Cloud Storage Moving from Luxury to Necessity

Arthur Cole
Slide Show

Occupy the Cloud! Five Trends that Show There's No Need to Wait

Five trends indicate there's no need to protest moving mission-critical data into the cloud.

In enterprise center circles, the line between luxury and necessity is usually very fine. It also has a habit of coming on very quickly - barely allowing IT to familiarize itself with new technology before facing increased pressure to get it deployed.

Such is the case with cloud storage, which is already becoming a standard component of data environments. Enterprise managers are quickly learning that in addition to a low-cost option for steadily increasing data loads, the cloud provides a more flexible platform suited to the growing legions of mobile workers.

Already, new desktops are shipping not only with local disk storage, but pre-configured cloud storage as well. HP recently teamed up with Box to provide 10 GB on the cloud for Compaq Pro 6200 and 6500 PCs. The bundle takes advantage of Box's online collaboration tools and file synchronization service to provide a seamless environment for desktops, tablets, smartphones and other access devices.

EMC is also trying to make cloud storage an easy play for enterprise users. The company now provides the Atmos platform as a vApp to more easily integrate cloud services into virtualized environments. The move is intended to streamline the provisioning process and increase visibility, monitoring and other administrative tasks. At the same time, the company has added Linux and Windows support to the GeoDrive, enabling cloud access without additional APIs or code changes.

Cloud storage is most appealing if it can be integrated into existing storage infrastructure. A company called iWave Software has developed a new storage automation platform aimed at doing just that. The company's Storage Director 1.5 enables cloud-based storage services on current storage environments through a combination of service-based provisioning and storage management functions. Not only does the system automate these repetitive tasks, but it reduces outages by eliminating configuration errors all the while more closely matching resources to data needs through reclamation and simplified provisioning.

It also helps if the cloud storage shares many of the same functions and characteristics of existing SANs. That's what TwinStrata has in mind with its new CloudArray storage gateway. By leveraging both traditional and cloud resources, the company says it can create a global SAN that can be accessed from any device. The platform offers support for NetApp filers and other file system-based servers, as well as direct-attached or SAN storage, pairing them up with Amazon S3, Gov Cloud and Nirvanix cloud storage. The platform provides many of the SAN features that enterprises have grown accustomed to, such as snapshots, replication, data reduction and encryption.

Questions about cloud security and availability will likely remain for some time, but that doesn't appear to be hampering the desire to expand overall storage footprints. With budgets still tight and workers demanding more universal access to their data in order to remain productive, cloud storage offers benefits that are simply too enticing to ignore.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 19, 2013 8:32 PM Sally McKenna Sally McKenna  says:
Does a person 'have' to any kind of cloud, if they do not want to? I am 60 years old & I have no interest in sharing my personal business with any other person or device. I have no desrie to access information that I have no concern In. For me, a computer is a reliable device in which I am granted the permission to do as I wish, within the law. I wish ONLY to be satisfied for having that option. I am no more than a simple housewife/mother that is greatful to have a world of accessable information at hand if I ned or wish to have .. . NOT someone who cares to be any more than that. A computer allows me to play games that my age no longer allows. It enables me to pay bills, shop, etc.. to have a way to conduct necessary requirements without the possibility of 'no money' or 'no transporation' or 'a physical condition', etc that might prevent my being able to do so .. because people have to pay consequenses that only make things harder for them, wether their reason is an honest impossibility or just a lame excuse in order to ignore their responsibilities. We all have to rely on our own judgements if push comes to shove. I can keep my own back up notes & keep my business to myself. Reply

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