Category Archives: Cloud Storage
69% off and free cloud storage makes this VPN deal one of the best around right now – TechRadar India
It's little surprise that VPN sales have been through the roof over the last few months. With so many of us stuck at home working (and trying to stay entertained), it's as important as ever to stay secure online.
Thankfully, there are no shortage of fabulous VPN deals around to help make online security as painless as possible on your bank balance. One of our very favorite services - IPVanish - has just unleashed a doozy of a discount.
Sign up to IPVanish now, and you'll get two years of its outstanding VPN protection and 250GB of secure cloud storage for the equivalent of only $3.70 per month.
When it comes to VPN goodness, we rank IPVanish extremely highly - the provider (deep breath...) has 24/7 customer support, unblocks Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, keeps no traffic logs, allows unlimited bandwidth, features an excellent Windows kill switch, and lets you connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. It really is one of the very best around.
Meanwhile, the free SugarSync cloud storage add-on gets you a full 250GB of secure data storage. This means that all your photos, videos and personal documents (whatever you choose to store) will remain safeguarded from outsiders. So for the next 24 months your VPN and storage needs are completely covered - but only as long as you sign up before the offer expires on May 26.
Still unsure if this is the deal for you? Scroll down to see this offer in full, or why not also check out our best VPN deals guide for all of the very best offers on cyber privacy.
As well as unblocking Netflix (hello streaming!) and being one of the best value for money VPNs, it also has a 30-day money-back guarantee and servers in over 75 countries.
Plus, it boasts incredible download speeds so you don't need to worry about the VPN slowing down your device, and it's got plenty of powerful, configurable apps.So whether privacy, streaming or cost is your reason for getting a VPN, IPVanish ticks all the boxes.
Still undecided? Check out our IPVanish review.
Balance of options and ease of use
GoodFirms Survey: Around 92.13% People Believe Cloud Storage have Influenced their Data Habits – WhaTech
GoodFirms from this current research unveils the users cloud storage management habits, trends and stats.
In this highly advanced world, businesses from every industry and individuals are investing as well as already have started using cloud storage services. It helps to reduce the risks of damage and loss of the data. Today, you can find the Top Cloud Computing Companies providing services, including servers, storage, databases, networking, analytics, and much more.
According to the recent report by GoodFirms research on Usage & Trends of Personal Cloud Storage unveiled that almost 92.13% of people think cloud storage has influenced them. And about 54.62% of them use at least three different cloud services that are Popular Cloud Services & Platforms, Personal Data Storage & Management, and Primary Storage & Backup.
The research presents how people use cloud storage - platforms, pricing, uses, concerns, and trusted services. For more profound stats and insights, read the complete article and implement it to take your business to the next level.
GoodFirms surveyed about 600+ people to obtain detailed information about the current usage of cloud storage.
The study was performed among the participants from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uruguay, Romania, Singapore, and other countries. The people from different ages helped to garner were: 6.94% of Generation Z (18-24), 69.44% of Millenials (25-39), 22.22% of Gen X (40-59), and 0.93% of Baby Boomers (60+).
The participants were asked multiple questions to acquire all the stats and detailed information regarding cloud services. They were asked - what cloud service they use, how they store and manage the office and personal data, what they utilized cloud storage for, which cloud services they trust and why, as well as they were asked about their experiences with cloud storage.
GoodFirms, based in the heart of Washington DC, is a leading and renowned B2B research, ratings, and reviews platform. It assists the service seekers to get in contact with the right partners for their project needs. Thus to ensure this, GoodFirms evaluates each firm with numerous research methodologies. It includes three main key factors that are Quality, Reliability, and Ability.
These elements are subdivided into several metrics to identify the past and present portfolio of each agency, determine their online presence, years of experience, and reviews they have received for their services. Hence, all the firms are provided a set of scores that is out of a total 60 as per the research.
