Cloud-based data storage -- SAN as a service -- is touted as an alternative to in-house storage networking. But are companies really migrating to the brave new world of SAN services?
Cloud computing and cloud data storage have been heavily hyped as attractive alternatives to in-house application, server and storage networking. But are enterprises truly scrapping their in-house servers and data centers in favor of off-site Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions?
A recent report from Forrester, titled "Business Users Are Not Ready for Cloud Storage," casts doubt on enterprises' willingness to trust their critical data to the cloud.
The report noted that while "IT professionals are eager to take advantage of the low cost per gigabyte offered by cloud providers ... data from Forrester's 2009 hardware survey shows that this is just talk, so far. Respondents in all geographies and of all company sizes appear to have little interest in moving their data to the cloud any time soon. There is long-term potential for storage-as-a-service, but Forrester sees issues with guaranteed service levels, security, chain of custody, shared tenancy, and long-term pricing as significant barriers that still need to be addressed before it takes off in any meaningful way."
Andrew Reichman, the Forrester analyst who wrote the report, is not the only one who sees a partly-cloudy future.
No Enterprise Clouds in Long-term Forecast
"Very few businesses are at a point right now where reliance upon a public cloud service is a part of their long-term roadmap," said Jeff Boles, senior analyst at the Taneja Group. "The cloud may be used to start a service, get it staged and well developed, but longer term, the business will often move it back in house so that it can better engineer and control aspects like latency, connectivity, DRand security."
Boles also pointed out that there is a difference between cloud computing and storing your data on a public cloud — and that a case can be made for the latter.
"Often data storage in the cloud is actually ideal and more practical when it is not necessary to access it with compute," he said. "Then the cloud becomes an ideal, highly protected, elastic repository for infrequently accessed archival data."
Read the rest of this article about SAN Services at Enterprise Storage Forum.