Expert video: Use cases for cloud storage apps

With many cloud vendors engaging in cloud washing techniques to increase the adoption of cloud storage products and improve their bottom lines, it's important to know what kind of data and applications are best suited for the cloud before evaluating cloud storage products. In this video from his 2012 Storage Seminar titled "How to build a storage cloud, what applications are most 'cloud worthy' and who does what?," Dragon Slayer Consulting founder and senior analyst Marc Staimer discusses common use cases for cloud storage apps, including backup, replication and content distribution. View the video above or read the transcription below to find out more.

Let's talk about the worthy applications that fit here. Long-term archiving. Do you need long-term archiving, including email archiving? You bet you do. Do you have a product you developed? You better maintain all the development logs, or if it's a building or hardware piece, all the development on that hardware. All the diagrams, all the things you might need down the road, you have to archive them.

Backup and replication [is] a good fit. Are you backing up to the cloud? How many people here still send tapes off-site for backup? Here's how [sending] tapes off-site works. You back up the tape, the guy from Iron Mountain or another service picks up your tape and brings it to a vault. You need that tape for disaster recovery? They'll ship it wherever you need it. Of course, they don't guarantee the capability of the tape -- neither do you -- and it's not online, so you have to wait for it to get there. If you do [backup] to the cloud, the cloud is online. If you need to look at that data, you can recover it off the cloud. You can also have that cloud ship [data] electronically somewhere else, closer to where your data for disaster recovery is, or you can go out to the site, recover [data] at the cloud storage facility and then bring it to your disaster recovery site so you can get a shortcut to data and timeframes. And you don't have to worry about rewriting your data … remember it's on tape.

Content distribution sharing, architecture, CAD, consulting reports and history. Do you know your own organization's history? Think it's important for the culture? You think Apple kind of lives by its culture? You think Steve Jobs innovation -- the concept of elegance in design -- is something that's going to permeate for a long time? Twenty years from now, are the people who work for Apple going to remember who Steve Jobs is? Probably not, but if you have that built into your history, into your culture and you make that part of the hire, that's important.

Interior design, product design and rich media assets -- rich media is the entertainment industry. Are you doing video production? It's important there, too. Software engineering, IT development and developing applications internally? Semiconductor design?

Ideal kinds of data: mobile devices, shared workflow, disaster recovery/business continuity and near-line data, data you need but [only] some of the time. Data for compliance, data for audits and data for archive.

What do all these assets have in common? What's the 'sweet spot' for cloud storage applications? They're infrequently accessed, they're large files and they have geographically distributed access -- these are common clues for what kind of data you want here. Multiuser sharing of content and or editing, concurrent file modification -- if any of these things are important, cloud is a good fit.

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