Thus, considering these points, all the service providers are indexed in the catalog of top development companies, best software, and other organizations from varied sectors of fields. Recently, GoodFirms has also curated a list of Top Cloud Security Companies based on several qualitative and quantitative parameters.
Furthermore, GoodFirms supports the service providers by asking them to take part in the research process and show convincing proof of their successful work. Thus, grab an opportunity to get listed for free in the catalog of top companies as per the categories. Obtaining the position at GoodFirms among the most excellent service providers will be able to spread their wings globally, attract new prospects, and earn more revenue.
Microsofts Azure And Dynamics 365 To Offer AI-Driven Cloud Storage And Data Analytics To FedEx Logistics For Improving Last-Mile Delivery – Appuals
Microsoft has partnered with FedEx. Together, the companies are planning to boost the capabilities of the latters logistics, tracking, and last-mile delivery. Microsofts AI-driver Azure Cloud Services, as well as Dynamics 365 collaboration and productivity platforms,are expected to improve commerce tracking for companies that rely on the logistics network of FedEx.
With a publicized intention of transforming commerce Microsoft and FedEx have agreed to collaborate. The duo is launching cloud-based inventory and supply chain management solutions. It is clear that Microsoft, with the partnership, gets a new cloud customer. Meanwhile, FedEx is attempting to enter the world of e-commerce and compete with Amazon while further improving its services.
Microsoft and FedEx have announced a multiyear partnership. The companies have agreed to collaborate in the digital or virtual commerce sector.In ajoint announcement post, FedEx and Microsoft stated that the collaboration will help transform commerce, adding that the companies aim to create opportunities for their customers through multiple joint offerings powered by Azure and Dynamics 365 that will use data and analytics solutions to reinvent the most critical aspects of the commerce experience and enable businesses to better compete in todays increasingly digital landscape.
Together, the companies should help FedEx become even more efficient and productive while handling one of the worlds largest and busiest supply-chain logistics chains. According to the press release, the partnership will help FedEx and its partners to enhance visibility into its supply chain by leveraging data to provide near-real-time analytics into shipment tracking, which will drive more precise logistics and inventory management.
Interestingly, Microsoft and FedEx already have their first product ready. It is called FedEx Surround. FedEx is confident the product will give shippers better data on where a package is as it makes its way from producer to consumer. Additionally, FedEx Surround will reportedly enable businesses to react more effectively to supply chain difficulties. The platform can reportedly provide near-real-time insights down to areas as specific as ZIP codes.
FedEx Surround incorporates data from the transportation companys extensive logistical network with Microsofts Azure cloud and data analytics solutions. Needless to add, such integration would significantly improve the access to data thats updated in real-time. Moreover, FedEx would also gain some interesting insights that should go a long way in improving the services while keeping overhead costs down. Although neither of the companies has revealed, the platform could also offer new ways FedEx could optimize deliveries and bring down the time taken from pick-up to drop-off.
Amazon and FedEx were big partners but the collaboration broke down last year. Needless to add, Amazon has been aggressively developing its own logistics and supply-chain that aims to replace or rival FedEx. Incidentally, Amazon limited the ability of third-party merchants to ship with FedEx, in a clear attempt to push more business toward its internal service.
Now FedEx has joined hands with Microsoft. The latter doesnt have any noticeable stake in e-Commerce, but the company has been trying to win customers for its cloud-based services. FedEx is certainly a large client which also opens up a new avenue for Microsoft.
By Adrian Johnson, Director Technology at TechnoBind
The world is changing, taking its steps ahead in the world of technology. Technology has become a part of our life and it also plays a crucial role in our day to day life, which is an important element in todays changing world and it seems like a good concept seeking to make the life of a citizen more convenient and easy. Many people have the misconception that data is only important for the government, big organizations, and businessmen.
What is important for all is the data captured or generated. This data can give important numbers or metrics which can help in streamlining the business and projecting better business plans. Many companies may not offer their customers the expected level of service as they do not have centralized data for access which shows bad customer service, sales loss, or team collaboration issues to an organization.
