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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)

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)

Enterprises Adopt Primary Storage in the Cloud with Zetta

Cloud Computing Journal Cloud Storage service provider Zetta, Inc announces the commercial availability of its enterprise-class on-demand NAS, opening up a new solution for enterprise IT storage buyers. Zetta Enterprise Cloud Storage enables businesses to quickly adopt storage-as-a-service without expensive or risky changes to their current IT environments. LiveOps provides cloud computing-based contact center platform and services to hundreds of companies in both direct response and enterprise markets that rely on the company's technology for delivering a superior customer service experience. “One of the value propositions of the cloud computing model is scalability, which is why we decided to work with fellow cloud computing company Zetta on this pilot project to address some of our current needs for on-demand video storage,” said Gary Slater, VP of Network Opera... (more)

Moving to the Cloud: Key Considerations for Cloud Storage

This post is part of a series examining the issues involved when moving applications between internal data centers and public clouds. The true challenges in storage and data management in the cloud result from the diverse and often unfamiliar processes and infrastructures offered by the cloud providers, including: new provisioning methods, storage properties, data population and transfer, and systems for data management (snapshots, clones, replication, backup). The cloud providers define the relationship between servers and storage and often impose constraints on everything from allocation size limits to the ways in which storage is managed. These are just some of the things you’ll want to consider as you start to think about integrating cloud computing into your existing IT environments. I’d like to focus in detail on the complexity and variability of cloud provisi... (more)

IceWEB Features Cloud Computing Products

Early Bird Savings at Cloud Expo IceWEB, a provider of building blocks for cloud storage networks and purpose built appliances, on Wednesday announced that the Company has launched its new website located at www.IceWEB.com. IceWEB’s CEO, John R. Signorello, said of the new website, “The redesigned www.iceweb.com site features our core cloud computing solutions and products. The website will be maintained regularly to provide our shareholders, channel partners and customers with the latest information regarding news and events, product updates, version upgrades and regulatory filings.” IceWEB manufactures and markets purpose built appliances, network and cloud storage solutions and delivers on-line cloud computing application services. Its customer base includes U.S. government agencies, enterprise companies, and small to medium-sized businesses (SMB). For more info... (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)

Combining Storage Virtualization with Unprecedented Cloud Storage Flexibility

The business case for storage virtualization software isn’t new. System administrators have always sought best of breed data storage from a choice of storage vendors and a centralized management framework. With a variety of data storage devices available today, ranging from high-performance SSD and Flash cards to low-cost SATA arrays, a seamless way to automatically tier data across the diversity of storage devices and purpose-built arrays can maximize utilization and cost-efficiency. Hardware interchangeability and auto-tiering empower consumers with greater cost controls and buying power. In addition, there are numerous benefits to an enterprise-class software stack that includes data replication and disaster recovery in a footprint that persists across storage system upgrades, with no need to ever change data management interfaces and policies. DataCore SANsymph... (more)

Remember When Hand Carts Were State of the Art? Me Either

Funny thing about the advancement of technology, in most of the modern world we enshrine it, spend massive amounts of money to find “the next big thing”, and act as if change is not only inevitable, but rapid. The truth is that change is inevitable, but not necessarily rapid, and sometimes, it’s about necessity. Sometimes it is about productivity. Sometimes, it just plain isn’t about either. Handcarts are still used for serious purposes in parts of the world, by people who are happy to have them, and think a motorized vehicle would be a waste of resources. Think on that for a moment. What high-tech tool that was around 20 years ago are you still using? Let alone 200 years ago. The replacement of handcarts as a medium for transport not only wasn’t instant, it’s still going on 100 years after cars were mass produced. Handcart in use – Mumbai Daily We in high-tech are... (more)

Gathering Diagnostics from Windows Azure

All systems require a degree of monitoring. We monitor on premise installations for usage, performance, outages, tracing, and for a multitude of other reasons. Services which are deployed on premise operate in a controlled environment. The organisation’s IT team is very much aware of what systems are running on the organisation’s servers. It is an environment which can be managed by the organisation’s own IT team. On the contrary cloud environments tend to be disruptive by nature. Thus in cloud environments monitoring is crucial. In this article we will walk through the steps required to : configure a Windows Azure application  for the gathering of data for diagnostic purposes; configure the application to persist the gathered data in a Windows Azure Storage Account; read the data and post to your Monitis Account. Configure the Diagnostic Monitor from within an Wind... (more)

How Cloud Solves the IT Maintenance Dilemma – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we highlighted Enterprise Strategy Group’s 2012 Spending Intentions Survey, showing that organizations plan to spend 60-72% of IT budget maintaining existing infrastructure in 2012. This second installment takes a deeper look at the maintenance cost of data storage infrastructure and how cloud technologies can help. Consider the IT burden of maintaining data storage. Regardless of industry, data storage capacities are constantly growing and on-premise storage arrays require upgrade and replacement on a regular basis. This results in a constant stream of maintenance tasks. Let’s take an example:  Assume an organization stores data across 6 separate storage arrays. A typical 3-year life cycle per storage array would mandate at least two migrations/retirements of storage arrays per year in addition to two new storage array purchases.  And reme... (more)

The Wild Cloud: Legal Aspects of Cloud Computing

While many organizations have been making the move toward cloud computing solutions for the past several years, the fact remains that we’re really still in the early days of figuring out how all of this is going to work. Even more than that, the laws on the books that apply to cloud solutions are woefully behind. This creates a number of challenges, both for data centers and for consumers. Questions of compliance Businesses, for example, are facing some serious concerns when it comes to cloud solutions. A legal firm might have attorneys who store client-related documents on Google Drive or Dropbox, for example. The question of how well protected that data is isn’t always clear. In fact, it is often those in the legal arena dealing with issues of compliance that are challenging such cloud service providers, and forcing them to examine their security policies and th... (more)