Cloud computing changes the way companies consume IT resources. It shifts the
burden of purchasing and maintaining IT infrastructure to specialized IT
providers and allows the users to pay only for the resources they need, when
they need them. In this new paradigm, cloud security is a top concern.
Companies want to reap the benefits of cloud computing, but are often
hesitant because of concerns about security and compliance. In the 21CFR11
regulation, the FDA focused on requirements for ensuring electronic record
integrity, accuracy, and availability for agency review throughout the
retention period. The regulation emphasizes record protection from
unauthorized access and system validation. Other international agencies have
similar regulations. This article captures key points from an interview with
Gilad Parann-Nissany, a cloud security pioneer. He addressed some... (more)
One of the questions we hear most frequently is “how do I get my data into
the cloud?” For many organizations, the benefits of expanding on-premise
data storage to include hybrid cloud storage have begun to resonate, but they
struggle to get started as they determine how to get move data into the
cloud. The decision on how to onboard initial data to the cloud, or what we
call the initial ingest, is one that cannot be overlooked.
While there is more than one way to perform the initial ingest, it
shouldn’t be a surprise that the best solution can vary on an individual
case basis. Relevant factors influencing the decision include: amount of data
intended for ingestion, amount of available bandwidth, timeframe in which you
want to load the data. Typically, most organizations will decide on one of
the following three methods for the initial ingest:
Use existing bandwidt... (more)
As I discussed in my previous post, What Makes Cloud Storage Different from
Traditional SAN and NAS?, today's cloud storage is unique from the SAN and
NAS (and even CAS) that has gone before. Beyond the cost and flexibility
benefits inherent in public cloud computing resources of all sorts, cloud
storage is unique in its openness, programmability, and the possibilities it
opens for distribution and collaboration.
These compelling benefits, along with an explosion of cloud hype, have led
every company with a product even remotely "cloudy" to jump into the market.
In my corner of the IT world, everyone from hosting providers to software
vendors to traditional array manufacturers are putting forth cloud storage
products. As the wise among us already know, these cloud products are not all
of equal merit!
It has struck me that there are really three kinds of cloud storag... (more)
Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi,
Ltd. (NYSE:HIT) (TOKYO:6501), today announced significant new enhancements
to its award-winning object store, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), and its
bottomless, backup-free cloud on-ramp, Hitachi Data Ingestor (HDI). These new
enhancements reduce overall costs by enabling organizations to better manage
unstructured data growth, ensure content security in shared storage
environments and reduce the complexity and inefficiency in traditional, cloud
computing and distributed IT environments.
“Organizations are looking for new, innovative approaches to deal with the
expansive growth of unstructured content and extract the full value of their
data,” said Miklos Sandorfi, chief strategist, Hitachi Data Systems. “Our
content cloud approach allows organizations to store billions of data objects
There is a new (free) book that I'm a co-author of along Bruce Grieshaber and
Larry Jacob (both of LSI) along with foreword by Harry Mason of LSI and
President of the SCSI Trade Association titled SAS SANs for Dummies
compliments of LSI.
This new book (ebook and print hard copy) looks at Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)
and how it can be used beyond traditional direct attached storage (DAS)
configurations for support various types of storage mediums including SSD,
HDD and tape. These configuration options include as entry-level SAN with SAS
switches for small clusters or server virtualization, or as shared DAS as
well as being a scale out back-end solution for NAS, object, cloud and big
data storage solutions.
Here is the table of contents (TOC) of SAS SANs for Dummies
Chapter 1: Data storage challenges
Storage Growth Demand Drivers Recognizing Challenges Solutions and ... (more)
Following earlier cloud conversations posts, cloud computing means many
things from products to services, functionality and positioned for different
layers of service delivery or capabilities (e.g. SaaS, AaaS, PaaS, IaaS and
Consequently it is no surprise when I hear from different people their
opinion, belief or perception of what is or is not a cloud, confidence or
concerns, or how to use and abuse clouds among other related themes.
