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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

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 best we have at this point, states that "Cloud computing is a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and rel... (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: 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)

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)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper? Part 5: Storage as a Service

Although the capacity of storage systems keeps growing, data growth keeps absorbing available capacity. In an effort to contain costs, IT organizations turned to tiered storage but have encountered a "glass floor": Disk space is a small component of costs, reducing the impact of hardware solutions. IT organizations have long turned to outsourced services to enable cost savings on non-core infrastructure and organizational elements, and manaed storage as a service promises to deliver remarkable savings. Why isn't storage getting cheaper? This series of articles attempts to answer ... (more)