Cloud Computing as a Storage Solution

We all know the volume of data is growing. As Computerworld reported in a June article on IDC’s Digital Universe study, the world was on track to create 1.8 trillion gigabytes of data in 2011. That is the equivalent of every US citizen writing three tweets a minute for 26,976 years.

Over the next decade, the number of servers managing the world’s data stores will grow 10 times over. Therefore, finding viable data storage solutions will be one of the main challenges IT executives face this year. Cloud computing plays a huge role in this. Even though it seems costly, using cloud infrastructures to store data is an excellent opportunity for companies to analyze large amounts of information. The resulting analysis can then empower productivity growth and innovation.

Consequently, I consider the storage industry one of the biggest beneficiaries of the cloud, and studies support this. According to a second study from IDC, overall spending by public cloud service providers on storage hardware, software, and professional services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6 percent from 2010 to 2015, while enterprise spending on storage for the private cloud will experience a CAGR of 28.9 percent. By 2015, combined spending for public and private cloud storage will be $22.6 billion worldwide.

This situation also will result in increased demand for IT personnel. IDC’s research is not so optimistic here. It reports that IT executives will likely have trouble finding enough people with the skills and experience to manage big data. The number of IT professionals available to manage all that data will grow only to 1.5 times today’s levels.

I believe the way to choose the right data storage service is to identify the gradual increase for every type of information. In this matter, data storage managers are key people who need to share their insights regularly with management. By analyzing these trends, management can determine IT capital budget requirements efficiently. Likewise, IT management can reduce the velocity of data growth through the elimination of unnecessary data, user education, and data use policies.

Reducing data volume is equivalent to reducing energy costs. However, understanding the cost for cloud storage offerings means thinking beyond the primary storage. For example, once the data is stored, it needs to be protected. I think the real cost of storage is a lifecycle cost for every piece of information, which includes the technologies, processes, and work flows for all types of storage.

Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/649834

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