Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

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 ask before jumping into cloud storage: "What Type of Data do You Need to Store? How Much Control Do You Want to Have Over your Data? What type of Cloud Storage Best Suites your Business? How Does Your Prospective Cloud Vendor Geo-disperse? When it Comes to Storage, is it Really All About t... (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)

Revenue Generation, Tiered Storage, and the Glass Floor

In his latest blog post, Michael Hay of Hitachi Data Systems points out that expensive tiers of storage ought to be reserved for business data that generates positive cash flow. By extension, he suggests, non cash-generating applications should be restricted to lower tiers of storage. The logic here is hard to argue with: Why buy expensive infrastructure to support drains on the business? Hay's argument that lower-tier storage makes more financial sense is interesting, but savings are limited. Any large enterprise IT manager will tell you that the cost of physical hardware (like... (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)

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)