Storage in the Cloud Market Overview

There’s a new analysis by research outfits the 451 group and Tier1Research that I think encapsulates perfectly the advantages and challenges of the new world of cloud computing. In “Enabling the Distributed Datacenter,” the 451 Cloudscape communication, they make the following points – some of them obvious, some of them of the “I did not know that” kind:

– Cloud data storage is a growing market, dominated by Amazon S3 (see also Monitis Launches On-Demand Cloud Storage Monitoring Service), with its commodity public-cloud infrastructure. But lookout, other providers are catching up and offering more enterprise-friendly solutions;

– What’s the big appeal of cloud computing? Cost savings, as it enables companies to reduce capex and enables a “pay-as-you-go” approach to storage;

– Archiving and data protection are what most companies use cloud storage for these days, but that’s not the extent of capacity by any means. On the upswing in terms of usage: file-server replacement, content distribution and app storage;

– Growing usage is driving cloud storage architecture, some of which will soon be the “backbone” of storage clouds.

And the paper’s outlook on the development of cloud trends:

– A new market for storage vendors is emerging, with some providers building services with scale-out, object-based systems;

– If you’re a vendor with a novel way of storing huge sums of data, cloud storage service providers will beat a path to your doorstep (like the old mousetrap analogy);

– There still remains a lot of concern about data security and service reliability on the cloud, not to mention, bandwidth issues. And until users can see past these challenges (and, quite frankly, they get resolved by developers and providers), the cloud business will be held back from really rolling along;

– Integration issues, due to a lack of standards in cloud storage, are slowing down the adoption of the cloud’s IT-as-a-service functionality. And that’s also affecting enthusiasm among service providers.

I found this assessment of cloud computing to be on the mark, and I appreciated the concise and plain-language approach to the issues and challenges. I’m providing the link here if you want to check out the research and read up more on the state of cloud computing.