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Here is an interesting article from over at wired about proposed privacy law and court warrants for cloud data, along with this one over at information week. Both got me thinking about some things that I hear when out and about talking with IT professionals and their concerns around clouds.

Common themes at the recent modernizing data protection and new realities of cloud and virtualization event series that I was involved with pertained to cloud concerns. Some organizations are already using clouds to some degree while others are taking a cautious approach. Some are all in, while others will take longer for various reasons. Likewise some are using a mix of public, private and hybrid to compliment their environments for collaboration, shared storage, compute, content distribution, backup, archive or BC and DR among other things. These environments range from SOHO or small SMB to ROBO to workgroup to enterprise, education and government of various size.

Often the conversations would evolve around gaining confidence with clouds as well as virtualization. In the case of clouds, given that some of the services as well as products, solutions or technologies are still young, there is still a learning and maturing curve. There are also other factors including the amount of hype and FUD around clouds has some people more skeptical or cautious to move forward. Granted there are also the true cynics which tend to be offset by the cloud crowd cheerleaders thus canceling each other out.

For the non cheerleaders and non cynics, hurdles to cloud adoption (in whole or in part, public, private or hybrid) tend to start with the letter C.

My message has and continues to be that of do not be scared of clouds and virtualization, however be ready, informed and decide what your concerns are. By determining your concerns, you can then work on figuring out what to do about those.

Here is a list of common cloud concerns and comments that I hear:

  • Cloud cheerleader hype
  • Cloud critics and cynics FUD
  • Confidence in cloud products or services
  • Certainty in cloud data protection or security
  • Cloud certifications and standards
  • Compatibility and interoperability
  • Classes and continuing education
  • Confidentially, privacy and security
  • Costs of cloud services or products
  • Country where cloud data is stored

There are many other items that can be added to the list that start with the letter C, however there are also some that start with P. For example, People, Products, Process, Procedures, Practices, Paradigm, Public or Private and Protocols among others.

Its one thing to be scared of something and not know what or why you are scared. It's another thing to know or figure out what or why you are scared or concerned and then be able to do something about it. For example learn what standards such as SNIA CDMI among others exist and how those could be of help along with other tools or best practices from others.

Thus don't be scared of clouds or virtualization, However do your homework, decide your concerns and then find what can be done about those. If you need help, drop me a note.

In the meantime, here is some more material:
Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking
More modernizing data protection, virtualization and clouds with certainty
Cloud conversations: AWS Government Cloud (GovCloud)
Amazon cloud storage options enhanced with Glacier
Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) publishes two new cloud usage models

Data protection modernization, more than swapping out media
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the NetFlix Fix?
What do VARs and Clouds as well as MSPs have in common?
Only you can prevent cloud data loss
The blame game: Does cloud storage result in data loss?
Cloud conversations: Loss of data access vs. data loss
Clouds are like Electricity: Dont be Scared
Poll: What Do You Think of IT Clouds?

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

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More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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