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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

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 increased as a percentage of IT budgets. Why isn't storage getting cheaper? This series of articles attempts to answer this question: Too Cheap to Manage Too Much to Manage Tiered Storage The Glass Floor Storage as a Service Too Cheap to Manage In the 1960's, the development of nuclear power... (more)

Cloud Replication Is Not Backup, But Backup Is!

Early Bird Registration at Cloud Expo Go read that headline again: W. Curtis "Mr. Backup" Preston points out on his blog that replication is not backup, and we can't disagree. Keeping alternative copies of data in multiple locations is a great idea, reducing the risk of data loss and potentially enabling enhanced access, but it's not a historical data protection (aka, backup) strategy. Backup requires management of multiple historic copies of a data set. Clearly, cloud storage in itself isn't backup. Backup vs. Storage SNIA defines "backup" thus: [Data Recovery] A collection of da... (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)

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)

What Makes Cloud Storage Different from Traditional SAN and NAS?

Many in the IT industry seem to enjoy arguing exactly what does and does not constitute a cloud service. As I mentioned in my post on the controversy over private cloud services, I do not feel that these arguments are productive. We should focus on results and business value instead of arguing about semantics. However, the current crop of cloud storage solutions have many important differences from traditional SAN and NAS storage, something that seems to surprise many end users I meet. Cloud storage capacity is not your fathers blocks and files! Primary, Secondary, and Tiered St... (more)