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)
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)
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)
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)
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)