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When it comes to cloud storage, there are many standards out there in the market. For example, Amazon S3 is the leader and many are using S3 API to create a S3-clone service. Rackspace Cloud Files and OpenStack are trying to create its own standard by giving away the software to open source community. Microsoft has its own standard in Azure Storage, incorporating Table storage and SQL storage, in addition to blob storage.  There are also other technology heavy-weights that are trying to setup CDMI as the cloud computing standard. In this race, every party has a different edge. For example, Amazon is expanding S3 API to include support for IAM (Identity and Account Management) with its edge in offering the most maturing and most adopted services in its platform. OpenStack has an edge in Open Source, which potentially can be adopted by many organizations looking to h... (more)

Clouds and Data Loss: Time for CDP (Commonsense Data Protection)?

Cloud Computing Journal SNIA released a press release pertaining to cloud storage timed to coincide with SNW where we can only presume vendors are talking about their cloud storage stories. Yet chatter on the coconut wire along with various news (here and here and here) and social media sites is how could cloud storage and information service provider T-Mobile/Microsoft/Side-Kick loose customers data? Data loss is a dangerous phrase, after all, your data may still be intact somewhere, however if you cannot get to it when needed, that may seem like data loss to you. There are many types of data loss including loss of accessibility or availability along with flat out loss. Let me clarify, loss of data availability or accessibility means that somewhere, your data is still intact, perhaps off-line on a removable disk, optical, tape or at another site on-line, near-li... (more)

TechNet Radio: (Part 2) Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud - Planning a Hybrid Cloud Storage Architecture

My friend Dan Stolts and yours truly continue our series on “Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud” with an overview on how to plan for a hybrid cloud storage solution using Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure. Tune in for our lively discussion on the many storage options available to you as well as discussions around performance, reliability and security.     [1:18] Let’s start with a quick summary of existing storage capabilities using modern infrastructure on-premises as supported by Windows Server 2012 R2 [10:16] What is Azure Storage? [11:17]  Can you give us a quick overview of Azure Storage Architecture? [12:30]  In order to connect local systems to Azure Storage accounts, I have to think there is some kind of authentication required to make that happen securely. How is that done? [16:00]  What is Blob Storage? [17:30] ... (more)

Mezeo Software CEO Steve Lesem to Present on Cloud Storage

Mezeo Software Corp., a software developer of a leading deployable platform for cloud storage, today announced that Steve Lesem, President and CEO; and the founder of cloudstoragestrategy.com has been invited to present at Dealmaker Media’s Under the Radar (UTR) conference and at Cloud Slam ‘09. The two conferences are scheduled later this month and are expected to bring together thought leaders from throughout the cloud storage industry. At Under the Radar: Clarity in the Cloud, Lesem will discuss what makes Mezeo unique: the deployable Mezeo Cloud Storage Platform that was purpose built for the IT service provider market. At Cloud Slam ’09, Lesem will discuss the future of cloud storage and the critical importance of IT service providers to mass adoption of this emerging technology trend. “I am looking forward to sharing the Mezeo vision of how cloud storage will ... (more)

Cloud Storage: The Profit Model for Cloud Computing

While much of the collective discussion has focused on cloud computing and trying to define it, Cloud Storage has not so quietly gone from concept to tangible business with real revenue. Here’s my presentation from Cloud Slam ‘09. See my blog post on the subject here. ... (more)

HP Acquires Cloud Computing Company

HP and IBRIX  announced a definitive agreement for HP to acquire IBRIX, a leading provider of enterprise-class file serving software that includes data protection, high-availability features and data management services for extreme scale-out, cloud and high-performance computing deployments. Customers with large-scale, data-intensive application environments find that storage performance often becomes a bottleneck for their workflows. IBRIX’s solutions allow enterprises to easily and cost-effectively store massive amounts of user-generated data. With scalability to tens of petabytes, customers can gain control of exploding data growth and address application performance challenges in the most demanding environments. The advanced data management capability of IBRIX’s Fusion software suite also allows customers to seamlessly add capacity as their data or performance n... (more)

