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Thursday, February 28, 2008

SaaS and Total Transparency - Through the Looking Glass

Sonian is convinced the best way to manage a long-term instantly search-able archive is to use a reliable and secure cloud-compute grid infrastructure. But for some customers, using a hosted service means taking a leap of faith with a vendor they are just getting to know.

Customers contemplating hosted archiving might think: "The price is right (certainly less expensive then doing it ourselves), the features are just what we need, but can we trust a vendor with our data?"
Trust, in the form of reliability and security, doesn't come for granted. And hosted archive vendors have to earn the customer's trust. This is especially true since the customer is putting a lot of faith in their archive vendor to protect the contents entrusted to the vendors care.

One way to build trust is to adopt a policy of "Total Transparency." This means talking openly about how the mechanics work behind the scenes. This is especially important when it comes to how data is encrypted, stored and managed. Customers will want to know what encryption algorithms are in place, how the data is stored, what happens when a data center experiences an outage - basically all the things they would know if the archive were maintained "in-house."

Sonian, with our use of Amazon Web Services, has our entire data center infrastructure under scrutiny by hundreds of thousands daily users. If a hiccup happens, everyone will know, just like when the electricity goes out. This is total transparency at its best.

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