Software // Information Management
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10/21/2009
05:09 PM
Randy George
Randy George
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Enterprise IT Is Not Ready For Private Cloud Storage

Our esteemed Director of InformationWeek Analytics, Art Wittmann, has a theory that I'm secretly working as a cheerleader for underdog technologies. And our esteemed Executive Editor of InformationWeek Analytics, Lorna Garey, often asks if my favorite drink is Koolade. To my dismay, they have proven themselves right once again. 18 months ago, I predicted that private cloud storage would take off for the Tier-2 storage needs of enterprises. You won't hear me say this often, I WAS WRONG.

Our esteemed Director of InformationWeek Analytics, Art Wittmann, has a theory that I'm secretly working as a cheerleader for underdog technologies. And our esteemed Executive Editor of InformationWeek Analytics, Lorna Garey, often asks if my favorite drink is Koolade. To my dismay, they have proven themselves right once again. 18 months ago, I predicted that private cloud storage would take off for the Tier-2 storage needs of enterprises. You won't hear me say this often, I WAS WRONG.I got caught up in the excitement of it all. I felt like I was running with the bulls in Pamplona. Everyone was hyping up cloud storage as the next must do for the ballooning storage needs of organizations both small and large, myself included. A year later, as sit I back and ponder why private cloud storage hasn't taken off, I realize that most storage managers simply aren't ready, or do not yet understand private cloud storage technology.

After some soul searching and reflection, here's my top 3 reasons for the slow to non-existent adoption of internal storage clouds.

#1) People still don't know what it is.

According to Parascale, one of the leading players in the private cloud storage space, almost 60% of the people that sign up for its informational webinars on private cloud storage are doing so to "Find out what the hype is all about". Service providers know full well about private storage clouds, they've embraced the technology to drive down the costs of doing business. But on the enterprise IT side, more success stories need to surface in order for traction to pickup.

#2) There's institutional resistance to this technology If you were a sales exec for a storage vendor, would you tell your customers that they really don't need your expensive Tier-2 storage solutions? "Hey customer X, I'd love to sell you this $25,000 NAS and secondary storage chassis for your non-mission critical data, but you really don't need it. Why don't you just reuse the legacy commodity hardware you have and accomplish the same thing for pennies on the dollar with a private storage cloud?" HA! Not gonna happen.

#3) IT Managers just don't want to store their non-mission critical data on legacy commodity hardware.

For me, this was the coolest thing about private storage clouds. If you manage an EMC environment, as I do, then you know how much it costs for Tier-2 storage and archiving. EMC commands, and deserves in my opinion, a premium for their gear because their service, uptime and reliability are top notch. But that doesn't help you if you're a cash strapped small business IT manager with major storage issues and no budget. But that also doesn't mean that you're kosher with placing your Tier-2 data on the spindles running inside the 4 year old servers you've just taken out of production.

I'm still bullish on private storage clouds, but I've officially retired from the business of predicting when they will be embraced within the corporate walls.

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