Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

CNET's Gordon Haff wrote a great piece on the shortcomings of the exchange model for cloud computing. His prognosis is right there in his title: "Why cloud exchanges won't work." I've done some thinking and writing on the topic, and it's easy to see Haff's point: Interoperability, security, and inertia threaten to derail this new concept before it starts. Shortcomings of the Exchange Model Haff's concept is centered on the following three simple qualifiers for cloud exchanges: Any platform involved in an exchange must be compatible, allowing a workload to seamlessly move between interoperable systems. This is both critical and absent with many of the cloud computing services available today. Most are incompatible on a basic level, using different hypervisors for example. No cloud exchange can seamlessly move an EC2 Xen instance to a Terremark VMware environment, alt... (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)

Cloud Storage, Storage in the Cloud, and Cloudy Storage Systems

As I discussed in my previous post, What Makes Cloud Storage Different from Traditional SAN and NAS?, today's cloud storage is unique from the SAN and NAS (and even CAS) that has gone before. Beyond the cost and flexibility benefits inherent in public cloud computing resources of all sorts, cloud storage is unique in its openness, programmability, and the possibilities it opens for distribution and collaboration. These compelling benefits, along with an explosion of cloud hype, have led every company with a product even remotely "cloudy" to jump into the market. In my corner of ... (more)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper? Part 5: Storage as a Service

Although the capacity of storage systems keeps growing, data growth keeps absorbing available capacity. In an effort to contain costs, IT organizations turned to tiered storage but have encountered a "glass floor": Disk space is a small component of costs, reducing the impact of hardware solutions. IT organizations have long turned to outsourced services to enable cost savings on non-core infrastructure and organizational elements, and manaed storage as a service promises to deliver remarkable savings. Why isn't storage getting cheaper? This series of articles attempts to answer ... (more)