Another important issue is the potential loss of financial benefits if the customer cannot wait for the data outage to be corrected. Since this data is of high importance it needs to be secure and accessible from anywhere, anytime. It can be stored and secured using various hardware and software technologies such as Cloud computing which is all about storing and retrieving your personal (or corporate) data from your own little area on the Internet.
With so many advantages of cloud computing, there is still a long way for the people to go. A small number of enterprises and businesses are using cloud technology today. Technology like the cloud is important for todays businesses as it reduces operational cost, increases work efficiency and accuracy. Organizations should start migrating their applications to cloud to protect their users data during unexpected disasters such as what we have in hand right now due to COVID-19.
Apart from safety, the cloud offers innumerable benefits on the grounds of flexibility, safety, and reliability. It is not just a few servers strung together with Cat5 chords. Instead, its a system comprised of thousands of servers typically stored in a spaceship-sized warehouse-or several hundred spaceship-sized warehouses, which secure the data by way of implementing resiliency at scale unheard of at every level of the infrastructure.
All files stored on secure cloud servers benefit from an enhanced level of security. One key advantage that cloud services offer is scalability. Cloud-based services are capable of rapidly scaling with demand. The security credential most users are familiar with is the password.
Cloud storage security vendors secure data using other means as well, such as Advanced Firewalls, Intrusion Detection, Event Logging, Internal Firewalls, Encryption, and physical security. At the same time information stored in Databanks is often protected by some form of security solutions, security breaches are rarely caused by poor cloud data protection. More than 40% of data security breaches occur due to employee error.
Improve user security to make cloud storage more secure
Use multi-factor authentication across all devices and systems:The widespread use of multi-factor authentication can reduce the risk of someone gaining unauthorized access to a system or application and using it to unleash malware or gain a backdoor into other data. The use of multiple factors requires an attacker to acquire multiple, independent authentication elements, reducing the likelihood of compromise.
Back up data consistently:Make copies of data at regular intervals and keep them in a separate location in case of vulnerability. This can help protect your company against significant losses in the event of a breach.
Password weaknesses:One should use complex passwords and should change these passwords frequently
Secure end-user devices:All devices that access the cloud-based resources should be subject to advanced endpoint security.
Encryption of data in transition must be end to end:All interactions with servers should happen over SSL transmission (TLS 1.2) to ensure the highest level of security. The SSL should terminate only within the cloud service provider network
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InfiniteIO and Google Cloud help orgs reduce the cost of network-attached storage and speed cloud adoption – Help Net Security
InfiniteIO, which offers the worlds fastest metadata platform to accelerate application performance and reduce cloud latency, announced a new partnership with Google Cloud to significantly reduce the cost of network-attached storage and speed cloud adoption for organizations facing exponential data growth and infrastructure costs.
Customers and channel partners can now rapidly identify and move massive amounts of infrequently accessed yet invaluable files to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to lower total storage costs while keeping all of their files accessible and active to end-users. Simultaneously, they can increase application performance and storage utilization on-premises, without changing existing IT operations.
The partnership with Google Cloud further strengthens InfiniteIOs capabilities to help organizations simplify data management, reduce application latency, implement advanced analytics and undertake cloud migration at scale.
InfiniteIO Hybrid Cloud Tiering software with integrated application acceleration and GCP can optimize the user experience for applications and data by delivering unified access for file and object workflows regardless of the datas physical location.
InfiniteIOs metadata-based approach to hybrid cloud data management and Google Cloud technology optimizes the customer experience by increasing application performance and reducing cloud latency, said Mark Cree, CEO of InfiniteIO.
In these extraordinary times, a hybrid cloud built on combined InfiniteIO and Google Cloud technology can help IT leaders seamlessly add automation to rapidly lower infrastructure costs while delivering consistent, high performance for their critical business applications.
