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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)

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)

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)

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)

Could Cloud Exchanges Work For Storage?

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 ... (more)