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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

As we plummet down into Gartner's "trough of disillusionment", the cloud skeptics are making their voices heard. Although my professional focus is at the forefront of the cloud storage wave, I can not disagree with the content of articles with sensational headlines like "Cloud Storage: It's Strictly For Airheads" and "Why Cloud Storage Use Could Be Limited in Enterprises". The authors are doing exactly what everyone should be doing: Questioning the viability and suitability of cloud storage in the enterprise. The truth is, although I'm not the "cloud police", not all managed storage services are created equal. In fact, lots of them are, to put it bluntly, not worth much. Many cloud backup and archiving services use bare un-protected disk drives to store data, have no redundancy built into the system, and try to scrape up every cent by using home-brewed hardware. This... (more)

Is a Private Cloud Worthwhile?

Much discussion in the cloud computing world has focused on a simple question: Is a private cloud infrastructure worthy of the name? It's been posed in many ways, with some going so far as claiming that there is no such thing as a private cloud. Although discussions like these are all too common in many areas, the question really amounts to little more than counting angels dancing on pin heads. The key issue is whether private cloud-style infrastructure can deliver real benefits like public clouds can. First, let's set out some definitions: The draft NIST definition, perhaps the ... (more)

Massachusetts Says Encrypt It All!

Protecting personal data, like backup and disaster recovery, can be hard to get people excited about. Although we see the problem plainly and solutions are widely available, it can be hard to convince business management that technologies like encryption are worth the investment. But new regulations promise to change all that: Massachusetts and Nevada have enacted data protection laws that require encryption of personal information in transit. It's about time, too. Data losses have been all over the news for a decade, and everyone in IT knows that much of the data crossing network... (more)

What Makes Cloud Storage Different from Traditional SAN and NAS?

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 St... (more)

Cloud Storage Flavors: Platform/Infrastructure and Service/Product

Take a look at the various data storage offerings called "cloud" and your head will start to ache. How can so many things all bear the "cloud storage" name and yet be so totally different? The answer is obvious to long-time industry observers: Each provider has tailored their offering to make it distinct in the market, and each supports different use cases Infrastructure versus Platform Although I am not one to tilt at windmills, especially when it comes to arguing the "rightness" of cloud-based marketing, I sometimes do hit upon a set of terminology that makes sense to me. Wading... (more)