Data portability & cloud computing – your issues discussed

As promised a while back, I wanted to discuss some of the points made by Baggy on one of my recent posts (see more detail here).

“I was very interested by the first few paragraphs regarding portability. I have come across a large multinational who have been severely restricted by their current hosting and managed service provider to allow their business continuity company to port/replicate and even vault their data off their production site. The reason given by their hosting provider for the restriction …?…”you are utilising a shared disk model and we cannot RISK the chance your third party may interfere with other clients using the same platform”. Sounds unbelievable I know but absolutely true!” Baggy

I have to say I am slightly concerned on a number of points here.  To start with if the company has signed a contract that prevents it from signing an alternative contract to port/replicate/backup their production data for business continuity, surely that’s anti-competitive!

Secondly, it’s the customer’s data and they have the right to mitigate risk across two providers. The reason given to the customer by their hosting provider around “utilising shared disk” and the possibility of “third party interference with other clients”, suggests to me that the overall security of the platform is definitely questionable.

There is a possibility that the hosting provider’s technology may not allow data portability at a hardware level, but at a software level it should definitely be possible. Of course, it would dependant upon the amount of data the customer wants to port/replicate/backup as the network could restrict the desired RPO (recovery point objective) and the RTO (Recovery Time Objective).

If I were the customer I would challenge the supplier further – after all who owns the data? The provider may own the infrastructure but should support the customer, especially when the customer is simply looking to increase their overall resilience.

If I were looking to outsource any of my compute and data needs I always start by asking what the suppliers approach to data portability is.

Thanks again for your comments Baggy!

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