The new integration with Google Cloud Platform extends InfiniteIOs commitment to simplify and accelerate hybrid cloud storage, building on existing cloud and storage partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cloudian, Hitachi Vantara, IBM Cloud Platform, Pure Storage, and Scality among others.
The only thing we know to be constant is change.
Todd Sorrel, co-founder of online payments company ePayPolicy, said this mantra guides him as copes with the present andplans for the future.
For many tech companies navigating these difficult times, the future couldhold wins like developing an industry-leading solution or landing a massive client. But the unknown couldalso be laden with challenges beyondour currentglobal health crisis and economic downturn. Think:natural disasters, data breaches, or even a PR fiasco.
Thats why companies need to have contingency plans and tools in place to brace for the unknown. For many Austin companies, future-proofing their businesses prior to COVID-19 meant building remote-friendly infrastructure so that teams could remain efficient from any location.
By implementing cloud storage, pivoting business strategiesand changing communication styles,the following companies adjusted tothe current pandemic. But it wouldnt have been possible without ample preparation.
How did your team at ePayPolicy future-proof the business before COVID-19 struck?
Our philosophy has always been to work smarter not harder. By implementing this concept into our growth strategy, our managers and teams have built out processes that naturally future-proof our business. Implementing cloud storage, digital project management tools and on-the-go communication software are all things weve relied on and have allowed us to make a smooth transition to working remotely.
We also believe in establishing clear, cross-team goals that the whole company can get behind. This idea allowed us to keep everyone aligned and informed on company goals while we arent physically together. We have regular all-hands meetings via video conference to make sure that every employee feels heard and part of the process.
Weve been able to bring on new employees and train them successfully.
How is that strategy paying off for you now?
Weve been remote for almost two months and our teams continue to hit their goals. Morale is still strong. We continued to grow our team and went from 14 team members at the beginning of the year to 25. Weve had to adjust our training model since going remote, but with video conferencing and instant messaging, weve been able to bring on new employees and train them successfully.
Whats the most important lesson youve learned from this experience?
Be adaptable and trust employees to be self-sufficient. We have always had a culture of giving our team members big tasks and trusting them to execute. Now we get to watch each other grow and succeed through these unusual times. Moving forward, well continue to adjust our strategy as needed, as the only thing we know to be constant is change.
Head of Adia U.S.
How did your team at Adia future-proof the business before COVID-19 struck?
We created a fully digital on-demand staffing marketplace that works remotely and provides accessibility to jobs and talent. Our overall strategy is based on this core principle, and we believe that a zero-touch experience is not only providing a positive experience to our workers and clients right now, but that its going to set us up for success in the future.
We managed to quickly transition and actually expand our footprint across the U.S.
How is that strategy paying off for you now?
While we initially suffered from the lockdowns and the economic downturn, we managed to quickly transition and actually expand our footprint across the U.S. While this is a great short-term result, I think the long-term implications to our business are even greater.
Our goal is to aid an industry that traditionally relies heavily on face-to-face interactions and slow processes. I believe that COVID-19 will speed up the process of educating businesses and professionals that the future of the contingent workforce industry is an on-demand staffing model that leverages technology to provide an efficient experience and delivery.
Whats the most important lesson youve learned from this experience?
We initially underestimated the speed and the magnitude of the crisis. However, we were not only able to pivot but transition into new markets and industries. We changed our approach to expand our business from a few cities to being active throughout the U.S., which helped thousands of people find jobs during this crisis. This feat was only possible thanks to the team we put together over the past two years, and the culture we fostered. I am impressed by team members being proactive and taking on additional responsibilities to make this giant effort work successfully.
How did your team at US Money Reserve future-proof the business before COVID-19 struck?
We planned for the possibility of having a remote workforce. This shift relies on having a robust information technology and services division already in place in order to ease a massive shift in business operations.
There are two parts to our organization: sales and administration. Our admin team was readily able to work from home. They routinely engage in online meetings and digital conferencing. However, transitioning sales to remote work has been a larger challenge. Instead of having a large team under one roof, sales is now dispersed into micro-teams spread across multiple locations. The key to keeping them running as smoothly as possible has been ensuring that all the technology remains the same regardless of the physical environment.
