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Cloud Storage, Storage in the Cloud, and Cloudy Storage Systems

Each will likely find its own niche within the overall IT infrastructure landscape, but buyers should be careful

As I discussed in my previous post, What Makes Cloud Storage Different from Traditional SAN and NAS?, today's cloud storage is unique from the SAN and NAS (and even CAS) that has gone before. Beyond the cost and flexibility benefits inherent in public cloud computing resources of all sorts, cloud storage is unique in its openness, programmability, and the possibilities it opens for distribution and collaboration.

These compelling benefits, along with an explosion of cloud hype, have led every company with a product even remotely "cloudy" to jump into the market. In my corner of the IT world, everyone from hosting providers to software vendors to traditional array manufacturers are putting forth cloud storage products. As the wise among us already know, these cloud products are not all of equal merit!

It has struck me that there are really three kinds of cloud storage offerings today: Storage in the cloud, cloudy storage systems, and full-on cloud storage. Each will likely find its own niche within the overall IT infrastructure landscape, but buyers should be careful when comparing these solutions!

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More Stories By Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett has provided vendor-independent end user consulting on storage topics for over 10 years. He has been a storage columnist and has authored numerous articles for industry publications. Stephen is a popular presenter at industry events and recently received Microsoft’s MVP award for contributions to the enterprise storage community. As the director of consulting for Nirvanix, Foskett provides strategic consulting to assist Fortune 500 companies in developing strategies for service-based tiered and cloud storage. He holds a bachelor of science in Society/Technology Studies, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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