The great advantage of digital data storage is its immediacy. No matter where one is, reams of information are at their fingertips, including their own should they wish it. By handing over our important data to the cloud, we guarantee a certain level of convenience in our lives, though at a cost.
As we hand over our data, we also lose the certainty of total control, and more importantly, of retention. Barring an EMP attack or an equipment failure, information stored on an external hard drive stays put. In the cloud however, this security is not always a given, and as such caution is often required.
At least for Azure Backup users however, this situation is due to change slightly. In the latest update to the service, for the month of February, Microsoft has stated that any data stored there will be kept for a period of up to 99 years. Though there are too many variables to ensure the perfect utility of this claim, 99 years is nonetheless a great deal of time, practically an eternity by todays standards. For the moment, this only covers Azure backups made.
With the update also comes a number of less attention-grabbing but still important features, such as Offline Seeding, allowing for speedier initial seeding, and the backup of all DPM workloads to Azure. Improved monitoring and reporting in SCOM has also been included, improving the overall experience slightly.
The process of storing data for significant periods of time still makes use of tape, and it is customers who address their own long-term storage needs that Redmond hopes to target with this move. Providing an all-in-one stop for data storage means that all needs have to be met, even those who run extensive archives. Whether they will be successful in this endeavor is difficult to say, it will certainly be interesting to see if they achieve success.
Would you trust your most precious data exclusively to the cloud? Let us know in the comments below.
Further reading: Azure, Azure Backup, Microsoft