Private Cloud Storage Platforms Are Officially a Trend

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-11-19 Print this article Print

In the last few months, a number of prominent IT companies have come out with do-it-yourself, private cloud storage and computing development platforms. There's also a gaggle of startups trying to find a wedge into the market. It's like someone shot off a starting gun, with all the competing data storage companies taking off down the track at the same time.

Trends can have very different time arcs. They can happen over a long period, such as when the U.S. pioneers moved west over the span of several generations during the 1800s and 1900s. They also can resemble a song shooting up the iTunes chart ("with a bullet," as the music industry saying goes).

For example, in the last few months, several IT companies have come out with "private cloud" computing development platforms. It's like someone shot off a starting gun, with all the competitors taking off down the track at the same time.

Private cloud computing differs from the mainstream, public version in that smaller, cloudlike IT systems within a firewall offer similar services, but to a closed internal network. This network may include corporate or division offices, other companies that are also business partners, raw-material suppliers, resellers, production-chain entities and other organizations intimately connected with a corporate mother ship.

Just this week, CA and Symantec came out with do-it-yourself cloud-building platforms. EMC ballyhooed its home-developed Atmos package on Nov. 10.

3tera and Citrix Systems Sept. 15 announced a partnership to "enable midmarket and low-end enterprise IT shops to build their own enterprise-grade external hosted clouds," and connect them with other clouds, if they so choose.

Back in June, IT co-location provider Terremark Worldwide debuted its own "enterprise" cloud platform that it offers as an option to its customers.

Dell, while not actually providing the software for cloud building, has been partnering with Rackspace Hosting lately to provide the servers and arrays for many of these new infrastructures. It's a safe bet that Dell will soon be offering its own cloud software to go with all that hardware it wants to sell.

Hewlett-Packard has been busy trying to become the "one-stop shop" for building data centers in general. The venerable company has been aiming most of its server and storage array production at emerging Web 2.0 companies that provide hosted services. It hasn't yet marketed a private cloud-building bundle of software, hardware and services yet, however.

Among the rest of the IT big shots, IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft all have cloud-related point products, but not full development platforms. They are sure to jump in the water soon.

For example, IBM currently offers online cloud storage services through its Arsenal division, but it hasn't yet announced its own cloud-building platform. Both IBM and Sun (Dell, too, for that matter) will sell you servers and arrays for a private cloud in a minute, but they don't have the specific platform to go with them yet.

Oracle and Microsoft are said to be working on their own tool kits.

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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