The Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) has developed a new special interest group called Cloud Backup and Recovery (BUR) aimed at vendors exploring that particular area of technology.

The new group, which like all cloud groups in the association goes across the boundaries of SNIA Europe and SNIA US, already has seven members with 25 in the pipeline, waiting to join said the group's chairman, Ashar Baig from Asigra.

He said that one of the key tasks for the new group would be the formation of new standards as this was an area that needed a common approach. He said that there wasn't even a standard definition of cloud backup and recovery, "ask ten different vendors and you'll get ten different answers". The association has come up with its own definition, based on those of NIST and Gartner. The SNIA definition states that the BUR application hosted and operated at a central location, where the service provider manages the BUR application and resources while end users deal with the SLAs, policies and rules. Crucial to the definition is the use of standard network protocols, scalability of services and metred usage.

Baig said that cloud would have a major impact on backup and restore services. "Now the vault is the cloud – you don't need to have a big vault to offer great services," he said.

He added that under the constitution of the group, no one large vendor would be able to dominate. "Every vendor has one vote and over 90 percent of the members and projected members have revenues under $5m, so it's not something where one large vendor can follow its own interests."