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April 04, 2014


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Mark Kulacz (NetApp)

Good post.

The goal of any public company is ultimately to sustain revenue and profit growth, and there will no doubt be constant temptation to cut corners with respect to data protection and accessibility to support that fiscal growth. Since most storage interfaces have no "protection level" specification as part of their storage abstraction (this is usually performed out of band), its impossible to have the highest confidence in the protection of one's data once it is no longer in a company's (or individual's if you prefer) own governance on their own premises.

And even if the consumer could specify a protection level for cloud storage, how could that be validated? Should it be, dare I say, regulated? Taking it to the extreme, will it someday data protection with some of these cloud storage providers be so thin and "over-leveraged" that it is reminiscent of the mortgage backed securities of the banking industry several years ago.... where clouds start to claim other clouds are backing up their data, who in turn rely on other clouds storage providers? And so on and so forth. If the business model is proven viable, which providers will be the ones that set the price that the other’s must follow?

Data kept within corporations is also at risk due to the very same reasons - cost. Just like most homeowners never replace their roof when they should, and most IT shops are overburdened and under-budgeted. On a whole, the public cloud storage model makes tremendous fiscal sense for many users and applications, but we have to be eyes-wide-open of the new challenges, and the scale of those risks.

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