Above all, there has to be constant communication across departments and amongst individuals. Its important to me to make sure that dialogue continues on a daily basis, whether we are in one big setting or working in remote locations.
We planned for the possibility of having a remote workforce.
How is that strategy paying off for you now?
We have been able to keep our employees safe and healthy, both physically and mentally. Through our micro-teams, our employees feel confident about working because they arent going into a large office space or public building. Everyone feels safe and that their mental well-being is being taken care of in their respective environments.
Im seeing more communication than ever before between departments and staff members. And weve been able to not only maintain, but grow our business. Were still accomplishing the initiatives we set forth at the beginning of the year and havent had to take a step back. Were fortunate to be able to continue our business operations when so many of us know people who are losing their jobs or have loved ones getting sick. Our remote shift created an environment where we can still prosper and maintain our quality of life the best we can.
Whats the most important lesson youve learned from this experience?
As close as I think we are as an organization and as strong as we are at communicating, we can always do better. The overall performance of our departments and employees has benefited from the increased individual attention employees receive on smaller teams. So when we come back together, were going to be stronger.
On the sales side, I learned that our micro-teams have been significantly beneficial. Agents receive even more individualized attention, especially since the intimidation of being in a large room has subsided. In these smaller environments, agents are able to grow and become even more secure and confident in their roles. Building this confidence is going to help prepare us for the future. When we do return to working as a larger group within a single environment, our agents will be even better than before and able to share what theyve learned.
Next-Generation Data Storage Market expected to reach a value of approximately USD 104.3 billion by the year 2025 3w Market News Reports – 3rd Watch…
According toBlueWeave Consulting, the GlobalNext-Generation Data Storage marketexpected to grow at a CAGR of 12.6% from 2018 to reach a value of approximately USD 104.3 billion by the year 2025. Due to the increasing demand for innovative, time-saving technology, including automated systems, smart devices, online shopping, and the internet of things, etc.
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In addition, the main driving force for market growth is the increasing need for better data storage and management across various vertical sectors, including banking, financial services, insurance (BFSI), retail, I.T., governments; healthcare; manufacturing; and others. In particular, lower solid-state drive costs, higher reliability, other cost-effective advantages of solid-state technology, and longer storage device life will accelerate the growth of the Next Generation Data Storage market.
Increasing demand for cloud storage worldwide will contribute to the growth of the Next-Generation Data Storage market during the forecast period, due to its low cost of deployment and easy availability. It is also anticipated that the increasing demand for input and output devices in each sector and the ever-increasing need to handle, analyze and store these huge amounts of data will boost the next-generation data storage market in the coming year. Additionally, an increase in demand for next-generation data to manage rising file sizes and the huge amount of unstructured data will fuel the global next-generation data storage market in the forecast period.
The Next-Generation Data Storage market segmented into Direct-Attached, Network-Attached, and Cloud dependent upon storage systems. Owing to its cost-effective advantages over traditional storage systems and accessibility to stored data from any location, Cloud dominates the global Next-Generation Data Storage, reducing data portability issues. Network-Attached will activate small and medium-sized businesses with cost-effective data storage solutions.
Based on storage architecture, the next-generation data storage market bifurcated into a file & object-based and block-based. The File & Object-Based segment would lead the global Next-Generation Data Storage market due to the growing volume of data that led to the need for architecture based on files and artifacts.
On the basis of Storage Technology, the Next-Generation Data Storage market globally fragmented into Magnetic Storage, Solid-state Storage, Cloud-based Storage, Holographic, and Hybrid Array. The Cloud-based Storage segment will lead the market by device technology due to low deployment costs and easy accessibility.
