Dispersing Slices of Storage in the Cloud

Michael Vizard

One of the big concerns people have about cloud computing comes down to security. They are worried about not only what happens should the security of their cloud computing provider be violated, but also how they go about proving to auditors that the data they stored in the cloud is secure in the first place.

For these reasons, Cleversafe CEO Chris Gladwin is making a case that the time for dispersed storage technologies has finally come. The core of his argument is that because dispersed storage techniques distribute data across multiple storage arrays, there are no copies of individual files to be copied. Essentially, all the data is inherently secure because no one can reconstitute it without the right application and authentication.

While the concept of dispersed storage is not all that new, market adoption rates have been slow. Gladwin says this has more to do with cultural issues than anything to do with the viability of the technology, which at least in case of CleverSafe can now be integrated with iSCSI and other interfaces using a new set of object interfaces.

In addition, Cleversafe has launched an open source effort around the technology as part of a way of drumming up some grassroots support.

It's too early to say whether Gladwin can successful argue that new approaches to delivering technology such as cloud computing will ultimately for people to rethink the underlying technology as well. But in times of great change, people are more likely to consider all the options.

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