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back to article Five reasons why you'll take your storage to the cloud

The cloud will inevitably replace all other forms of IT. The cloud is a passing fad. The cloud is good, it is bad and it is hideously ugly. The cloud is a paradigm shift that will obliterate all previous technological developments. The cloud is an iterative evolutionary augmentation of extant technologies and nothing to write …

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Pirate fail.

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"You have a woman's hand, milord! I'll wager these dainty pinkies never weighed anchor in a storm."

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Pint

("oh shit" as a service.)

Has to be the best aaS type yet.

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Re: ("oh shit" as a service.)

Gone with the wind

When it rains, it pours

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Cloud?

What value is the cloud to me as a end user?

Why rent hard-drive space and software?

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Re: Cloud?

For the same reason you rent anything - you simply can't afford to buy one of them (e.g a house), or for the duration you need it for, buying one isn't cost-effective (hiring a mechanical digger for the weekend to dig out a patio).

If you need it all the time, for a long time, renting a disk doesn't make sense. That applies to most things that can be rented - it's not unique to "cloud".

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I wonder...

about locating a non-US cloud supplier and using them, only to have them be bought out at some future date by a large US company... thereby wiping out any data privacy/security aspects you thought you'd provided for.

I don't see how you can avoid this, and it concerns me.

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Re: I wonder...

I don't see how you can avoid this, and it concerns me.

I don't see how you can even know when it has happened. Any cloud providers have a guarantee of an alert for this in their SLAs?

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Re: I wonder...

"I wonder...

about locating a non-US cloud supplier and using them, only to have them be bought out at some future date by a large US company.."

Now you need to figure in that your company is engaged in defense or aerospace work and there are strict laws about arms information that you are required to keep in country. It doesn't matter that you don't make weapons, just that the government says that your tech has weapon-like aspects. Rocket engines and certain navigation system components are a good example. Been there, got the shirts.

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Part 2a

An extension of part 2 is when you end up travelling and either at a customer site with little, no or abjectly slow internet access, or at a hotel on the business trip with either that or an exhorbitantly expensive access.

It is indeed only as good as your access to it, and there are times when £100 worth of portable hard drive are worth any number of multi-petabyte cloud repositories.

(From a road warrior whose been there, done that and expanded his daily backed-up hard drive).

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latency

a big reason not to put data in a remote cloud is latency. Latency limits throughput. Local storage can run at dozens to hundreds of megabytes a second of throughput, some even gigabytes a second for HPC type workloads.

Just not possible to do that over a WAN connection realistically. The cost to do such throughput over IP would make tier 1 SAN storage look like a consumer 1TB HD. Even if you had the bandwidth - you're still hit with the latency.

Even if your smart enough not to attempt to use cloud storage in "real time" from a remote location - simply pulling down any more than a very modest amount of data at any given time is expensive and time consuming from a bandwidth perspective.

An example I give is a facility I operate is on a 1Gbps connection in Atlanta with a tier 1 ISP. It is roughly 17ms from Amazon's east coast S3 facility. I say roughly because they are blocking pings and that is as far as I can easily measure with mtr.

Max throughput for a single connection is roughly 5 megabytes/second (don't think I've ever seen 6MB/s). Obviously we're not maxing our connection that has a theoretical throughput of roughly 120 megabytes/second - the rest is due to latency. I'd wager 17ms from a cloud provider "ain't bad" in the grand scheme of things - I'd wager most customers will be at least 30ms away on a GOOD day.

Obviously I can run multiple streams to accelerate overall throughput - though co-ordinating that dramatically increases the complexity of things, and also assumes the data set being transferred supports it.

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Summary in Five Points

1). It's new marketing speak for [Hosted services] what has existed almost as long as computers have (well actually really not so new any more, expect a new name for Hosted services soon).

2). It's sensible for some users and applications and daft for others.

3). It's mostly limited in performance by your "last mile" broadband connection. Forget it on a domestic ISP contract for business use.

4). Lots of hidden costs

5). Lots of hidden negatives the vendor won't highlight.

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Headmaster

"...ephemeral technology du jour"

Eh? Tautology?

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The author should have just submitted a one line article with the following link

http://www.informationweek.com/cloud-computing/infrastructure/nirvanix-shutdown-some-customers-face-mi/240161514

and let us decide for ourselves

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Happy

Still need an IT dept, but with different skills.

So need legal skills, negotiation, data backup and recover and make sure you've got a bulk data transfer method agreed with them in case they go titsup IE disk rack standard or tape cartridge.

@hrmas

"http://www.informationweek.com/cloud-computing/infrastructure/nirvanix-shutdown-some-customers-face-mi/240161514"

Interesting link but fowl layout. I had to re-set my URL filter to allow it to process the "next page" button.

Very poor page design.

Note. AFAIK there is nothing with the draconian and secretive powers of THE PATRIOT Act Anywhere in the world.

That suggests massive opportunities for local suppliers in countries to offer a better customer service than any US based operation can offer, given their general poor ability to handle foreign relations.

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Re: Still need an IT dept, but with different skills.