The global Next-Generation Data Storage market segmented into BFSI, Retail, I.T., based on the end-user industry. & Telecom, Healthcare, Education, Business, and Media & Entertainment. The BFSI segment will lead the market by End-User Industry due to the installation of on-premise deployment, and the growth in private and hybrid cloud adoption. By implementing next-generation data storage, the government sector will drive better data management, higher productivity, and improved project management and content management in the public sector.
Based on the regional sector, the Next-Generation Data Storage market segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Due to increased demand for smartphones and smart devices coupled with the launch of IoT, North America dominates the worlds next-generation data storage market over the forecast period, along with the massive development of social media channels. The Asia Pacific market will witness growth to the rise in low-cost smartphones and tablets, which provides increased potential for the adoption of storage devices of the next generation.
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Leading players of global Next-Generation Data Storage market are Dell Inc., Avago Technologies, EMC Corporation, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM Corporation, NetApp, Inc., Drobo, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P., HGST, Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., VMware, Inc., NetApp, Inc., Toshiba Corporation, Pure Storage, Inc., Nutanix, Inc., Scality, Tintri, Inc., Cloudian, Inc., Drobo, Inc. Quantum Corporation, Western Digital Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Nexenta Systems, Inc., and Netgear Inc., and Inspur .and Micron Technology Corporation.
BlueWeave Consulting is a one-stop solution for market intelligences regarding various products and services online & offline. We offer worldwide market research reports by analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data to boost up the performance of your business solution. Our primary forte lies in publishing more than 100 research reports annually. We have a seasoned team of analysts working only for various sub-domains like Chemical and Materials, Information Technology, Telecommunication, Medical Devices/Equipment, Healthcare, Automotive and many more. BlueWeave has built its reputation from the scratches by delivering quality performance and nourishing the long-lasting relationships with its clients for years. We are one of the leading market intelligence generation company delivering unique solutions for blooming your business and making the morning, more rising & shining.
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Unless you have the resources for building and maintaining large amounts of IT infrastructure, the best place for most organizations Big Data these days is in the cloud.
What Are The Best Big Data Cloud Storage Providers? Here Are The Top 6
Using cloud services for your data storage, and increasingly also your analytics and compute, means you are essentially "outsourcing" a lot of the hassle that comes along with storing and managing large amounts of data. Issues such as space, power usage, networking infrastructure, and security become the problem of your cloud service provider, and they are generally well-equipped to deal with them.
Another big advantage of using cloud solutions is that they can be highly scalable. Most offer plans that let you start small, then increase the amount of capacity available for storing data as your demand grows. The big providers also all offer bolt-on services that can take care of your AI, analytics, and data visualization needs without your valuable data ever leaving the safety of the cloud.
Amazon Web Services S3
It makes sense to start with the daddy of corporate cloud service providers. Amazon launched its first platform-as-a-service offering way back in 2006, and it has acted as the model for pretty much every other cloud storage and computing service ever since. In the same year, it also launched Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), a compute platform that provides virtualized data-processing services that can be quickly scaled up or scaled down as your needs change. Its data lake service goes by the name of Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and is used by millions of companies and organizations around the world.
AWS has continued to be the most popular cloud storage solution for big data operations, generating close to $10 billion in revenue for the tech giant in the last quarter of 2019, even as competitors raced to both catch up and add new features to their own services.
Microsoft Azure Data Lake
Microsofts competitor to AWS launched a bit later in 2010 but quickly grew to offer a full suite of tools and services, designed to allow organizations that work with large datasets to carry out all of their operations in the cloud.
Microsoft has experience of running some of the largest-scale processing and analytics operations in the world, including its own Office 360, Skype and Xbox Live. A strength is the enterprise-grade security and governance as well as the integration with advanced analytics tools.
Azures suite of services includes Azure Data Lake, which is specifically built to handle the requirements of businesses and organizations with complex data needs. Data is stored in a data lake in its native format unprocessed and without the need to fit to a standard schema that can be applied to all of the other data.