Cloud Storage: To API Or Not To API

As discussed last week, cloud storage solutions differ in many ways. They can be defined by their pricing model (usage-based or capitalized), their location (on-site or off-site), the granularity of scalability (per-file, standard unit, or per-system), and whether or not they are multi-tenant. But one of the less-discussed but much more technically-challenging differentiators lies in the access method: Some cloud storage systems use a web protocol-based API for access, while others use conventional storage protocols like NFS or SMB. Today we will discuss the implications of which access protocol is used. API Access: The Heart of the Cloud One hallmark of cloud computing is its programmability: Developers can use standard Internet protocols like HTTP to both access and control resources programmatically. This incredibly powerful concept promises to revolutionize IT ... (more)

The Cloud Storage Wars: Windows Azure vs. Google

Azure Sessions at Cloud Expo So much happened in January 2010 for the cloud storage world. First was the Windows Azure Platform went from public preview to full production. Second was Google Docs opened up  for any file type upload/download, effectively making it a GDrive in the cloud. How would these affect you? This article will compare the two cloud storage offerings from price, speed, usability, service level agreement and to developer support. 1. Price Google’s storage cost = 25c / Gigabyte / year = 2c / Gigabyte / month. There is no additional transfer cost. Windows Azure’s storage cost is at 15c / Gigabyte / month. There is additional cost for transfer data in and out. Note: Google storage is clearly cheaper, about 10 times cheaper. 2. Speed We will use Gladinet Cloud Desktop to map both in a virtual drive in Windows Explorer and compare the time it takes to... (more)

Windows Azure for Noobs

Azure Track at Cloud Expo Ok, so I admit I’ve been busy on projects and of course I’ve been focusing a ton on SharePoint 2010. In the meantime, I hadn’t been paying much attention to what’s been developing with cloud computing and more specifically in this case Windows Azure.  I was, in fact, a noob. :-) This week I had the opportunity to attend a Windows Azure Boot Camp, so that now makes me an expert. At least that is what my boss will claim. :-) So this post today is for those of you who haven’t been keeping up and want to know about some of the basics.  It’s not to teach you the ins and outs of developing with Windows Azure.  Although, getting started isn’t too difficult and the boot camp site has all the materials you need to get you started quickly. If you’re not familiar yet, Windows Azure is part of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.  Specifically, it i... (more)

The Storage Future Is Cloudy, and It's About Time

One of the things I have talked about quite a bit in the last couple of months is the disjoint between the needs of enterprise IT and the offerings of a wide swath of the cloud marketplace. Some times it seems like many cloud vendors are telling customers “here’s what we choose to offer you, deal with it”. Problem is, oftentimes what they’re offering is not what the enterprise needs. There are of course some great examples of how to do cloud for the enterprise, Rackspace (among others) has done a smashing job of offering users a server with added services to install a database or web server on those servers. There are still some security concerns that the enterprise needs to address, but at least it’s a solid start toward giving IT the option of using the cloud in the same manner that they use VMs. Microsoft has done a good job of setting up databases that follow a... (more)

Cloud Gateway to Amazon S3

You are the IT admin of a 50-student team and you are thinking of providing cloud storage for each of the 50 students. Each will have around 10G cloud storage space. Each will have both home access and on-premise access to the storage. This is a typical use case for students in your department looking for places to store their project files and term papers. Why Cloud Storage? As the admin, you are looking for a low cost solution without the burden of maintenance. For 10G, the cost is around $1.5 per month per person for storage and some more for bandwidth. The cost is pretty low compares to someone has to maintain an in-house file server. Why Amazon S3 When it comes to cloud storage,  Amazon S3 is the leader in this category in 2010. It has been in the market for the longest and has the biggest deployment. Gateway to S3 Cloud gateway can mean different things to diff... (more)