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Memopal Authors: Keith Mayer, Shelly Palmer, Newswire, Greg Schulz, Kevin Remde

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Cloudonomics Journal, Memopal, Cloud Hosting & Service Providers Journal, SharePoint Archiving Journal

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Is Cloud Storage The Right Tool For The Job?

The current economic climate is pushing many to look for current-year budget savings

The current economic climate is pushing many to look for current-year budget savings. This is one of the major reasons that cloud computing in general, and cloud storage specifically, has become so attractive. Moving data into the cloud doesn't just get it out of the data center, it converts a capital expense (storage equipment) into an operational one (monthly fees).

But cloud storage isn't right for every application: One must profile applications and consider where cloud storage or computing services makes sense.

The folks over at Cleversafe recently proposed five questions to ask before jumping into cloud storage:

  1. "What Type of Data do You Need to Store?
  2. How Much Control Do You Want to Have Over your Data?
  3. What type of Cloud Storage Best Suites your Business?
  4. How Does Your Prospective Cloud Vendor Geo-disperse?
  5. When it Comes to Storage, is it Really All About the Benjamins?"

These are great questions, but application profiling goes a lot further. One must consider many aspects, as the Fountainhead blog suggests for cloud applications.

If we generically consider which elements we should assess when profiling applications for cloud storage, we come up with four basic attributes and one overriding factor: Cost!

  1. Performance - Will the cloud storage service provide the level of throughput we need? Consider the network latency as well as any latency associated with interacting with a cloud storage API!
  2. Security - Consider all three elements of the security triad: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.
  3. Compliance - How will the service meet your disaster recovery needs? Will it protect data operationally? What about regulatory needs like archiving?
  4. Support - How quickly must the service provision and tear down service? How responsive is the support organization?

We will delve into these questions in detail in future posts. Stay tuned!

Storage SLA Elements

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More Stories By Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett has provided vendor-independent end user consulting on storage topics for over 10 years. He has been a storage columnist and has authored numerous articles for industry publications. Stephen is a popular presenter at industry events and recently received Microsoft’s MVP award for contributions to the enterprise storage community. As the director of consulting for Nirvanix, Foskett provides strategic consulting to assist Fortune 500 companies in developing strategies for service-based tiered and cloud storage. He holds a bachelor of science in Society/Technology Studies, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.