SANTA CLARA, Calif. - To the surprise of virtually no one who works in or follows the enterprise IT world, a new survey reported that cloud-computing services and system building continue to become more prominent in both augmenting and replacing older data center equipment.
In addition, the research indicated that the Storage Networking Industry Association's CDMI (Cloud Data Management Interface) standard-the industry's first attempt at such a development standard-is turning up in more and more commercial implementations.
On Day 1 of Storage Networking World here at the Santa Clara Convention Center, storage consultancy Storage Strategies Now on April 4 released the findings of its survey of data center managers and other IT decision makers that confirms these upward trends in all enterprise segments.
A key point uncovered in the research was that email storage-not backup data logs or files-is the No. 1 most likely business content to be stored in a cloud service, contrary to most prevailing thought. Sixty-six percent of respondents replied that they are storing email in the cloud; an even 50 percent said they are, or will, back up their business files with a cloud service.
Other key findings of the survey included the following.
- More than 57 percent of the respondents expect to adopt cloud storage at some point.
- They will store email, front-office application data and backup data in the cloud, in that order.
- Standards are viewed as more important for public-cloud implementations than private clouds.
SNIA's Cloud Data Management Interface standard defines the functional interface that applications will use to create, retrieve, update and delete data elements from the cloud. As part of this interface, the client will be able to discover the capabilities of the cloud-storage offering and use it to manage containers and the data that is placed in them.
In addition, metadata can be set on containers and their contained data elements through this interface.
This interface is also used in administrative and management applications to manage containers, accounts, security access and monitoring/billing information-even for storage that is accessible by other protocols. The capabilities of the underlying storage and data services are exposed so that clients can understand the offering.
"The IT Professionals Cloud Adoption Survey sheds new light on how organizations will deploy cloud-storage services," SSN principal analyst Deni Connor said. "Among the findings are that standards for cloud storage are viewed as important in advancing the industry and that for many organizations, the security of data stored in the cloud isn't as much of a concern as lack of budget is."
The new report describes technology solutions from more than 90 hardware and software vendors, cloud-service providers and organizations with cloud-storage initiatives. It also includes detailed product validation and pricing information and real-world use case scenarios, as well as best practices for selecting, deploying and managing cloud-storage solutions.
Information for the report was obtained through a number of sources, including vendor questionnaires and interviews, user and managed-service-provider interactions, available market data and a survey of IT professionals. The study was conducted in the first quarter of 2011.