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Winter Journal

Volume 31, Issue 4

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Data, Cornerstone of the New Economy

Data is in constant motion, and is the cornerstone of today’s e-Business and the new economy.

Storage Support Services have become critical components in an organization’s e-Business initiatives. It’s no wonder that Electronic vaulting’s appearance in small to large-sized companies is quickly becoming more mainstream. The challenges come when planning professionals are responsible to ensure uninterrupted operation and immediate recovery of data in today’s business world. Businesses faced with increasingly narrow recovery windows and “zero tolerance” for disruption will have no choice but to look outside the box for recovery solutions as demands increase.

During this e-Business transformation, existing recovery and continuity solutions are becoming more specialized and difficult to integrate within e-Business models. The ability of traditional disaster recovery and business solutions to fulfill corporate objectives in the overall business continuity scheme should be evaluated and a new methodology introduced. It appears that Electronic vaulting is responding to the demands of integrated global electronic commerce.

Data Management Evolves

Remarkable changes in the way businesses work are being fueled by business-to-business and business-to-consumer processes going on 24 hours a day, electronically. Business processes are becoming more compressed, and business activities that took days now happen within hours or minutes globally. Companies without a strong foothold in technology will be disadvantaged when facing the evolutionary trend of business changes towards e-commerce.

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning must change to coincide with the new economy. Continuity Planners must turn to solutions that are technology-based. The Love Bug virus was a prime example of why contingency planning must change to keep up with technology-dependant e-Business. The Love Bug’s effect was devastating and shook the business world by revealing its vulnerability to losing data. The disaster recovery and business continuity planning industry was forced to take notice.

Bugs that Prey

The 24-hour Love Bug virus preyed upon tens of millions of computers, ringing up a toll as high as $10 billion in lost work hours. With a proliferation of other virus outbreaks, debates have been fueled over the safety and security of our electronic way of life. The Love Bug virus was the most damaging virus ever. According to McAfee, there were requests for help from 10,000 affected companies on the first day of the outbreak.

Similarly, the recent Anna Kournikova virus, clogged systems with millions of electronic messages, serving as another wake-up call to companies worldwide. The virus, or worm, infiltrates the Windows directory, where it sent itself to every address listed in the infected user’s Microsoft Outlook address book, thereby overloading and crashing e-mail servers. On Valentine’s Day, CNN reported one million computers worldwide were infected by the Kournikova virus, making it one of the most widespread viruses since last year’s “Love Bug” infection.

The timing for Electronic vaulting couldn’t be better. Advancements in technology are leading to unparalleled levels of technology-based dependencies, and outsourcing of critical business functions to vendors that provide automated data backup.

Myths About Electronic Vaulting


Whenever an innovative idea threatens to replace current solutions in day-to-day business practices, myths begin to sprout like dandelions spotting your favorite golfing green. The uncomfortable reality is that many businesses today suffer from insufficient backup plans. Data backup is critical for every company. Remember the last time you didn’t suffer from backup headaches? You can’t.

A new solution entered the market in the mid 80s but didn’t take off until the World Wide Web phenomenon took off. Only then did it catch the attention of IT professionals responsible for safeguarding mission critical data. E-vaulting, electronic vaulting or vaulting-storage, no matter the coined term, eliminates many typical backup headaches. The ability to automate your backup and remove the data off-site to a secure vault with a click of a mouse button is now a reality. Electronic vaulting is the most innovative, cost-effective and reliable solution out there today. But dispelling the myths about electronic vaulting will be a challenge for companies offering this technology.


Myth One: Electronic vaulting is too expensive.

Initially it may appear that way. Compare a tape scenario for instance. Hardware, software licenses, tapes, personnel -- and let us not forget basic human error, add to the cost of traditional back up procedures. Additional costs accrue with traditional off-site courier service.

The trend is towards increased couriers costs; which was experienced in the year 2000 with a 6-8% increase. In addition, traditional tape solutions have large up-front and sometimes unexpected costs, while electronic vaulting costs are declining. Amerivault corp.™ predicts a double-digit annual decrease in cost due to bandwidth and storage hardware pricing declines. A small GB user with daily backup would pay approximately $460.00 for traditional service; the same user would pay approximately $294.00 for automated service. In addition, electronic vaulting technology utilizes a company’s existing telecom lines. A company can better justify the 24 x 7 cost of its dedicated Internet connection. Electronic vaulting eliminates all these traditional cost factors. With total automation, local backup and off-site protection occur simultaneously.

Myth Two: Data is not secure on the Internet.

Electronic vaulting utilizes the same technology the U.S. Government uses for its security. Encrypted, fragmented data is sent over telecom lines -- pieces of a puzzle in gibberish language. Electronic vaulting vendors can offers clients a highly secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. This higher level of security ensures that all communication between the client and the vault is encrypted. Electronic vaulting is actually more secure than storing unencrypted data tapes in a remote vault.

Myth Three: Electronic Vaulting can’t handle a fortune 500 company’s data.

Handling large amounts of data over relatively small bandwidth is a popular feature of electronic vaulting. An initial backup or “seed” of the server’s data is extracted. The Delta Processing technology then seeks out updated portions of changed files. Only the fragmented change of data is sent to the vault. Large-volume and highly redundant disk storage systems store the data on-line. Companies like amerivault service businesses with a responsibility to ensure that storage space is always available, no matter what the size. To further data integrity, reliability and recovery, the massive amounts of data online are backed up to tape on a daily basis, and shipped to an underground vault for safekeeping.


An Inevitable Evolution

Electronic vaulting has an awkward adolescent stage to pass through. However, regardless of the current myths surrounding this technology, unavoidably this methodology will become standard in the business of data backup storage. Accommodating the change will not be the same as it was in the past, because the Internet has fueled the full emergence of Electronic vaulting. During this transition from business to e-Business, Electronic Vaulting has proven itself to be a fundamental component with the new e-Business Continuity Plan. Traditional recovery solutions must be retailored to accommodate the new recovery and continuity alternatives available or required under the new e-business model.

Change is inevitable, and so is Electronic vaulting. The Internet has radically altered the global economy, and with it, the management of securing and restoring data.

Tricia Camera operates strategic marketing and national branding initiatives for amerivault corp., a B2B online data backup and recovery service company, headquartered in Waltham Massachusetts. amerivault currently has offices in Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia and services clients worldwide.

To learn more about Electronic vaulting, visit www.amerivault.com.