Can you really ask about ‘Cloud Storage’?

By Clive Gold, CTO Marketing, EMC Australia and New Zealand.

There has been a debate raging on the SNIA Linkedin page about ‘Cloud Storage’,  (here).  A question posed by Rodney Haywood of Alphawest/Optus, (@rodos also a SNIA board member), has spawned a discussion between analyst Kevin McIsaac (IBRS) and practitioner Siobhan Ellis (HP/EDS). While there seems to be some level of agreement I do seem to sense, reading between the lines, that there is a marked difference between people to ‘talk’ and people who ‘do’.  (I do place myself in the first category.)

No offence Rodos, but I don’t think the question you posed is valid, anymore. My rationale is that today people are interested in the end not the means. For example your Optus Elevate service deliver’s a financial alternative; ‘rent’ a machine rather than purchase one. It provides agility; run up an application in minutes rather than weeks or months.  We know to provide these services you are in the ‘cloud storage’ business, but I’m sure ‘cloud storage’ was not top of mind when your customers made their decision.  Obviously, my job is to make sure your customers do care and hopefully ask if the storage you use is the best technology, most reliable, etc.. (read the EMC brochure)… similar to what Intel did with the ‘Intel Inside’ campaign!

The other issue about this question, as Kevin pointed out, there are so many use cases, today storage is ubiquitous!  I think the quesiton has to have a narrower scope, eliminate fast and big for a start. Unlike some of the pollies, that blatantly ignore basic physics in their arguments about the NBN, putting a wide area network between the server and storage when very fast response times/low latency OR masses of data are involved, is simply out of the question. High transaction throughput systems will just not work over a wide area network. Moving TBs to PBs of data, in meaningful timeframes, can’t be done over a wide area network. Please challenge me on this!

The good news is that these systems are the outlying ones, and the majority of ‘use cases’ fit between these extremes!  So what is the reality? What are you thinking about or using? Why not join the discussion? Sign up here,
and lets hear your point of view.


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