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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)

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)

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)

Everyone Should Be Skeptical About Cloud Service Providers

As we plummet down into Gartner's "trough of disillusionment", the cloud skeptics are making their voices heard. Although my professional focus is at the forefront of the cloud storage wave, I can not disagree with the content of articles with sensational headlines like "Cloud Storage: It's Strictly For Airheads" and "Why Cloud Storage Use Could Be Limited in Enterprises". The authors are doing exactly what everyone should be doing: Questioning the viability and suitability of cloud storage in the enterprise. The truth is, although I'm not the "cloud police", not all managed stora... (more)