Cloud case studies are becoming easier for data storage pros to find. Indeed, it appears that a sizable chunk of storage professionals have pursued cloud storage strategies. For example, in Storage magazine's October 2011 Storage Purchasing Intentions survey, 21% of respondents indicated they were using some form of non-backup cloud storage services; two years ago, that number was just 14%. According to the same survey, 90% of the nearly 700 respondents said they planned to add more cloud services to their organization by the end of 2011.
Cloud storage has benefits that go beyond obvious pay-as-you-go pricing models and massive scalability. Take, for example, a hospital dealing with a radiology lab. Instead of having a radiologist on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a hospital can upload images to a service provider working with multiple hospitals. Radiologists can then access scans on demand, saving individual hospitals money.
"There are certain verticals where [businesses] can receive a fixed business benefit by leveraging the cloud," explained Terri McClure, a senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group. "That adoption started in 2010 and has continued into 2011."
However, cloud storage still has its hurdles. Latency and security concerns persist and many private cloud projects are muddled due to confusion in the marketplace about how to define cloud storage.
Headed into 2012, the cloud remains a popular option for archiving, disaster recovery (DR) and backup. "It's an affordable way to increase and augment your data protection strategies," McClure said.
With growing amounts of data, the California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) took a shot at hybrid cloud storage with Nasuni Corp.'s Nasuni Filer 2.0, a virtual NAS appliance. Read about why, despite some initial challenges, the university believes the approach has significant promise.
Although medical device manufacturer MedPlast turned to the cloud just for backup at the outset, the MedPlast IT team quickly discovered a higher value to the cloud than they had anticipated. Learn how StorSimple's cloud storage appliance is being used for primary storage, backup and DR.
The University of Southern California (USC) has established one of the largest private storage clouds and begun implementing cloud archiving for more than 100,000 hours of video testimonies from the Shoah Foundation. Read how the university's Digital Repository is working with Nirvanix Inc. to offer outside users storage on its cloud.
Southwestern Michigan College has implemented a StorSimple Enterprise Cloud Storage Appliance to manage the VMware environment across the college's two campuses. Despite some initial worries about security, the college's systems architect explains how the school has benefitted from the switch.
Find out why a Massachusetts high school on a tight budget chose cloud storage and a cloud storage gateway to handle its data protection. After testing other options, the school's technology manager selected the TwinStrata CloudArray for its ability to appear as iSCSI storage and its integration with Active Directory.
The facilities division of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) selected TwinStrata's CloudArray Virtual Appliances to store 80 TBs of data in 15 remote locations. Check out the details on how the district is using Amazon's public cloud storage to save more than $200,000.
This was first published in December 2011