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A Call for Cloud Storage Standards

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With the ascension today of Ashar Baig as the head of new Cloud Backup and Recovery special interest group (SIG) within the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a new era of standardization for storage in the cloud might be upon us.

Baig says that his primary mission will be to promote the adoption of a common set of APIs that will make it easier for customers to integrate cloud computing storage into their environments. The biggest issue with cloud storage today, says Baig, is that each customer has to master a proprietary API in order to bring any cloud computing storage offering into their environment.

These proprietary APIs not only serve to lock customers into a specific service, Baig believes they limit the size of the cloud storage market because customers don't have the time to master a proprietary API and they are wary of the implications of these APIs.

Specifically, Baig, who is the senior director of product marketing for cloud storage provider Asigra, says his mission is going to be to promote the Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI) and the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI).

There is plenty of room for improvement in cloud computing standards. The challenge that Baig will face is that companies such as Amazon, which was an early pioneer in this space, have been slow to support such efforts. After all, Amazon and other market leaders in the cloud do not necessarily have a vested interest in making things easier for their customers.

But as Baig notes, cloud storage standards are inevitable because customers will not tolerate proprietary APIs for much longer. And even the established vendors recognize that the market opportunity would be much bigger for everybody in a world where open storage APIs prevailed.

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