Google Cloud Storage
Googles cloud platform is built on the same technology that powers its own Big Data-driven services like Youtube and Google Search, with all the scalability and reliability that this implies. It also offers a number of storage and data lake-oriented services under the banner of Google Cloud Storage, designed to be scalable to handle exabytes of data.Different pricing plans are used for different datasets, depending on how frequently they are accessed, so data that is essentially just backup and doesnt need to be accessed by-the-second can be archived to lower your storage cost. You can also choose where in the world it is stored, which will impact access times and ensure it can be served up where it is needed while eliminating costs associated with storing it at locations where it isnt needed. As an added benefit, if you are keen on keeping your carbon emissions down, all of Googles data storage solutions have generated zero net carbon emissions since 2007.
Oracles well-established database platform is available to businesses through its Oracle Cloud service, offering flexible, scalable storage along with its suite of cloud-based analytics and data processing services. The service is highly rated for its strong security features, including real-time encryption of all data sent to the platform. The platform itself uses Oracles own proprietary advanced machine learning processes to help automate many of the data operations you might want to carry out, as well as to reduce errors caused by manual data entry.
IBM offers a number of different data lake solutions depending on your needs, all centralized around its IBM Cloud (formerly Bluemix) platform. Like the other solutions mentioned here, you can start small (even with a free tier) and scale up as you begin to generate and store larger amounts of data. With IBM's platform, users choose between object storage, block storage, or file storage, depending on the data structures they are working with. IBM offers cognitive analytical tools in the form of its Watson AI platform that can fully integrate with data stored on IBM cloud services.
Alibaba Cloud (formerly Aliyun) is not (yet) as popular in western nations as the "Big 3" of Google, AWS, and Microsoft, but it's certainly a growing presence. As the leading Big Data cloud service provider in China, however, it has a huge userbase in Asia and provides the same range of analytics, security, and AI tools as the US-based platforms. It offers pay-as-you-go as well as monthly subscription models. Reviews suggest that the services offered to customers in the US and Europe may lack some of the polish of Alis Silicon Valley rivals, but pricing is highly competitive.
Read more about key technology trends in my new book,Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 Technologies That Are Driving The 4th Industrial Revolution.
Announced in a blog post this week, the public beta of S3-compatible APIs for B2 cloud storage is now available. If you want the advantages of cloud storage, without breaking the bank with AWS, the Backblaze B2 service may be for you.
While Backblaze has long offered consumer accounts -- I've been a customer for years and currently have about 8TB stored -- the B2 service is aimed at businesses. B2 currently hosts more than an exabyte (1,000,000TB) of client data with over 100,000 customers.
If your organization has data it wants to save at low cost -- back up and archive data; host files online; offload costly NAS, SAN, and other storage systems; replace tape systems; an application store -- B2 could be for you.
Unlike the Byzantine pricing structures of the big cloud vendors, Backblaze strives for simplicity and predictability. The cost for Backblaze B2 is $0.005 per gigabyte per month for data storage and $0.01 per gigabyte to download data.
No cost uploads. And you can download 1GB per day for free, if you're counting pennies.
Compared to Amazon, Microsoft, and Azure, that's about one-fourth of the cost. If you do a lot of downloading, it's even more.
When I left the storage business for the storage analyst business, I felt that most companies were being ripped off.
The 60% to 70% gross margins, the highly commissioned salespeople, the dismal utilization rates, and the fact that most of the improvements came from disk drive vendors, were, to me, symptoms of a sclerotic industry ripe for disruption.
On my now quiescent blog, StorageMojo.com, I focused on the technologies and companies that were doing just that. Cloud storage, SSDs, scale-out, advanced erasure codes, and direct, web-based sales models all merited a mention.
It worked so well that a $15 billion storage company threatened me, a one-man consulting shop, with ruinous litigation. And it wasn't the only bully in the industry -- just the largest.
Despite the fact that Backblaze's co-founder and CEO Gleb Budman never hired me (pooh on him!), I still admire what it has accomplished. Cloud storage needs disruption just as much as storage arrays did 15 years ago.
