The utility of the cloud is beyond question at this point, so while most experts can debate the merits of the various architectures, it is hard to imagine IT in the future without a significant cloud presence. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson told the Australian Financial Review last fall that he believes the cloud to be “the last computing architecture,” because there is no way to improve upon always-on data access from any device anywhere in the world. This may be true, but it was also true in the early 1970s that computer technology was simply too expensive and too complex for the average citizen.
And even if the cloud is highly resistant, or even immune, to disruption, the various consumption models certainly are not, says Silicon Angle’s Maria Deutscher. Already, companies like AppDirect and Actifio are devising new ways for individuals and organizations to tap into the cloud’s vast resources. AppDirect enables self-service provisioning and data migration while still conforming to policy and governance rules, while Actifio promises instance restoration at a fraction of the speed and effort required of traditional data protection platforms. The overarching goal of these and other services is to help the enterprise bridge the gap between cloud flexibility and the need to maintain control over data architectures.
Meanwhile, platforms like Quantum’s Symform are starting to leverage traditional sync and share capabilities to realign the basic cloud distribution model. Rather than simply lease resources from the cloud, Symform has users contribute some of their capacity to a resource pool, which is then used to hold data slices for the entire community. The system provides advanced replication and redundancy, and users are entitled to free cloud storage in proportion to the amount they contribute to the pool. Quantum intends to run the service as is but also leverage its capabilities for the StorNext and Lattus archiving solutions.