One Size Doesnt Fit All

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-07-21 Print this article Print

"You don't have to have a one-size-fits-all cloud," Krishnan said. "A company can have a cloud for archival [data] and another one for video streaming, for example. Each of those two services have very different characteristics, as far as the individual nodes are concerned."

These small clouds are not simply a mashup of a bunch of amalgamated in-house and outside Web services. "You should be able to scale out your own cloud by simply adding more nodes of commodity servers as you need them," Krishnan said.

Smaller providers can offer more hands-on service and more differentiated services, using smaller cloud networks. The same can happen for a company that builds its own cloud. If you're going to do something along the scale of Google Apps or, for example, those have R&D aspects that are enormous.

But if you have a much smaller service provider, say a regional one, or build one in your own data center, you can get the same value and possibly even better service. Certainly you must be careful who to pick if the decision is made to go outside.

What about the trust factor here? After all, we're talking about giving the family jewels to strangers to keep for us.

"Nothing is as secure as having all your data within the firewall," Krishnan said. "But now, the [storage] hardware is becoming very affordable; you can start a cloud with 4TB [of capacity]. You don't even need to start with a petabyte.

"If you're looking at a [smaller] service provider, yes, it [trust] is a challenge. You can encrypt the data and whatever, but ultimately you are going to trade off some level of performance and latency for that [peace of mind]. If you really have reservations about putting your data out there [especially for financial companies], then you should look at building your own cloud."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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