup to become a strong area of focus as cloud infrastructures mature.