storage clouds: a territorial skyline cloud for the cloud?

When talk turns to the Cloud, the hot ticket currently is the location of information. Security’s no longer the biggest concern, its where data is stored which is key.

Maybe the future lies in clouds for the cloud itself – local skyline storage clouds…
could this be the future of the compliant cloud? Local Skyline Storage

Cloud players like SalesForce and IBM are looking to their own national storage, but its expensive and inefficient. So why not use a storage Cloud for it?

Looking at the local skyline

Many regulated information stores are mandated to remain within territorial limits. Public Sector, Law Enforcement and Citizen Data are classic examples.

Maintaining client data within territorial limits is a real stumbling block for many. What’s the point even considering a pilot cloud project if it isn’t legal?

Often the hardest hit by budget cutbacks, this limitation prevents compliance-tied enterprises capitalising on the Cloud’s many savings and efficiencies.

But what if a national cloud storage facility- a skyline cloud – was available?

The Storage Cloud – one degree of separation

The Cloud providers are wasting revenue by maintaining their own storage silos. Migration from locally attached storage to dedicated appliances began years ago with Storage Area Networks (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS).

Separating the server from the data storage is common practice in data centres. So why not do it in the Cloud, too?

The diagram shows three international clouds (a, b, c) each providing a service. Meanwhile, the data resides within territorial limits in a local or Skyline Cloud.

This is a low risk strategy. No new or emerging technology needs to be deployed. Providing a dedicated storage facility, virtualised or physical for multiple Cloud vendors would be more secure, easier to maintain and relatively low cost.

Don’t Cloud providers expect their customers to accept a multi-tenant existence, what’s so hard about the Cloud vendors doing it themselves?

Adding a further benefit of scale for the Cloud

Maintaining a storage farm is the greatest cost for a Cloud supplier. Unlike their customers, they can’t simply buy what they need, they have to plan far beyond what may be in use. That’s a cost met by their customers or the Cloud’s investors.

If storage could be handed off, so much the better. Connectivity Cloud-to-Cloud is relatively trivial and a high network throughput would not be too difficult maintain. Logically, shared storage clouds are next evolution of the Cloud eco-structure.

So who’s stepping up the storage plate?

The storage vendors are the most obvious casualties of the Cloud revolution. They’ve enjoyed high-margin deployments where inadequate data management practices has seen too much storage deployed at high cost in data centres.

By servicing their own Clouds, storage vendors would see the same demand for their products in fewer locations but of far greater capacity, providing a revenue stream as great or greater than they enjoyed pre-Cloud.

Skyline clouds – a new Cloud buzzword?

Territorial Skyline Clouds seem to address a number of concerns for national security and compliance. Will the term Skyline Cloud become common usage?

Just remember where you heard it first!

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