The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Posts Tagged ‘cloud storage’

Is Cloud Reality Beginning to Take Hold?

Posted by riverbedtest on September 28, 2011

6a00e5508a3ca78834014e8bb51a30970d-800wi As I’ve been out talking to people about using the public cloud as a target for data protection, I continue to be surprised by how much pain many organizations regularly go through for backup and recovery, as well as the variety of methods used to protect company data. Of course, the old standby is tape, and even in my days at Data Domain, where the mantra “Tape Sucks” was like a religion, everyone was predicting the rapid demise of that 1928 invention’s role in IT. And yes, tape has lost some if its place in the market for data protection, but it continues to hang around, despite all of the pain that I hear from IT professionals about it.

Why? There are probably as many theories about that as who shot Kennedy but I think it is safe to say that tape holds on for a couple of reasons:

• Disk is still relatively expensive, even if deduped, and still complex to manage
• Some (not the majority of) regulatory requirements can best be filled by tape
• Tape is a known quantity, familiar, “better the devil you know” and all that

So people seem to make do, kludging together a patchwork of solutions to keep ahead of that dreaded backup window, often at the expense of any kind of DR planning. In fact, for most SMBs and SMEs, data protection is only a secondary part of someone’s IT job. So it doesn’t always get attacked with the same vigor and focus as other IT issues. Like I said, people make do.

But that is changing. I’ve been seeing people start to take a look at the potential of doing away with all the cost and hassle of standard data protection solutions and replacing it with the public cloud. I know about all the hype about “The Cloud” but over the course of this year, the view of the cloud I’ve seen has become more measured, with people asking deeper questions about the implications of using the cloud. For storage in particular, professionals are starting to see that not all storage lends itself as easily to the cloud. The performance implications and management difficulties of moving primary storage to the cloud has tripped up both trial customers and solution providers and has strengthened the focus for cloud storage on functions such as backup and archiving, which are much better suited for the cloud in terms of performance requirements and storage methodologies. And the majority of people in that camp are looking to jettison the shackles of tape backup and adopt cloud storage.

Mainstream backup solutions are also promoting the extension of data protection to the public cloud. Last week, I wrote about IBM recently releasing a video showing how the Riverbed® Whitewater® cloud storage gateway enables Tivoli Storage Manger users to deploy a drop-in Whitewater appliance and essentially convert all the headaches of managing a backup infrastructure into freed up capital and hours that can be spent on more pressing IT needs.

Humerdeinck_8_Track I’m sure there will be some data protection issues for which tape is a compelling solution, at least for the near future. But there’s a reason you don’t find 8-track or cassette players in cars anymore, nor video tapes available from movie rental outfits. It’s also getting more difficult to find outfits that rent hard copies of movies, and even Netflix is separating off its DVD business and applying its golden brand name to its business based on cloud streaming of videos (BTW, Netflix uses Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) for its own business).

Trends are unmistakably toward more and more use of cloud storage. As technologies like Whitewater address the difficulties and/or concerns about using the cloud, this trend can only accelerate. Will tape and disk disappear? No. But if a TSM user can drop a small box in their datacenter and essentially get access to fast, secure, infinitely scalable storage, the rules of the game have undoubtedly changed and cloud storage will command a big seat at the data protection table.  

Posted in Disaster Recovery, Public Cloud, Storage Cloud | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Another glaring example of the confusion surrounding cloud storage

Posted by bobegilbert on February 16, 2011


Tom trainer recently blogged in Network Computing about how EMC could become the Amdahl of cloud storage.  Tom starts off his blog by saying that there are some fundamental issues around how EMC sells its Atmos cloud storage platform to customers.  The key issue he focuses on is how EMC charges for storage up front and not for storage that is used.  According to Tom, the utility aspect of cloud storage is missing from Atmos.

This is totally incorrect as EMC sells Atmos to service providers such as AT&T, who in turn sell cloud storage to their customers.  AT&T's service is called Synaptic and it is indeed based on a utility or pay for what you use model.

Personally I believe the more accurate cloud storage discussions should be around how to address the roadblocks that exist when deploying cloud storage.  Specifically, how to deploy cloud storage without changing your backup platform ecosystem.  What about ensuring security when transferring data to the cloud and ultimately storing your sensitive data in the cloud?  And obviously performance?  If you move to a cloud storage environment, the performance when accessing that disk in the sky will be much slower compared to your local area network environment. 

I will end my rant with a shameless plug.  Riverbed's recently launched Whitewater product addresses the cloud storage roadblocks and enables organizations to seamlessly deploy cloud storage and reap all the cloudy benefits that you would expect.  This includes paying for only what you use.

You can watch a demo of Whitewater here:





Posted in Public Cloud | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »