Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

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 Storage Most IT infrastructures contain a wide variety of storage devices, but these have traditionally been divided into two categories: Primary or production storage serves active applications and is accessed randomly. The primary category includes most familiar direct-attached disks (DAS), s... (more)

Cloud Storage Flavors: Platform/Infrastructure and Service/Product

Take a look at the various data storage offerings called "cloud" and your head will start to ache. How can so many things all bear the "cloud storage" name and yet be so totally different? The answer is obvious to long-time industry observers: Each provider has tailored their offering to make it distinct in the market, and each supports different use cases Infrastructure versus Platform Although I am not one to tilt at windmills, especially when it comes to arguing the "rightness" of cloud-based marketing, I sometimes do hit upon a set of terminology that makes sense to me. Wading... (more)

Can Spot Pricing Work For Cloud Storage?

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)

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)

What Is a Backup?

The word "backup" gets thrown around so much that folks tuned in to the world of enterprise storage can start getting surly. One of the best ways to annoy a backup administrator is to start talking about how well the backup will facilitate disaster recovery, e-discovery, and compliance! So what is a backup anyway? Is it different from an archive? SNIA defines a backup as follows: "A collection of data stored on (usually removable) non-volatile storage media for purposes of recovery in case the original copy of data is lost or becomes inaccessible; also called a backup copy.To be ... (more)