Public Cloud Storage Buying Guide Page 2 - Page 2


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In addition, Amazon has various other cloud storage options:

  • AWS Glacier is for archiving of inactive data.
  • Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) within Amazon S3 can reduce costs by storing non-critical data at lower levels of redundancy than Amazon S3’s standard storage.
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides block-level storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 instances.
  • The AWS Storage Gateway is a service connecting an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage for integration between on-premises IT environment and AWS’s storage infrastructure.

Pricing varies widely. For example, AWS Glacier pricing for inactive data can be as low as 1 cent per GB per month; however, it can be 3.5 to 5 hours before you can access your data, according to Schulz.

“I like that I can pick locations including inside the U.S, or outside, as well as level of resiliency and cost in addition to being able to leverage Glacier for inactive data,” added Schulz.

Microsoft Windows Azure Blob Storage

While Amazon S3 is probably the most well-known public cloud service, it now has some stiff competition. Microsoft Windows Azure Blob Storage, for example, came out ahead of Amazon in storage vendor Nasuni’s Second Annual State of Cloud Storage Report. Azure outperformed S3 to take the top spot using the criteria of speed, availability and scalability. According to the tests, Azure was 56 percent faster in write speed, 39 percent faster at reads and 25 percent faster in average response time.

Windows Azure storage services are said to provide persistent, redundant storage in the cloud. The storage services are split into the Blob service, Queue service and Table service. Azure Blob storage is designed for storing large amounts of unstructured data that can be accessed via HTTP or HTTPS. A single blob can be hundreds of GB, and a single account can contain up to 100 TB of blobs. Common uses include serving images or documents directly to a browser, distributed file storage, streaming video, backup and DR. Pricing is pay as you go with discounts available for long-term contracts.

HP Cloud Object Storage

The HP Cloud is built on open source OpenStack technology. It is composed of several elements. The HP Cloud Application Platform as a Service (PaaS) deals with application development and deployment. HP Cloud Workload Migration Services help users assess, plan and migrate existing production workloads to HP’s public cloud. HP Cloud Object Storage scored second overall in read speed according to the Nasuni report.

“When transitioning production workloads to the cloud, enterprises look for solid service-level agreements, integrated management, provisioning, orchestration and effective customer support,” said Zorawar Singh, senior vice president and general manager, converged cloud and cloud services at HP.

Currently in beta, HP's cloud is moving to a pay-as-you-go model starting at $0.10 per GB per month for at least 99.95 percent availability. It is said to facilitate the transition from one compute instance to another and is best suited to applications requiring frequent data access such as web applications. Until the beta phase is over, the service will be discounted 50 percent.

“HP’s public cloud continues to release services into general availability on a foundation of open source software,” said Carl Brooks, an analyst, at 451 Research.

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