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)

Revenue Generation, Tiered Storage, and the Glass Floor

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... (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)

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)

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)