Storage Networking World Turns Cloudy

Cloud storage was a big topic at this week’s Storage Networking World conference, even though the number of storage networking users planning to use the technology remains small.

But as the lack of interest in the cloud among enterprise data storage users has already been well documented, perhaps what was most surprising was just how many SNW attendees are considering moving some of their data to the cloud.

Audience polls at general sessions at SNW found that more than half of users think the cloud isn’t ready for enterprise use, but a quarter or more of respondents said they see a hybrid public/private cloud in their future.

Allstate’s Anthony Abbattista told attendees that the insurance company is considering cloud storage for deep archiving, but Kroll CIO Jeff Kubacki and A&E Television CIO Martin Gomberg voiced concerns about the cloud’s security and readiness for enterprises, although A&E is doing a little experimentation with the cloud.

To help ease concern about the cloud’s enterprise readiness, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced the approval of the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) as a SNIA Architecture standard, billed as the first industry-developed open standard for cloud computing.

The interoperability standard is applicable to public, private and hybrid storage clouds and is expected to be implemented by service providers and cloud infrastructure vendors for all cloud deployment models.

Based on a RESTful HTTP protocol, the CDMI standard requires adopters to implement strong access controls as well as providing for encryption of the data on the underlying storage media to accommodate secure multi-tenant cloud environments. CDMI marks cloud storage containers and data objects with Data System Metadata to express service-level requirements, allowing data services such as backup, archive, deduplication, encryption and others to meet these needs automatically.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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