Startup Symform says its shredded, distributed cloud is more resistant to natural disasters than traditional computing clouds.
The world has embraced the cloud. What’s not to like? Startups can grow rapidly without investing in racks of computers, companies can back up data easily, consumers can travel light and still have access to their huge photo libraries and other personal files.
Back in October, however, real clouds clashed with metaphorical clouds when Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath took down some key data centers in New York and New Jersey; a serious problem for businesses who had their main servers in New York and their backup servers in nearby New Jersey.
Commercial cloud service providers, for the most part, did pretty well; perhaps because some of the largest data centers, like Amazon’s northern Virginia server farm, were not in the disaster zone. But Sandy certainly reminded cloud service providers that redundant files have to be separated by more than a couple of racks, or even a couple of miles.
Startup Symform thinks it can provide better disaster resilience than even data centers hundreds of miles apart. And, says Bassam Tabbara, Symform cofounder and Chief Technical Officer, it can do that in a way that’s extremely cheap—and in some cases free—to its customers.
Tabbara describes Symform’s approach as a “decentralized, distributed, virtual, and crowd-sourced” cloud. Living in the San Francisco Bay area, I can visualize that kind of cloud, however, we don’t call it a cloud here, we call it fog.