I haven't found a good list of Enterprise Cloud Storage service providers online, so I thought I'd put one together here, trying to be unbiased, in alphabetical order.
This list does not include consumer cloud services like Box, YouSendIt or Dropbox that people use for sharing files with others or to retrieve on other devices they own. This list of Enterprise Cloud Storage service providers contains storage services that business or government IT organizations would use for storing corporate data. Some of the traditional applications for these services are backup, archiving and disaster recovery, but they also include cloud-enabled apps such as tiering inactive, unstructured data and data mobility for migrating data to the cloud where it can be used for cloud computing.
If we feel any names have been left off this list, please feel free to comment and at some point we'll update the blog posting.
Amazon Web Services
If you want to check out an incredible technology facility, visit the nearest Microsoft Technology Center (MTC). I went to the Mountain View, CA MTC today with my co-worker Burzin Patel and we were given a tour by MTC architects Kui Jia and Luis Salazar. We spoke about the types of customer engagements they have and I was blown away by the depth of technology and sevrices at their disposal. From informational briefings to solutions designs to proof of concepts to benchmarking, the teams at the MTCs are prepared to help customers understand exactly how to make their technology work. By the way, this includes working with Microsoft's Azure cloud - including storage integrated with StorSimple Cloud Integrated Enterprise Storage.
Part of these advanced engagements involve working in Microsoft's state of the art technology labs that are full of products from Microsoft partners such as HP, Dell, Cisco, EMC, Netapp, F5, Brocade, StorSimple and others. You have to see it to believe it, so here are a couple photos.
First, a StorSimple Cloud-Integrated Enterprise Storage System (at the bottom of the rack)
Here is a shot that shows a lot more of the equipment in their state of the art technology lab:
Sundance Institute was in need of more storage capacity and the IT team was challenged trying to keep up with backing up the existing storage. Compounding this was the annual Sundance Film Festival during which the staff doubles, storage needs become much greater, and festival logistics ramp-up to support the 40,000 attendees.
Justin Simmons, Associate Director of Technology Services, wanted to find a solution providing on-premise storage, de-duplication to reduce their total capacity requirements and using cloud storage – to provide the scale to support peak demands as well as lower storage costs. When Justin found that StorSimple could provide all of these capabilities in one box, he knew that it would be an ideal solution and a huge timesaver.
“We no longer need to do backups now that it all backs up straight to the cloud,” said Justin. “And, we freed up a lot of storage in the datacenter by moving the archives to the cloud as well.” In addition, Sundance Institute had previously relied on disk-to-disk backups, with no off-site storage. Now the cloud provides a secure off-site storage and has eliminated the tedious efforts required for the disk-based backups.
To learn more about StorSimple at Sundance Institute and their experiences, please see the video at: http://youtu.be/lUCrCz-nIOU or the full case study at: http://www.storsimple.com/testimonials/sundance-institute/
It has been a very interesting week for me. I have been talking to a number of analysts, listening to and reading to research on the cloud market space.
Nearly all organisations have a Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy and historically this has been done on tape that is stored offsite. This thing about disasters is that by their nature you can't predict them. One (great) analyst had two great stories about disaster recovery. The first was about 911. At the time the strategy to get a tape to a company quickly was on a plane. Suddenly this disaster meant that a company was down for days as a tape could not be flown to them. The second was Katrina - the tapes were safe but in a flooded mine that could not be accessed. What is important about DR is that you test your processes before a disaster happens and DR testing should be easy and not massively disruptive your organisation.
The cost of cloud storage today makes DR to and from the cloud a no-brainer for many organisations. At the consumer level it makes sense and at the Enterprise level where the volumes are much larger is makes just as much sense. What is key here is also managing security and performance which typically needs a hardware appliance that performs deduplication, tiering, compression and encryption.
The CIO View and Cloud Economics
I was at a TechTarget conference this week. What is interesting is when you look at adoption it is clear most companies will have a hybrid strategy - a mix of public, private and SaaS that is driven by the characteristics of the application and the stage of usage - development, production, DR etc. Enterprises also need to plan for the changes in network traffic and have strategies for minimising WAN traffic and latency.
Cloud computing in the U.S. shows momentum
Among 210 IT executives in U.S. businesses, roughly one-third currently uses only private cloud computing, while another one-third uses both private and public clouds. Roughly 1 in 10 uses only public cloud computing, and almost one-quarter uses no cloud computing option at all.
The key drivers for cloud computing are reducing capital expenditure, reducing costs and driving new capabilities.
