Hosted storage gets cloudy

“Storage in the cloud” (as in the Internet cloud) is here to stay, at least according to the Taneja Group research and consulting firm (see “What is cloud-based storage?” by Jeff Boles, p. 30). As noted in the article, the recent trend toward hosted storage, aka “storage as a service” (obviously we have a terminology issue here) is just the latest incarnation of this technology, or service (remember StorageNetworks Inc.?).

Jeff Boles   Taneja Group

 I’m not quite as enthusiastic about cloud-based storage as Jeff is, but I do agree that it’s here to stay, if only because of the relatively recent presence of big guns such as EMC, IBM, and Symantec, not to mention Amazon and Google. One other reason: “cloud computing” is gaining in popularity and will pull storage along with it because they’re obviously complementary.

Unlike Boles, I think that cloud-based storage will be for the most part limited to small to medium-sized businesses for the foreseeable future, but we’ll see what the big guns can do here among larger enterprises.

Eric Burgener Taneja Group
In our Special Report this month, Eric Burgener take an in-depth look at so-called “scale-out secondary storage platforms,” which represent the next generation of existing architectures such as monolithic NAS platforms and virtual tape libraries (VTLs) used in secondary storage applications such as backup, disaster recovery, and archiving. There are plenty of players in this space (see Eric’s “Scale-out secondary storage gains traction,” p. 22), and it will be interesting to see if any of the smaller players can give the incumbents a run for their money in this space.

Jim Handy  Objective Analysis
In my last column (see “SSDs vs. HDDs: Pre-game warm-up,” on infostor.com), I set the stage for the brewing battle between solid-state disk (SSD) drives and traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) in the enterprise arena. This month, Objective Analysis’ Jim Handy sheds more light on that subject in “SSDs poised for the enterprise,” p. 28. In addition to examining some of the technology-based debates and trends, Jim pre-sents some surprising SSD market predictions. We’ll be following this market closely as SSDs wind their way from hype to the data center.


Dave Simpson

This article was originally published on October 01, 2008