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Cloud conversations: confidence, certainty and confidentiality

September 19, 2012 – 2:25 am

Here is an interesting article from over at wired about proposed privacy law and court warrants for cloud data, along with this one over at information week. Both got me thinking about some things that I hear when out and about talking with IT professionals and their concerns around clouds.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Common themes at the recent modernizing data protection and new realities of cloud and virtualization event series that I was involved with pertained to cloud concerns. Some organizations are already using clouds to some degree while others are taking a cautious approach. Some are all in, while others will take longer for various reasons. Likewise some are using a mix of public, private and hybrid to compliment their environments for collaboration, shared storage, compute, content distribution, backup, archive or BC and DR among other things. These environments range from SOHO or small SMB to ROBO to workgroup to enterprise, education and government of various size.

Often the conversations would evolve around gaining confidence with clouds as well as virtualization. In the case of clouds, given that some of the services as well as products, solutions or technologies are still young, there is still a learning and maturing curve. There are also other factors including the amount of hype and FUD around clouds has some people more skeptical or cautious to move forward. Granted there are also the true cynics which tend to be offset by the cloud crowd cheerleaders thus canceling each other out.

For the non cheerleaders and non cynics, hurdles to cloud adoption (in whole or in part, public, private or hybrid) tend to start with the letter C.

My message has and continues to be that of do not be scared of clouds and virtualization, however be ready, informed and decide what your concerns are. By determining your concerns, you can then work on figuring out what to do about those.

Here is a list of common cloud concerns and comments that I hear:
Cloud cheerleader hype
Cloud critics and cynics FUD
Confidence in cloud products or services
Certainty in cloud data protection or security
Cloud certifications and standards
Compatibility and interoperability
Classes and continuing education
Confidentially, privacy and security
Costs of cloud services or products
Country where cloud data is stored

There are many other items that can be added to the list that start with the letter C, however there are also some that start with P. For example, People, Products, Process, Procedures, Practices, Paradigm, Public or Private and Protocols among others.

Its one thing to be scared of something and not know what or why you are scared. It’s another thing to know or figure out what or why you are scared or concerned and then be able to do something about it. For example learn what standards such as SNIA CDMI among others exist and how those could be of help along with other tools or best practices from others.

Thus don’t be scared of clouds or virtualization, however do your homework, decide your concerns and then find what can be done about those. If you need help, drop me a note.

In the meantime, here is some more material:
Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking
More modernizing data protection, virtualization and clouds with certainty
Cloud conversations: AWS Government Cloud (GovCloud)
Amazon cloud storage options enhanced with Glacier
Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) publishes two new cloud usage models
Data protection modernization, more than swapping out media
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the NetFlix Fix?
What do VARs and Clouds as well as MSPs have in common?
Only you can prevent cloud data loss
The blame game: Does cloud storage result in data loss?
Cloud conversations: Loss of data access vs. data loss
Clouds are like Electricity: Dont be Scared
Poll: What Do You Think of IT Clouds?

Ok, nuff said for now.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

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