Research: Cloud Computing a Prime Opportunity
“Cloud Computing: Pulling Back the Curtain" shows that mid-sized companies are adopting the technology fastest – 64 percent reported involvement with cloud computing compared to 36 percent of small companies and 58 percent of larger firms.
For the most part, respondents are looking to cloud computing technology to reduce their capital expenditures (85 percent) and drive down costs (84 percent). But an impressive 81 percent said they are using cloud computing as a way to add new capabilities not available in current IT models, which suggests an incredible opportunity for solution providers.
The survey, conducted in August by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Novell, indicates that 43% of IT executives with decision-making authority foresee increased use of both public and private cloud platforms in the future. Roughly 29% expect more use of private-cloud platforms, while 5% expect increased use of public clouds. Another 5% have "no plans" regarding use of cloud computing, and 7% said they are not sure.
When asked if the use of cloud computing will increase as current IT platforms need to be replaced, 92% of the IT execs answered either "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree." At the same time, almost 9 in 10 agree that cloud computing will occur alongside, instead of replacing, company-owned data centers.
When asked about possible barriers to adoption of private-cloud computing, 53% said the initial cost is a barrier, and half expressed security concerns as well.
Cloud computing brings drastic changes to IT departments
Since the cloud separates customers from business-critical information, latency and network bottleneck issues can slow down data recovery. The problem can be overcome by upgrades to a businesses broadband network, but adjusting to the potential problem before adopting the cloud is crucial to maintaining production.
The Telegraph had a great article on Cloud Computing and Microsoft discussing this once in a decade shift. Every CxO needs a cloud strategy. Again the US is leading the way and Microsoft is investing $9.5bn in R&D on cloud computing.
Cloud computing: will Microsoft and its rivals find a silver lining?
“The shift to cloud computing is huge. It’s one of those shifts that happen in technology once a decade or so,” said Sarah Friar, an analyst at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco. “It’s not something that anyone of any size can afford to ignore.” And it’s no longer just the preserve of theory, either. It’s shaping strategy in boardrooms, has fuelled the boom in technology deals this year and will help define the technology industry’s next generation of winners and losers.
North America has led the way on spending on cloud computing, accounting for 58pc of total spend this year, according to research firm Gartner, compared with 24pc for western Europe.
The numbers Microsoft gives suggests its bet is a real one. By next year, the Seattle-based company plans to be spending 90pc of its annual $9.5bn research and development budget on cloud computing. It already has a range of web-based software products, including Office Web Apps and Windows Azure, and 70pc of the 40,000 of its staff who work on software are in this field.
Global sales of cloud computing services climbed 21pc to $56.3bn last year, according to Gartner.
The research firm is forecasting that the size of the market will grow to $150bn in 2013.
A recent survey by research firm Vanson Bourne, found that 52pc of companies cited security when explaining why they were steering clear of cloud computing.
But it’s not just about the price. Experts say the ability for companies to radically increase or cut their computing power quickly is attractive, and can generate cost savings of its own. Investment banks, for example, make a surge in demands on their networks when option trades are calculated at the end of each quarter, but that paid-for computing capacity typically lies unused the rest of the time.
Bob Muglia was also interviewed on Microsofts cloud strategy
Q&A: Microsoft's Bob Muglia details cloud strategy
Virtually every customer that we're working with on e-mail is having a conversation about [whether it] is time for them to move those workloads into a cloud service. Many are choosing yes.
When we talk to readers about cloud, management is always an issue; security's always an issue. Can you talk about what Microsoft is doing to address those big worries about cloud computing?
The cloud is kind of a misnomer. It's more like multiple clouds. What is Microsoft doing to drive interoperability and standardization across different cloud platforms to make it easier for customers to bridge them?
Featured Azure Case Study
Government, Particularly in the US continues to forge ahead
Open Government Vision Continues to Flourish Through Data.gov
Synteractive, a leader in strategy consulting and business solutions, has been tapped to partner in building a new cloud-based dataset hosting solution for Data.gov using Microsoft's technology Windows Azure, SQL Azure, SharePoint 2010, and Bing.
Berkley who wrote one of the seminal papers on the cloud are continuing to invest.
Berkeley Lab Taps Google, Tests Amazon Cloud Services
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is emerging as one of the federal government's leading adopters of cloud computing. The lab is in the final stages of implementing Google Apps; it's testing Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud service; and it's deploying a mega private cloud.
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Ready For Primary Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage has moved out of the experimental mode and into some form of production for many organizations. To date most of the use cases are either to backup data to the cloud or to archive data to the cloud. Now though the move is on to provide leverage the cloud for primary data storage. If successful it could change the way many businesses buy storage.
Download a whitepaper on hybrid cloud storage
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