Talkin' Cloud continues to hear from more and more cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (BDR) companies. But here's the twist: In many cases those cloud services providers also offer on-premises storage appliances (local hardware). In theory channel partners and customers get the best of the cloud (safe, off-premise backup) and the best of on-premises IT (fast, reliable local recoveries if needed).

But I need some education, folks. I'm wondering just how long this hybrid cloud model will be required. Let's assume I'm a small business owner with roughly 100 employees and three servers.

Quite a few MSPs might tell me to embrace that local appliance model for backup, so that my company's data can be de-duped locally before the software appliance sends the data off-site to a remote cloud backup system.

On the other hand, some MSPs may recommend a cloud backup service that has no local on-premises appliance. Basically, my company's mobile, desktop and server information gets backed up directly to a third-party cloud service. No appliance involved. It sounds simple. But if my company has an on-premises IT disaster, how quickly can I restore my company's backed-up data from the cloud? Wouldn't an on-premises appliance deliver faster data recovery?

I'm dumbing down the discussion because I want to start with the basics here. I'm wondering...

  • Just how much of the cloud backup and disaster recovery (BDR) market continues to require on-premises backup appliances?

  • Which applications and company types absolutely demand those local appliances?

  • How much of the cloud BDR market no longer requires on-premises appliances?

  • Which applications and company types are most easily moved to a pure cloud solution?

Opinions welcome. Educate me. Please, no product pitches. Please tell me the pros and cons of each approach. We'll continue to evolve our cloud storage coverage accordingly.