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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

The word "backup" gets thrown around so much that folks tuned in to the world of enterprise storage can start getting surly. One of the best ways to annoy a backup administrator is to start talking about how well the backup will facilitate disaster recovery, e-discovery, and compliance! So what is a backup anyway? Is it different from an archive? SNIA defines a backup as follows: "A collection of data stored on (usually removable) non-volatile storage media for purposes of recovery in case the original copy of data is lost or becomes inaccessible; also called a backup copy.To be useful for recovery, a backup must be made by copying the source data image when it is in a consistent state." This description does not strike me as all that useful, so I put this simple question to a number of folks on Twitter and through direct discussion. I contacted W. Curtis Preston, "M... (more)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper? Part 3: Tiered Storage

The growth of storage capacity led to an attitude that storage was too cheap to manage, but this didn't last long. Before we knew it, IT was faced with a flood of data, easily too much to manage. Faced with limits to their ability to control data growth, IT tried to get the business interested in information lifecycle management (ILM). When this didn't work, they opted for cheaper capacity. Today, we look into the outcome of this tiered storage adventure. Why isn't storage getting cheaper? This series of articles attempts to answer this question: Too Cheap to Manage Too Much to... (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)

Everyone Should Be Skeptical About Cloud Service Providers

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 stora... (more)

Can Spot Pricing Work For Cloud Storage?

Early Bird Savings at Cloud Expo This week, Amazon took a step with EC2 that many had long anticipated: They announced spot pricing for cloud compute instances. EC2 customers can now name their own price, and Amazon will bring compute instances up at variable discount prices according to these "bids". This complements their March 2009 move at the other end of the spectrum, extra-cost reserved instances. This evolution of the cloud compute market was predicted by many, but Amazon deserves credit for making it happen. The obvious next question is whether spot pricing can work for c... (more)