Gartner: Cloud Services Will Be as Big as E-Biz

Cloud storage is the next big thing, but it is not without its challenges, warn analysts

June 28, 2008

2 Min Read
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Cloud computing will be as influential as e-business over the next few years. This was the bold prediction from analyst firm Gartner this week, which expects more storage services to emerge from the Internet "cloud."

Businesses are now crossing the threshold” of using the Internet for communications, into a much more dynamic technology model, according to Daryl Plummer, managing vice president at Gartner. “Then we truly start to head for an economy based on consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction,” he said, in a statement released this week.

Cloud services, which let users store and access data via the Internet, have become increasingly visible over recent weeks, touted as the silver bullet for users’ hardware and skills limitations.

A slew of vendors, including EMC and Amazon with its S3 service, have already thrown their weight behind cloud storage, and Gartner expects more firms to rubber-stamp the technology.

Cloud services are nonetheless still an emerging technology, according to the analyst firm, which warns that it could be "many years" before this is fully mature.“By 2010, confusion around the cloud will have been replaced with clean-slate competitors delivering and consuming services from search, to identity, to core infrastructure operations,” said Plummer, in a recent report.

Until then, users considering cloud storage must consider certain key factors before they dive into Internet-based services, according to Gartner.

These include finding out how the shift to Web-based storage could affect existing contracts with IT vendors and determining whether the cloud will be robust enough to meet specific business goals.

Even Amazon’s S3 offering, for example, suffered an outage earlier this year, raising important reliability questions about cloud storage.

”Organizations that are evaluating the benefits of cloud-based services must also identify associated operational and security risks,” said Plummer. “Organizations need to evaluate risk in areas such as data integrity and privacy and need to understand issues in areas such as e-discovery, compliance, and audit reporting.”Despite all the buzz surrounding the technology, Gartner is not the only analyst firm highlighting the challenges involved in cloud storage. The Enterprise Strategy Group, for example, recently predicted that enterprise users are most likely to use cloud services for test and development, prior to bringing the production applications back in-house.

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  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)

  • CDNetworks Co. Ltd.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Gartner Inc.

  • Nirvanix Inc.

  • ParaScale Inc.

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