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Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

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 disk storage systems) is fairly small compared to other IT costs. In fact, a CIO at a major company once suggested to me that the cost of hardware was flat out insignificant: High operational costs form a "glass floor" limiting the effectiveness of cost savings efforts. Saving 50% on the co... (more)

Is Cloud Storage The Right Tool For The Job?

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... (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)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper? Part 2: Too Much to Manage

As discussed yesterday, the incredible growth of storage capacity led to an attitude that storage was too cheap to manage. Excess data capacity seemed always to absorb any new demand. But the unchecked growth of data led to the serious issues that storage managers face today: Difficulties in protecting massive data sets, concerns about compliance and litigation, and storage budgets that refuse to shrink. 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 ... (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)