One of the primary motivations for adopting cloud computing is to reduce IT infrastructure costs. But that's an exceedingly difficult goal to accomplish in a world where IT organizations routinely support multiple types of storage systems.
With that issue in mind, it's worth noting what DreamHost is up to relating to the emerging OpenStack cloud computing platform. The hosting provider has developed a unified approach, called Ceph, that manages file, block and object-based storage systems, which Ben Cherian, general manager for emerging technology at DreamHost, says the company developed to unify its own backend data center operations. DreamHost is now making Ceph compatible with OpenStack, so any IT organization that leverages OpenStack to build a cloud computing platform can now also more easily leverage Ceph to unify its storage.
No matter how you approach cloud computing there is always going to be a storage issue that will need to be addressed. The problem, of course, is that in terms of unification, virtualization and automation, storage is light years behind compared to recent advances made in server management. If IT organizations are going to be successful in the cloud, they will need to find ways to dramatically reduce the costs of acquiring storage and managing it on an ongoing basis.
The good news is that it appears that OpenStack is starting to become a focal point for addressing any number of IT management issues associated with cloud computing. So if there are any advancements to be made as it relates to storage in the cloud, it would seem that DreamHost is at least keeping good company.