There are already quite some online backup solutions out there. Many of them are end-to-end solutions, including the front end UI on user’s desktop all the way to the backend storage. Solutions like Mozy or Carbonite has its own backend storage. Other solutions may resell Amazon S3 storage.
There is also a segment of the market that doesn’t need end-to-end cloud backup solutions. For example, Backup Exec users that already have invested in a backup solution, why should they invest in another backup solution if they want to backup to the cloud?
This is when a Cloud Gateway comes in. For users that have existing backup solutions, they can use a Cloud Gateway as a file server. The existing backup solution can backup to the file share on the Cloud Gateway. The Cloud Gateway will in turn transfer the backup data set to the cloud.
If the Cloud Gateway is capable of connecting to Amazon S3, Windows Azure Storage, EMC Atmos, AT&T Synaptic Storage, Google Storage, Nirvanix, Peer1 CloudOne, Mezeo and etc, you will have a cloud backup solution for these service providers immediately.
A Cloud Gateway provides an important piece in a cloud backup solution. The gateway itself may not have backup capability. Instead, it has the access capability to the cloud and converts that to CIFS protocol (file share). This will enable many existing backup solutions to backup to the cloud immediately.
Gladinet CloudAFS is one such Cloud Gateway. It entered into beta around Oct 2009 as the Gladinet Cloud Gateway. After a good 6 months beta run, it was released as the Gladinet CloudAFS – Cloud Attached File Server. You can mount S3, Azure, EMC, AT&T, Google and all the cloud storage services it supports as virtual directories. These virtual directories and sub directories can be published as file shares. The existing backup solutions can leverage the cloud gateway to backup to the cloud.