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Cloud Data Storage IT

Why Corporate Cloud Storage Doesn't Add Up 141

snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia sees few business IT situations that could make good use of full cloud storage services, outside of startups. 'As IT continues in a zigzag path of figuring out what to do with this "cloud" stuff, it seems that some companies are getting ahead of themselves. In particular, the concept of outsourcing storage to a cloud provider puzzles me. I can see some benefits in other cloud services (though I still find the trust aspect difficult to reconcile), but full-on cloud storage offerings don't make sense outside of some rare circumstances.'"
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Why Corporate Cloud Storage Doesn't Add Up

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  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:4, Informative)

    by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi AT evcircuits DOT com> on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:02PM (#39120121) Homepage

    I don't know if you have been in corporate IT lately but these people selling the crap are indeed selling this as the end-all-be-all of computing. Everything (data storage, web hosting, virtual servers, desktops, crm and similar databasing needs, e-mail, ...) is supposed to be in the cloud at a much lower price point. Microsoft is one of the worst offenders as they sell their entire suite (Exchange, AD, ShitPoint, Office ...) in the "cloud" these days, promise the world but have no way to deliver.

    If you have an IT organization with more than 2 IT people where stuffing the "cloud" (or having everything hosted for you) is going to end up being cheaper you have a really badly managed department that is extremely bloated.

    For enterprise data storage: average price is $1,000/TB/year (Amazon et al) while a decent locally managed system (SAS, HA) should be ~$100-300/TB/year. Off course if you pay NetApp or the like (at ~$3,000/TB/year) for your storage, you brought this upon yourself and the person making that decision should've been fired.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:23PM (#39120299)

    We use Box for 300 people in 8 countries and I use Dropbox and Skyfile for personal file storage and sharing. There is a place for Cloud storage in corporate IT since the end users are using these services on mobile devices already. The author is obviously out of touch with current CIO initiatives, I talk to these guys everyday and most are looking to use cloud services for file storage and sharing.

    Do any of these CIOs run companies that fall under SOX, HIPAA, or PCI? How does your CIO ensure that files stored on the cloud storage meet any of those regulatory requirements? All it takes is one personnel file with medical records to leak into the wild to for the company to face liability under HIPAA for unauthorized release. If the company knowingly allowed sensitive files to be stored in unsecured storage, the penalties could be substantial.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TPoise ( 799382 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:25PM (#39120333) Homepage
    The problem is that file storage is so dad-gum expensive these days. 15cents a gb at Amazon makes it $150 per month for a terabyte of storage. You're better off buying the 1TB drives yourself and rotating it to an employee's house every night. Sure there are some cheaper alternatives ( but even at 6cents a GB with Nimbus, you're still better off buying the external drives yourself.
  • by Craig Ringer ( 302899 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:50PM (#39120537) Homepage Journal

    For me the one attractive use case for cloud storage is for backups - and it's one that's catered to particularly poorly by current offerings.

    For backups, you want (a) fast, unmetered links to the host and (b) moderately reliable, cheap, and not-that-fast storage you can access in a variety of different ways depending on what's most convenient, with or without running your own VPS to mediate between storage and storage clients.

    One user will want to rsync to their cloud storage. One will want to remote-mount a file system on it via iSCSI. Another will want to run a Bacula storage daemon on it. Yet another will want to use it as a co-ordinator for a full network backup system. All these use cases should really be supported, and the first two shouldn't need the customer to maintain their own VPS to control the storage.

    As things stand, almost everyone wants to sell SAN-based high performance storage that's *expensive* and *fast*, not cheap and slow. Most backup services seem to want you to use their tools or a local appliance to talk to their storage. Half of them act very confused when you mention "Linux" or "UNIX" and ask if that's a new kind of Mac or something. At least in Australia I've found the market miserably unsatisfying so far.

    What I'd really like is for ISPs to begin offering, or partnering with others to offer via peering, bulk near-line storage at moderately affordable rates. That way you can talk to it over your business's main ADSL/SHDSL/fibre/whatever link(s) without dealing with quotas, it's fast, there are multiple routes to it, and it's unlikely to go down if an international link has a hiccup.

    iiNet's cloud offering looked like it might have potential for this, but it turns out to be just another EC2-wannabe crossed with Linode-done-badly-and-expensively. The storage offerings are miserable and they don't even mention whether traffic between iiNet internet services and their cloud is metered

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