Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

News

6/27/2008
05:45 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Cloud Storage 101 - Part One

It seems like the hype-o-meter on cloud computing and cloud storage has been turned up a few notches lately. How real is this emerging market and how will the players begin to settle in? At its most simplistic, cloud storage is disk at the end of a wire that resides outside of your data center. It creates a "storage as a service" model that is delivered over the Internet. Many are positioning this as storage for your older digital assets, essentially an archive.

It seems like the hype-o-meter on cloud computing and cloud storage has been turned up a few notches lately. How real is this emerging market and how will the players begin to settle in? At its most simplistic, cloud storage is disk at the end of a wire that resides outside of your data center. It creates a "storage as a service" model that is delivered over the Internet. Many are positioning this as storage for your older digital assets, essentially an archive.Right now I would break the market into two groups, and over the next few entries we will explore them. At the high level there are the companies that will provide you with a complete turnkey solution based on their own intellectual property, and there are those that will sell either you or service providers the technology needed to build your own cloud. This will either be existing storage or archive hardware providers selling to the cloud service providers, or new companies designing cloud storage-specific technology to be used by those service providers.

The turnkey providers are what I would call the traditional cloud. Companies in the section of the market include Amazon's S3 and Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network. While Amazon seems to be targeting the small business market, Nirvanix is more focused on the larger enterprise. I'm not sure if a market this young can have a traditional anything yet, but for now these guys are it. (I'm sure I missed some and if I did it is not a slight, just it's hard to get to everyone.) These companies are providing a turnkey solution based on their technology that allows them to be more than just a provider of bandwidth with some disk attached to it. Their intellectual property is typically a clustered filesystem with a grid architecture designed from the ground up for cloud storage. It is optimized to be very cost effective, highly redundant, and extremely scalable. In almost every case that I have seen, they're using industry standard servers as nodes within the cluster and have the ability to mix node types as they scale. All offer some form of replication or mirroring to make sure that data is stored on multiple sites. While this is obviously valuable for disaster recovery, it also can be used for localization of media content. Meaning that your hot new Internet-only TV show can be delivered from a storage platform that is the closest to your customers, no matter where they are in the world. They use cases for this type of cloud storage, offering focus on four primary areas -- online archiving and backup, media storage and delivery, embedded applications, and Web 2.0.

Will users embrace cloud storage? There is a need to simplify the data center. You can either simplify with new technologies like storage virtualization or you can give your problem to someone else and let them store it. There are some compelling reasons why you might choose cloud storage, especially for younger companies needing to deliver media. Cloud storage allows you to put your media on a reliable, localized infrastructure. Archiving old data to a cloud that you don't have to worry about also is appealing, as is the price point; typically less than 50 cents a GB replicated.

The other two use cases, embedded applications and Web 2.0, need to mature themselves, but clearly they're almost tailor made for use with cloud storage. The advantage to a turnkey cloud infrastructure is that for a very low entry cost, you are live and ready to go, and for many users that may be compelling enough.

In our next entry we will discuss vendors that make "cloud-able" products, essentially companies that enable either you or a service provider to offer storage as a service. Later we will get into the gritty details on the solutions.

George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Zero Trust doesn't have to break your budget!
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-23396
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
All versions of package lutils are vulnerable to Prototype Pollution via the main (merge) function.
CVE-2021-32681
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
Wagtail is an open source content management system built on Django. A cross-site scripting vulnerability exists in versions 2.13-2.13.1, versions 2.12-2.12.4, and versions prior to 2.11.8. When the `{% include_block %}` template tag is used to output the value of a plain-text StreamField block (`Ch...
CVE-2013-20002
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
Elemin allows remote attackers to upload and execute arbitrary PHP code via the Themify framework (before 1.2.2) wp-content/themes/elemin/themify/themify-ajax.php file.
CVE-2020-19202
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
An authenticated Stored XSS (Cross-site Scripting) exists in the "captive.cgi" Captive Portal via the "Title of Login Page" text box or "TITLE" parameter in IPFire 2.21 (x86_64) - Core Update 130. It allows an authenticated WebGUI user with privileges for the affected p...
CVE-2020-35373
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
In Fiyo CMS 2.0.6.1, the 'tag' parameter results in an unauthenticated XSS attack.