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.

Cloud

5/24/2010
02:54 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Selecting A Cloud Storage Provider

In my last entry I discussed some of the circumstances that might lead a business to decide to use one cloud storage application over another. The other end of that equation is the actual provider. All cloud storage providers are not created equal and some research should be done before selecting the vendor that could potentially be storing your organization's digital assets for years to come.

In my last entry I discussed some of the circumstances that might lead a business to decide to use one cloud storage application over another. The other end of that equation is the actual provider. All cloud storage providers are not created equal and some research should be done before selecting the vendor that could potentially be storing your organization's digital assets for years to come.Cloud storage providers typically fall into two categories; managed service providers putting a solution together by leveraging off the shelf storage hardware and cloud storage enabling software and cloud storage providers that have created their own internal cloud storage hardware and software infrastructure, or at least have highly customized off the shelf solutions. There is potentially another category of providers that does one of the above plus provide the customer facing application, but for the purposes of this entry they need to be held to the same standard as the other two types of providers.

When selecting a cloud storage provider it is not only about how great the application that faces you is and what kind of magic it can do, it is about what the provider's infrastructure is internally. This may be even more important than the application that faces you. Why? The quality and capabilities of what the selected infrastructure will directly affect their ability to service you, remain competitive in the marketplace and ultimately stay in business. This analysis should be looked at from two angles; technology and physical structure. The level of detail that your analysis should go to will directly correlate to how dependent you are on the provider for your data. If they are going to hold your last copy of a data set for decades then it ought to be very detailed.

The quality and capabilities of the technology are important because that is what the provider is going to use to deliver your storage to you. It directly impacts reliability and cost control, in much the same way that if you selected the storage internally. The providers must be able to deliver storage solutions that can scale, maintain performance and leverage cost saving measures like different tiers of storage. Finally it must have able to curtail power utilization. While you shift your storage power consumption problem to them, they don't get to shift it anywhere. If they let their power costs run out of control that may eventually affect your pricing, if they run out of power and they have to build a new data center, that WILL affect pricing.

The physical premise is another area to examine. While most providers have taken good measures to secure data in transmission, how secure is it in their data center? This typically comes down to asking a lot of questions and possibly making a site visit. Do they have control over who has access? Do they have enough backup power in case of grid failures? Do the have redundancy to another data center? Is there an extra cost to get that redundancy? Are all good questions to ask.

When deciding to put your data in the cloud, especially if it may be your only copy of that data, don't trust a service level agreement (SLA). While SLAs are important, if the company does not stand behind the SLA document up with technology and procedures the SLA will only give you something to take them to court over, it will not bring your data back.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment:   It's a PEN test of our cloud security.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5124
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, version 26.20.13001.50005. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a denial of service. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shader file to trigger this vulnerability. This vulnerability can be triggered fro...
CVE-2019-5146
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, version 26.20.13025.10004. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a denial of service. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shader file to trigger this vulnerability. This vulnerability can be triggered fro...
CVE-2019-5147
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, version 26.20.13003.1007. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a denial of service. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shader file to trigger this vulnerability. This vulnerability can be triggered from...
CVE-2019-5183
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable type confusion vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, versions 26.20.13031.10003, 26.20.13031.15006 and 26.20.13031.18002. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a type confusion issue, leading to potential code execution. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shad...
CVE-2020-5226
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
Cross-site scripting in SimpleSAMLphp before version 1.18.4. The www/erroreport.php script allows error reports to be submitted and sent to the system administrator. Starting with SimpleSAMLphp 1.18.0, a new SimpleSAML\Utils\EMail class was introduced to handle sending emails, implemented as a wrapp...