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)

When Is A Copy A Backup?

Ocarina's Carter George continued the conversation on backups, asking if the conventional backup paradigm was obsolete, and if file copies could serve the same purpose. As mentioned in our "What Is a Backup?" post, this is the same question posed by EMC's Scott Waterhouse recently. Putting Copies To The Test George suggests a copy-based scenario: "Why not just move files that are candidates for being backed up to a separate tier of storage, keeping them as files in their native format, and organizing them in time coherent views?" To determine whether this is truly a backup, let's a... (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? 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)

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)