As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Pavel Bondarchuk, Vice President of Business Development at CloudBerry Lab, about using Windows Azure storage services to deliver the company's online backup solution. Here's what he had to say:
MSDN: Tell us more about CloudBerry Lab and the services you offer.
Bondarchuk: CloudBerry Lab was established in 2008 by a group of experienced IT professionals with the mission to help customers adopt cloud-computing technologies. We do that by closing the gap between cloud vendors' propositions and consumers' needs through development of innovative, low-cost solutions. For instance, we offer several managed backup services for a variety of cloud-computing platforms. We are also a member of the Microsoft BizSpark program.
MSDN: What was the biggest challenge your company faced prior to implementing Windows Azure?
Bondarchuk: One of our products, CloudBerry Backup for Amazon S3, helps customers automate data backup by using the Amazon cloud-computing service. However, there is some unique functionality in Windows Azure that can substantially optimize online data backup-for instance, the ability to resume upload for larger files in case of failure in the middle of an upload process and the ability to upload only modified portions of files. Furthermore, we wanted to be able to offer our customers, including managed service providers, resellers, and hosting providers, a more robust desktop backup client with online storage. However, we didn't want to invest in our own data center to do so, and cloud storage, such as that offered in Windows Azure, allows us to accomplish this goal.
MSDN: Can you describe the solution you built with Windows Azure and how it helped address your need for online storage?
Bondarchuk: We developed a CloudBerry Explorer solution for Windows Azure Blob storage. It provides a user interface to Windows Azure Blob storage accounts and files, and it enables customers to manage their files in the cloud just as they would on their local computer. Not only are we offering a desktop backup client for Windows Azure storage, but also an online backup website that gives customers the ability to recover their data with any Internet connection and a browser. The website is hosted in Windows Azure, ensuring high levels of scalability.
Figure 1. CloudBerry Backup for Windows Azure enables customers to manage files in the cloud
MSDN: What makes your solution unique?
Bondarchuk: CloudBerry Explorer really capitalizes on the functional capabilities of Windows Azure, and it is the only product available today that automates data backup to Windows Azure Blob storage.
CloudBerry Backup also exists in a version tailored for Windows Home Server. A few years ago, backing up files to a remote location was expensive and complex; now with Windows Azure in conjunction with user-friendly software such as CloudBerry Backup it is accessible and affordable for anyone.
MSDN: What benefits have you seen since working with Windows Azure?
Bondarchuk: We are still in the early stages of working with Windows Azure, but it is clear that Windows Azure will help us open a path for resellers and hosting providers to offer their customers managed backup services on Windows Azure. There is a strong demand for cloud storage tools, which is evident by the fact that the number of downloads for our tools doubles every month. We strongly believe that Windows Azure provides a scalable, reliable, and low-cost foundation for online backup and disaster recovery products.
To read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence
Visit CloudBerry Lab at: www.cloudberrylab.com