Guest Column | August 22, 2012

With Automation, IT Can Move To Private Storage Clouds

Brent Rhymes

By Brent Rhymes, CEO, iWave Software

While there is no doubt that public storage clouds are useful for certain applications, not all have the right availability, performance and protection for an enterprise’s business critical information. The public cloud is effective for a portion of business, direct attached storage for other parts. However, many companies want to keep their core data on internal systems, and they can do it through private storage clouds with automation.

Why the push toward the cloud at all? To answer that question, one need only look at the enormous weight sitting on the shoulders of IT administrators. Last year, data storage grew at unprecedented levels. IDC estimates that by 2020, data storage will grow by 20 times, while the staff tasked with supporting this demand will inch along at a paltry rate of 1.5 times. The possibility of a data explosion burning out talented IT staff is driving the popularity of storage automation and storage-as-a-service within enterprises.

While IT administrators see the need for private, cloud-based storage of mission-critical data, many fear such initiatives are too difficult because of the complexity of their storage environments. Today’s more sophisticated environments are made up of a range of storage equipment from multiple vendors. The sheer number of issues to consider — from block and file storage types, differing protocols, and storage fabrics to storage hosts, multipatching technologies and data protection technologies
— only begins to describe the difficulty of these environments. It’s no wonder why private clouds seem difficult for corporate IT departments to achieve. Automation, however, changes the equation.