And Backblaze is providing it.
Comments welcome. What's the best deal you've found in cloud storage?
Here is the original post:
Cloud storage needs disruption and Backblaze has delivered the goods - ZDNet
Western Digital's (NASDAQ:WDC) stock recently dipped after the data storage solutions provider suspended its near-5% dividend. The move wasn't entirely unexpected since its dividend payments overwhelmed its free cash flow and earnings over the past year, but it was surprising since the company was still generating more than enough cash tocover its dividend.
I recently claimed Western Digital's dividend looked "stable" and its payout ratios could improve as cyclical demand for its traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), flash memory chips, and solid-state drives (SSDs) accelerated again. I was clearly wrong since the company opted to suspend its dividend toprioritize a "reinvestment in growth and innovation" amid "ongoing deleveraging efforts" instead. Is this strategic shifta sign of weakness, or did the market overreact to WD's decision?
Image source: Getty Images.
Western Digital's revenue and earnings plummeted in fiscal 2019 as lower orders from PC makers and data centers hurt its HDD business, and a supply glut hammered its flash memory and SSD business. However, WD's revenue growth stabilized in the second quarter as rising demand for flash memory chips buoyed market prices again. That acceleration continued into the third quarter assales of HDDs and SSDs to PC makers and data centers improved.
YOY = Year-over-year. Source: WD quarterly reports.
The COVID-19 crisis is lighting fires under the PC and data center industries: Stay-at-home directives are prompting more people to upgrade their aging PCs, and the rising use of cloud storage and streaming services is straining the storage capacities of data centers.
The clarity of those markets enabled Western Digital to offer clear guidance for the fourth quarter: It expects its revenue to rise18%-24% annually, with a six-to-eight fold jump in its non-GAAP EPS. That acceleration indicates WD's core business is riding a cyclical rebound.
WD generated a free cash flow of $176 million during the third quarter, which adequately covered its dividend payments for the third straight quarter:
Free cash flow
YOY = Year-over-year. Source: WD quarterly reports.
But that gap is narrowing, and Western Digital already suspended buybacks for more than a year to conserve its cash. For now, extinguishing its long-term debt -- much of which was accumulated from its$16 billion takeover of SanDisk in 2016 -- remains a bigger priority.
Western Digital's cash and equivalents fell 20% annually to $2.94 billion during the third quarter. It spent $212 million on debt payments, and reduced its long-term debt 9% annually to $9.77 billion, with $35 million in convertible debt maturing this year. WD can easily cover its current maturities with its cash position, but the suspension of its dividend -- which it hadn't raised since 2015 -- would save nearly $600 million a year.
During the conference call, CFO Robert Eulau said Western Digital's goal is to reduce its debt-to-EBITDA ratio from 5.0 in the third quarter to between 1.0 and 3.5. CEO David Goeckeler, who took thehelm earlier this year, admitted the macro headwinds amplified WD's "desire to deleverage a little faster," but noted that its core business remained "really well-positioned" to ride the aforementioned tailwinds in the cloud and enterprise markets.
Goeckeler also emphasized a need to continue investing fresh cash into higher-density drives, which would widen the company's moat against primary rival Seagate (NASDAQ:STX). However, Seagate -- which focuses more on the traditional HDD market than the SSD market -- didn't cut or suspend its 5% dividend yield last quarter.
A few analysts cuttheir price targets after the dividend suspension. Wedbush, which lowered its per-share price target on Western Digital from $86 to $49, claimed the suspension "invariably creates concerns around WDC's ability to meet its capital needs." RBC, which cut its price target from $85 to $70, called the suspension "a surprise given the healthy profitability" of WD's core business.
Investors should always take analysts' comments with a grain of salt, but Western Digital's dividend suspension was certainly surprising. Management claims it was a prudent move instead of a desperate one, but it also arguably makes WD a less appealing investment than Seagate, which exposes investors to the rebounding HDD market while paying a generous dividend.