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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

CNET's Gordon Haff wrote a great piece on the shortcomings of the exchange model for cloud computing. His prognosis is right there in his title: "Why cloud exchanges won't work." I've done some thinking and writing on the topic, and it's easy to see Haff's point: Interoperability, security, and inertia threaten to derail this new concept before it starts. Shortcomings of the Exchange Model Haff's concept is centered on the following three simple qualifiers for cloud exchanges: Any platform involved in an exchange must be compatible, allowing a workload to seamlessly move between interoperable systems. This is both critical and absent with many of the cloud computing services available today. Most are incompatible on a basic level, using different hypervisors for example. No cloud exchange can seamlessly move an EC2 Xen instance to a Terremark VMware environment, alt... (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)

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)

Can You Leverage Cloud Services For Disaster Recovery?

IT is great at some things, but out of its league in many cases. Business continuity planning is an example of the latter: No matter how well we set up our applications and systems, the human element is always a roadblock. Sure, we can build a complex system to return our CRM system to operation in Duluth, but will anyone be able to use it? Even the best disaster recovery (DR) infrastructure is useless without a business continuity (BC) strategy for everything else. All IT can offer is to do its best to hold up its side of the deal. IT can design systems with return-to-operation... (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)