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Is Cloud Storage Getting Hijacked?

I'm taking a bit of a break from the dedupe discussion to wrap up a few
re-interviews and to time the continuation of the series with a
upcoming special feature on deduplication that Network Computing will
be running. In the meantime let's see if we can get this whole cloud
storage thing sorted out. I had a supplier suggest to me the other day
that the term cloud storage is getting hijacked. I disagree.

First, for something to get hijacked there has to be some agreement on
what the term actually means, and in cloud storage especially there
really is not such agreement and it is my opinion that there should not

While I have had many vendors suggest very clear and concise
definitions, they all, interestingly enough, fit exactly how their cloud
product fits into the cloud. I've seen the analyst's attempts at
creating grids and quadrants that pigeonhole the different players in
the market into certain roles. Cloud storage is too big of a concept to
fit into a single definition. Just as there are different types of
internal storage so will there be in the cloud. Your role in cloud
storage is going to set your priorities and make your definition of
cloud storage different than that of your peers.

The only common ground that I can see in the various definitions is
that it is a pay for use model, both up and down. That makes sense.
There is also typical focus on scalability as well as ease of use.
There is disagreement on what should scale, storage, performance or
both, and how it should scale, loosely coupled clusters or a grid.
There does seem to be a high level of commonality in that clustering
aspect. Most of the solutions use a grid or clustered storage model,
but as I mentioned, there is disagreement on loosely couple vs. tightly
coupled clusters.

The ease of use component should be thrown out to some extent. Sure it
should be easy to use. All storage should be getting easier to use. I
have yet to hear a vendor this year bring out a new product with the
headline "This is way harder to use then last years model." Now a fair
debate is, can a cloud storage solution provide a more suitable platform
for easy to manage storage? I'm sure the traditional storage vendors
would beg to differ.

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