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Forrester, Cloud Storage, and Private Clouds

Forrester recently released a report titled “Business Users Are Not Ready For Cloud Storage: Current And Planned Adoption Of Storage-As-A-Service Is Minimal For Now” which indicated few firms are showing interest in moving their data into the cloud, noting that:

Respondents in all geographies and of all company sizes appear to have little interest in moving their data to the cloud any time soon.
– Forrester

Out of 1,272 respondents, just 3% have implemented cloud storage and only 1% plan to expand an existing cloud deployment. Indeed, the vast majority of respondents indicated no plans to adopt cloud storage:

  • 43%: no interest in cloud storage
  • 43%: interest but with no plans
  • 5%: plans to adopt one year or later in the future
  • 3%: plans to adopt in next 12 months

Specifically, concern with current offerings centered around:

  1. guaranteed service levels
  2. security
  3. chain of custody
  4. shared tenancy
  5. long-term pricing

These concerns are valid and need to be addressed before any mission critical data is stored with an outside vendor.

However, as valid as these concerns are, the promised benefits of cloud computing remain very compelling. For organizations that want the benefits of cloud computing while retaining control of the infrastructure, private cloud computing is the answer.

With private computing, organizations deploy their own on-premises private cloud computing infrastructure (e.g. VMware) supporting elastic, autonomic software solutions that enable server consolidation, rapid scale-up and scale-down, and low cost management over potentially large server grids, offering the best of both worlds.

IT Organizations Will Spend More Money on Private Cloud Computing Investments Than on Offerings From Public Cloud Providers Through 2012
– Gartner

In-house cloud solutions need to be designed from the ground up with scalability in mind leveraging an elastic grid of processing servers (similar to Amazon’s EC2) and a scalable, virtualized storage system (similar to Amazon’s S3). By combing grid processing and virtualized storage with virtual machine images (using VMware or similar HW virtualization), organizations can receive the benefits of public clouds within their own walls and under their own control. Using a hypervisor enables organizations to quickly scale up and down a properly designed solution to handle tasks such as archiving, eDiscovery collections, and indexing in place. One such solution is ZL Unified Archive which has been designed to easily scale from 1 to hundreds of servers using an elastic, cloud computing architecture which I discussed in my Oracle OpenWorld 2009 presentation. This cloud-based solution can be deployed in-house or run by a service provider with virtualized storage in the cloud or on premises. Through this solution, organizations receive the combined benefits of a cloud architecture with security and reliability guarantees that come with a non-cloud solution. The ZL Unified Archive solution is currently deployed at leading US enterprises and eDiscovery providers for managing large quantities of content for archiving and eDiscovery.

I invite anyone who is interested in combining the benefits of cloud computing with the security, reliability, and control of an in-house archiving and eDiscovery solution to contact ZL Technologies to learn about our unique solution.

Photo courtesy of dsevilla.

 
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