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| Coping with cloud storage
These days, I get the same feeling about cloud storage. It seems like every storage and online services company is singing the praises of shipping your data off to ... a cloud. Maybe it's the word "cloud" that's hanging me up. "Where are the contracts, customer lists and proposals?" you ask. "Ummm, we put that in the cloud." It just doesn't inspire confidence.
I'm not opposed to the concept of cloud storage. I actually think it will play a big role some day. Back in my April editorial, I said there are "compelling reasons to consider these services." I still think that's true, but I also believe these storage services need to dig a little deeper to become serious alternatives.
Even as the spate of new online storage services seems to grow each day, this cloud does have a bit of a gray lining. AOL recently announced that Xdrive is getting the axe, ending its three-year run as an AOL product. And a couple of other smaller storage services have closed up shop, telling users to download their data or risk losing it all.
This isn't the stuff enterprise-worthy services are made of. Maybe we're on the precipice of what Gartner calls the "trough of disillusionment," a term the analyst firm uses to describe the phase of the hype cycle when products fail to meet users' needs and fall from favor.
Whether we're looking up from the bottom of the so-called trough or not, there are three basic hurdles online storage services need to overcome to avoid going belly up with their customers' data wafting into the ether.
That's my prescription for cloud storage, but I have to go. I'm off to the "Copa, Copacabana."