Now that Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has announced its intention to make data storage available as both a private cloud computing service managed by HDS and a public cloud computing service managed by Digi-Data Corp., it's pretty clear that cloud storage has become a commodity.
Although Amazon gets credit for helping to popularize the concept, IBM, EMC, HDS, Seagate and just about any other vendor that makes any type of storage device also offer cloud storage.
So the question isn't really whether to use it, but when. It's already become apparent that data is growing at rates much faster than most IT organizations can keep up. But most of the data doesn't have a lot of value.
Unfortunately, far too many IT organizations have gotten into the bad habit of treating all data equally. So they store data on expensive local storage appliances regardless of its value or how often it's used. But as pressure grows on the IT budget, a day of reckoning is close at hand.
According to Miki Sandorfi, chief strategist for file and content at HDS, IT organizations need to find inactive content on local storage devices and move it to the cloud. Of course, he advocates that customers use Hitachi storage systems on both ends to make transfer of data between local storage and the cloud as seamless as possible.
For all intents and purposes, cloud computing is just another tier of storage. And like all tiers of storage, it doesn't need to be feared. It just needs to be managed.