A common theme I hear talking with IT professionals on a global basis centers
around conversations about confidence in clouds including reliability,
security, privacy, compliance and confidentiality for where data is protected
and preserved. This includes data being stored in different geography
locations ranging from states or regions to countries and continents. What I
also often hear are discussion around concerns over data f... (more)
Many in the IT industry seem to enjoy arguing exactly what does and does not
constitute a cloud service. As I mentioned in my post on the controversy over
private cloud services, I do not feel that these arguments are productive. We
should focus on results and business value instead of arguing about
semantics. However, the current crop of cloud storage solutions have many
important differences from traditional SAN and NAS storage, something that
seems to surprise many end users I meet. Cloud storage capacity is not your
fathers blocks and files!
Primary, Secondary, and Tiered Storage
Most IT infrastructures contain a wide variety of storage devices, but these
have traditionally been divided into two categories:
Primary or production storage serves active applications and is accessed
randomly. The primary category includes most familiar direct-attached disks
(DAS), s... (more)
As discussed last week, cloud storage solutions differ in many ways. They can
be defined by their pricing model (usage-based or capitalized), their
location (on-site or off-site), the granularity of scalability (per-file,
standard unit, or per-system), and whether or not they are multi-tenant. But
one of the less-discussed but much more technically-challenging
differentiators lies in the access method: Some cloud storage systems use a
web protocol-based API for access, while others use conventional storage
protocols like NFS or SMB. Today we will discuss the implications of which
access protocol is used.
API Access: The Heart of the Cloud
One hallmark of cloud computing is its programmability: Developers can use
standard Internet protocols like HTTP to both access and control resources
programmatically. This incredibly powerful concept promises to revolutionize
IT ... (more)
Amazon Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS) is a new type of storage designed
specifically for Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EBS allows you to create
volumes that can be mounted as devices by EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes
behave as if they were raw unformatted external hard drives and can be
formatted using a file system such as ext3 (Linux) or NTFS (Windows) and
mounted on an EC2 instance; files are accessed through the file system .
They have user supplied device names and provide a block device interface.
For a 20 GB volume, Amazon estimates an annual failure rate for EBS volumes
from 1-in-200 to 1-in-1000. The failure rate increases as the size of the
volume increases. Therefore you either need to keep an up-to-date snapshot
on S3, or have a backup of the contents somewhere else that you can restore
quickly enough to meet your needs in the event of a failure. ... (more)
Hosting Pavilion at Cloud Expo
How does the cost of dedicated hosted server solution compare with on demand
For the purpose of the comparison I have selected Rackspace for dedicated
server hosting and Amazon for on-demand cloud hosting. (In an earlier post I
had compared the cost of different cloud providers). This is only a direct
cost comparison. I have not considered issues like support, security,
reliability, availability etc. There are also several other assumptions I
have made that can be challenged.
My one line conclusion is that the market forces have ensured that the prices
on paper are comparable – to arrive at what is right for you, performance
benchmarking may be called for.
The comparison is based on published data as on 16th February, 2010.
There are 4 listed configuration with standard price (all have 2TB Bandwidth
and choice of ... (more)
Green IT on Ulitzer
Sentilla Corporation has come up with the first software-only real-time way
to track the power utilization of every single asset in a data center from
the switchgear down to each and every server, storage and networking device,
be they metered or unmetered.
CEO Bob Davis says, “In ongoing conversations with CIOs and IT managers
we’ve repeatedly heard that tackling the issue of energy use in the data
center is a top five priority for 2010. The challenge they face in getting
started is the lack of visibility into energy use by unmetered equipment.”
Well, no wonder. According to Gartner most widgets in a data center from the
server on down are unmetered, which makes Sentilla’s achievement is
something of a breakthrough.
The start-up used to depend on sensors but has tossed that technique for an
Inference Engine that can clock the power consumption of... (more)