The clouds are forming

There’s a perfect storm of cheap hardware, massively scalable architectures and automated data management developing. Cloud-based storage is here.

Actually, cloud platforms have been around for a while (see Amazon’s S3 service and products from companies such as Bycast, Nirvanix and ParaScale as examples), but now EMC has stepped into the fray with its Atmos platform. A move that has, in the minds of many, simultaneously given credibility to the technology and officially established the market.

Even some of the unflappable experts in the industry have been taken aback by the amount of buzz drummed up by the Atmos launch earlier this month. Personally, I have been inundated with media pitches and interview requests from every vendor that can in some way tie the term cloud computing to their technology. They’re coming out of the woodwork.

It begs the question: Are cloud infrastructures and resulting cloud-based storage services all hype or are we truly entering a new era?

Jeff Boles, a senior analyst and director of validation services at the Taneja Group research and consulting firm and an InfoStor contributor, is convinced that cloud storage will change IT strategies in many ways.

In a recent series of articles on the topic, he makes three pretty bold predictions about the impact cloud-based storage will have on the industry. He writes:

1.) Users will expect cheaper storage, as user self-service makes storage in the cloud less expensive to deliver.

2.) Users will expect more responsive and scalable storage, because hosted providers can respond and scale on demand.

3.) Users will expect to access and manage their data in ways that were not possible before.

It’s looking like 2009 is set up to be the year that the technology will begin to change user expectations and it’s a safe bet that we’ll be tracking this segment of the storage market. It will be interesting to find out how many end users actually have their heads in the clouds.

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posted by: Kevin Komiega

Kevin Komiega, Senior Editor
by Kevin Komiega
Senior Editor

Kevin Komiega has been the Senior Editor of InfoStor since 2005. He was previously a senior news writer with SearchStorage.com and held a position as a public relations account executive with Porter Novelli, Boston. Kevin also spent four years running tape backup operations at the University of Rhode Island's Academic Computer Center. He can be contacted at kkomiega@quinstreet.com.

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