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By | Simon Sharwood 6th March 2015 01:45

Microsoft comes right out and says backup software is dead

When you run a cloud, everything looks like it's approaching boiling point

Microsoft's been making lots of noise lately about its send-your-snapshots-to-the-cloud service Azure Site Recovery. But now it's come right out and said it: Redmond reckons backup software deserves to die.

“If cloud storage had existed decades ago, it’s unlikely that the industry would have developed the backup processes that are commonly used today,” Microsoft says.

Redmond reckons that disaster recovery plans are all very well, but are hard to test and are probably not covering the diverse fleet of backup products most organisations have accrued over the years. Even organisations that can cook up holistic backup regimes still have to wrangle all manner of hardware and software, which adds up to complexity and cost and all the stuff that vendors attacking a market decree are bad, bad, bad. It also takes a swipe at the reliability and restore times afforded by tape,

Microsoft reckons the combination of de-dupe and snapshotting have made matters easier, but eventually comes right out and says that only snapshots to the cloud are a decent way to do backup these days.

Which is nonsense: dedicated backup tools offer more subtleties than Microsoft's growing range of snapshot--and-cloud-centric products and services. To Microsoft, the cloud is its backup hammer and every problem looks like a nail. Or perhaps to any cloud operator, the rest of the IT world looks like it's just about to reach boiling point.

Microsoft does have the makings of a potent argument. On-premises backup kit is complex. Cloud-as-offsite-backup was one of the first things to excite about Amazon Web Services and VMware has made disaster-recovery-as-a-service an early priority for vCloud Air. Backup clearly will be challenged and changed by the cloud. But Microsoft may be greatly exaggerating reports of its death. ®

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