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Let’s get real about the cloud
This article is part of the Storage magazine issue of Vol. 10 Num. 7 September 2011
Cloud storage is really a pretty simple concept, so how the heck did it get so complicated? This week, a few of my fellow editors and I spent more time than reasonable people would expect trying to work out a definition for the term “cloud washing.” Trying to steer clear of using obvious (and probably accurate) words like “bunk” and “nonsense,” we eventually cobbled together a definition that seemed to do the trick without insulting anybody all that much. But I learned a valuable lesson along the way: This cloud thing is a squirmy, squishy-squashy thing, and getting our arms around it ain’t gonna be easy. If it’s so hard to define a term about how vendors are twisting the meaning of “cloud” to obfuscate and ultimately (they hope) convince you their old products are new now that they have “cloud” in their names, it’s bound to be just as hard to define what cloud truly is. Right now, it’s pretty confusing. Another thing I’ve learned is that the vendors doing most of the cloud washing are really cloud wishing, as in wishing they ...
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Features in this issue
One-quarter of our Storage magazine survey respondents use cloud backup, and are pleased enough to keep a big chunk of their backup data stored in the cloud.
Dell plus Compellent proved to be a strong combination, but not quite strong enough to overtake NetApp on our sixth Quality Awards survey for midrange arrays.
Cloud backup services have seen increased adoption by SMBs, but with a choice of methods and tighter controls, cloud backup is now also a viable enterprise alternative.
Virtual servers need a good shared data storage system. All major networked storage protocols work with virtual machines, but some are better than others in certain environments.
Columns in this issue
Processors get faster, networking tech takes it up a notch and bus designs keep up the pace, but they may all be dragged down if we can’t find a fix for slow I/O performance.
Cloud-enabled storage arrays are among the ways that cautious end users are testing the cloud without the worry.
Software-only storage controllers running in virtual machines are an easy, economical way to get shared storage. But current products aren’t up to enterprise standards . . . yet.
Cloud storage is really a pretty simple concept, so how the heck did it get so complicated?