With the arrival of cloud computing, most organisations moved their IT to the cloud to address their storage requirements. But most of these were public cloud computing platforms which could not adequately address the requirements of large organisations and enterprises.
Recently, Gartner conducted some and client inquires and collected conference polling data which clearly indicate that organisations are preferring a private infrastructure deployment as against the public domain. The research points out at the cloud storage trend changes:
- In the years 2010 and 2011, IT organisations have steadily moved away from the public cloud by avoiding any large scale deployments.
- Though IT organisations are seen to include private cloud in their IT plans, there is still a significant lack of interest towards actual implementation.
- The acceptance of cloud computing and cloud storage for IT requirements and the perception of the concepts vary and thus lead to mismatches while creating strategies for modernization.
Gartner recommends the following solutions to the above:
- Organisations should move less sensitive data to the private cloud and use it for simple functions and applications to keep track of developments in the industry.
- Private cloud should be preferred for its many advantages over traditional data storage solutions: agility, cost and operations. A private cloud deployment can be a part of long term strategy of a company
- Hybrid cloud storage is another option with the cloud storage paradigm in place of traditional storage infrastructure
- Make sure that the concerns and requirements are addressed with a proper understanding of differences between cloud storage and cloud computing.
The importance of a cloud storage solution:
For larger IT organisations, the ever increasing load of data on their data centers is the primary concern they always have to deal with. Cloud computing promises a cloud storage solution that is low cost, easy to operate and also delivers a more agile IT infrastructure. But, when it comes to public cloud storage, these promises are not always delivered and organisations face problems with security, the increased costs, limited offerings and issues with infrastructure integration.
Research data indicates that organisations are showing gradually decreasing interest in the term ‘cloud storage’ as a whole, and there is a further fall in the numbers when it comes to public cloud storage. The decrease in the popularity of the public cloud points to the increasing awareness among users about the issues that arise when data is shifted outside to a third party. The enthusiasm of moving data to a cloud provider is now being replaced by disappointment over the public cloud services. New technologies are being introduced by cloud providers like the cloud gateways, and they have been effective to some extent. Widespread acceptance of the public cloud is yet to be achieved.
The other aspect of this scenario is that IT organisations are either already using private cloud storage, or intend to use private cloud storage. It is evident that there is a steady interest in deploying a private cloud solution. Gartner also says that they have been receiving requests by clients to discuss cloud storage issues with the Gartner analyst team. This data also shows that the storage industry has failed to win over new believers. The organisations continue to include the private cloud storage in their IT planning, but there is a lack of sustained adoption over the past three years.
Gartner recommends that clients should look at the private cloud as the next step in terms of agility, cost and operations, and thus make it a part of their long term storage strategy. Clients should be prepared for the product shortfalls and ‘anemic feature sets’ of the private cloud. As the desired demand is not yet there, private cloud storage solution providers are yet to meet the product demand and features required to deploy a complete private cloud storage environment. For example, a significant detractor for implementing private cloud storage is the lack of storage products at the top end of the storage stack that provide service-level provisioning and automated best-practice implementations for heterogeneous environments.
Thus, the customers and private cloud providers both have some way to cover for a full fledged and steady adoption of the private cloud as a viable storage solution that meets and anticipates all requirements.