According to a recent report from research firm Ovum, a new generation of services is emerging in public clouds that can handle live data generated by applications running on customers' premises. The firm states that these enterprise-class cloud storage services can relieve the burden of storing data on customers' premises and have the multiplying effect of transferring to the cloud provider the responsibility of backing up that data.
Vendors have been pitching online storage services to IT for over a decade, but they never reached their potential or won significant adoption. "Considerable investments were made in these companies, and industry observers predicted that they would thrive. But the opposite happened, and the [online storage service provider] movement collapsed within a few years," Ovum said in its report.
Cost was a big factor in that failure. Because the online storage service providers were using the same enterprise storage systems as their customers, their services weren't significantly cheaper than what customers were paying for their own in-house storage. Stammers also noted that these providers faced hefty network bandwidth costs and resistance from customers still unfamiliar with the emerging concept of public cloud services.
But a lot has changed over the past several years. The price of network bandwidth has plummeted and, with IT budgets under considerable pressure in a shaky economy, CIOs are looking for ways to effectively cut costs. Also, far from being a foreign concept, cloud computing has become far more established with the success of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) and other well-known providers.
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