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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

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 cloud storage. Although there are cases where spot pricing might make sense, the nature of data storage trends against this sort of pricing model. Let's explore the question further. Cloud Compute Cloud compute is obviously different from cloud storage: The former deals with running applicat... (more)

Is Cloud Storage The Right Tool For The Job?

The current economic climate is pushing many to look for current-year budget savings. This is one of the major reasons that cloud computing in general, and cloud storage specifically, has become so attractive. Moving data into the cloud doesn't just get it out of the data center, it converts a capital expense (storage equipment) into an operational one (monthly fees). But cloud storage isn't right for every application: One must profile applications and consider where cloud storage or computing services makes sense. The folks over at Cleversafe recently proposed five questions 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)

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)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper? Part 1: Too Cheap to Manage

The application of Moore's Law may have led to incredible advances in computing, but the growth of storage capacity is even more impressive. Disk and tape storage density has grown by a factor of 10 every five years, driving out cost and bulk. $250 bought an amazing 20 GB of hard disk space in 1999, but this is nothing compared to the 2 TB that can be had for the same money today. Yet enterprise storage costs have not dropped. The real cost of an enterprise storage array has not fallen significantly in that same period. In fact, the total cost of maintaining storage has actually ... (more)