Get Off of My Cloud: Private Cloud Computing Takes Shape - Page 3

"It's hard to do the software for these storage clouds," Henry Baltazar, storage analyst for The 451 Group, told me. "There's two parts to it: The first part is the front end, the application. The thing that's host-facing: How do you manage it? How do you provision it?
"The back end is the nuts-and-bolts part. How do you scale the thing out? How do you have enough buckets for all the storage? That's where you'll see that the new [second-generation cloud] companies like ParaScale, Nirvanex and Cleversafe know how to do this well," Baltazar said.
High-performance, dedicated storage systems are typically used in government laboratories, such as Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and Los Alamos, which require high scalability and ultra-high throughput performance for high-end scientific computing projects. In a way, they resemble custom-designed cloud systems, but "they're really more like big machines," Baltazar said.
However, the newer companies noted above are providing infrastructure for unstructured data that doesn't need particularly fast I/O access. This business data doesn't need high security and simply needs to be a safely accessible place; small, starter-type clouds -- namely, those consisting of two to five servers -- can cost in the $10,000-$15,000 price range and are well within the budget limits of many mid-size businesses.
"The ParaScale model is designed to scale up inexpensively for a lot of backup and archiving uses, for that content that won't be needed too often. It's been said that 70 percent of stored data is never touched again," Baltazar said. "That's what you want to put in a storage cloud."
Private clouds are a viable way to save business data in view of the recently amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which require businesses that keep digital data to have a systematic process by which they can show the court, in the event of litigation, that it is keeping it organized and available for at least three years.
What does the future portend for private clouds?
"It looks good," Baltazar said. "There's plenty of room for this business model to work well.
"There's tons of content, especially in the consumer space, that's being created every day, whether it's video, photos, office documents -- that is not in Exchange servers, SQL servers, or Oracle servers. You don't need to have high I/O for this, you just need to get to it."

Nine Quick Facts About Private Cloud Computing and Storage
Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...