"AFAIK there is nothing with the draconian and secretive powers of THE PATRIOT Act Anywhere in the world."

This is total hyperbole. The Patriot Act simply brings US law in line with the rest of the Totalitarian world.

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Anonymous Coward

"404 as a Service"

That's what I call "in a nutshell". Kudos!

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Two words

Service Bureau

http://mainframe.typepad.com/blog/2011/09/did-the-us-government-kill-cloud-computing-over-50-years-ago.html

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All you're spreading here is FUD.

You buy a tape robot for (what ?) $50k

you buy hundreds of tapes for (what?) $70/tape

you have full-time "tape minder" and a part-time "tape manager"

Oh OK - now how much (per month) did you say you're paying for your in-house solution? ;-)

Amortize the above costs over (let's be generous) 5 years and then replace the hardware etc.

Now - how much per month are you paying?

How many of those tapes have the data you really need? (Hint: not many...!!)

So now you do the AWS S3 "thing" and you keep an eye of what data you have stored and how often its backed up/refreshed and you (of course) use the "delete after" facility for logs etc. that have no value after N days. And you are motivated - because you know you pay-as-you-go. And you pay ... .how much? Hint: a HELL-OFA-LOT *less* than the in-house solution.

Employees be happy - because the cost of the in-house solution is worth several full-employee salaries ... and maybe, just maybe .. you get to keep your job rather than see the $s spend on a new tape robot.

Data security?

C'mon - you encrypt anything you don't want anyone else to see.

Just like you do with your own, in-house data where the authorities can come on-site and snag *all* your tapes.

Like I said: Total FUD.

Even a back-of-the-napkin cost analysis shows that S3 makes total sense.

Whoops - have to go. The tape robot just took a dump and we don't know how many backup jobs that we thought were done are actually retrievable. Crap the cleaning folks just dropped the tape we need into the trash - oh - and it looks like someone has been jamming the data center door open because he/she left their access card @home....

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Obviously, you are right. Your analysis is exacting, covers all scenarios for all sizes of company and definitively proves that Amazon S3 is the pre-eminent source of all storage goodness on earth. Thank you for correcting me, I guess my maths are totally wrong and, in fact, reality conforms to your assertions.

That's great to know. Glad you cleared that up.

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Your argument falls apart faster than I can turn a napkin over.

Tapes hold what, a TB or more of data a piece in their native format? Transfer data at dozens to hundreds of megabytes a second of throughput?

You'll be spending WEEKS sending that data to and from S3 in the tubes of the interwebs.

And if your connection is fast enough, and your are multi streaming things(see my post above), and your software handles S3 as transparently as a VTL -- the bandwidth costs ALONE will make the costs of that on site tape look positively dirt cheap.

get real, please.

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While I agree with most of what you are saying if you are in a data-center which amazon also has presence in the transit costs are speed are very reasonable indeed.

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And then what happens when your a company that needs to keep data indefinitely for auditing..S3 just keeps stacking up and up per month.

That tape library is looking pretty good now. Suitable for some not for all. Its not a one size fits all hat here.

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I don't have a problem

with the concept of the cloud per se. It has its uses and provides a lot of convenience; you can access your data from anywhere there's a computer and internet connection, you can share that data with colleagues in distant locations without the limitations imposed by email; you can offload much of your maintenance problems to a third party. The cloud certainly has its advantages.

What I object to, in the strongest terms, is this constant push, push push to force everybody to use cloud technologies exclusively. Increasingly, new versions of software are coming out as SaaS - pay every month, instead of pay once and keep forever. And if your cash flow is down one month, and you can't afford all the stacked monthly payments, you lose everything. Much of the software we use is now in two flavours - packaged and SaaS - but it's evident that "packaged" is being retained only as a transitional measure and the intent is to "wean" us all into the cloud as soon as possible.

Whenever something like this is pushed with such fervour and zeal, it inevitably means one thing: the big boys make more money which means you get less while paying more. Microsoft have found to their cost that selling a successful product can be a disaster once market saturation is reached, as the numbers of companies unwilling to migrate from the tried-and-true Windows XP shows. "Buy once and keep forever" is not as profitable as the "leech money off the poor bastards forever and a day" model. And this is one real reason why cloud is being pushed so hard.

The other reason is about power and control. Cloud storage means your data can be taken away if you don't toe the official line; it means your data can be monitored and analysed at will without your knowledge; it means your computer and your data are no longer your own, they now belong to the companies that own the OS and your data storage.

So in the end, my problem is not that cloud technology exists; it's that we are being forced into it to the exclusion of all other options. And until this hegemony is confronted and we are let to make our own choices about how and where we use what technologies, I and others like myself will continue to oppose this encroachment of our informational freedom to our last ounce of strength.

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Bla Bla Bla, whatever!

Don't make me laugh at only 10's of GB of storage; that's nothing and would fit on one or more flash cards, even cheap portable hard drives hold loads more.

Just build your own FreeNAS or other ZFS based NAS with rsync replication; I have.

It I ever use use a cloud storage, all the data stored would have to be heavily encrypted, before it left my devices, because I don't trust third parties with my data. To a limited extent this includes my email too.

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