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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

Many in the IT industry seem to enjoy arguing exactly what does and does not constitute a cloud service. As I mentioned in my post on the controversy over private cloud services, I do not feel that these arguments are productive. We should focus on results and business value instead of arguing about semantics. However, the current crop of cloud storage solutions have many important differences from traditional SAN and NAS storage, something that seems to surprise many end users I meet. Cloud storage capacity is not your fathers blocks and files! Primary, Secondary, and Tiered Storage Most IT infrastructures contain a wide variety of storage devices, but these have traditionally been divided into two categories: Primary or production storage serves active applications and is accessed randomly. The primary category includes most familiar direct-attached disks (DAS), s... (more)

Cloud Storage: To API Or Not To API

As discussed last week, cloud storage solutions differ in many ways. They can be defined by their pricing model (usage-based or capitalized), their location (on-site or off-site), the granularity of scalability (per-file, standard unit, or per-system), and whether or not they are multi-tenant. But one of the less-discussed but much more technically-challenging differentiators lies in the access method: Some cloud storage systems use a web protocol-based API for access, while others use conventional storage protocols like NFS or SMB. Today we will discuss the implications of which... (more)

Cloud Storage, Storage in the Cloud, and Cloudy Storage Systems

As I discussed in my previous post, What Makes Cloud Storage Different from Traditional SAN and NAS?, today's cloud storage is unique from the SAN and NAS (and even CAS) that has gone before. Beyond the cost and flexibility benefits inherent in public cloud computing resources of all sorts, cloud storage is unique in its openness, programmability, and the possibilities it opens for distribution and collaboration. These compelling benefits, along with an explosion of cloud hype, have led every company with a product even remotely "cloudy" to jump into the market. In my corner of ... (more)

Addressing Enterprise NAS Priorities

The Enterprise Strategy Group forecasts that the enterprise NAS market will continue to grow like gangbusters over the next two years, reaching 62,000 petabytes in 2012! That number represents a huge sales opportunity for EMC, NetApp, Dell, HP, IBM, BlueArc, and the rest of the traditional NAS array market leaders. It also represents an opportunity for vendors like F5 with their file virtualization systems, as well as cloud storage service providers like Nirvanix with CloudNAS. Jump over to ESG Analyst, Terri McClure's blog to check out the numbers for yourself! What features a... (more)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper?

Why isn't storage getting cheaper? Storage capacity keeps growing, but unstructured data grows at least as fast. IT organizations have tried to contain costs, but tiered storage has not worked out that well. Although there are technical limits to the effectiveness of tiered storage, the biggest challenge is a business one: Disk drives are a very small component in the overall cost of storage. This series of articles attempts to answer the question: Too Cheap to Manage Too Much to Manage Tiered Storage The Glass Floor Storage as a Service The Glass Floor As I've mentioned in the pa... (more)