Moving all or part of a customer's storage to the cloud can be a real boon in terms of reducing the cost and increasing the flexibility of their IT environments.
But solution providers that take the plunge into this new technology will find one benefit specific to them: cloud storage can be an easy first step into the nascent cloud computing business.
The goal of cloud storage is to move part or all of a company's data from its own IT infrastructure to another infrastructure where it can be separately managed. Data can be stored and accessed over the Internet on a storage infrastructure owned either by the company or by a third party, and with that infrastructure housed either on-site or at a separate location.
Because capacity in storage clouds is paid for on a per-gigabyte basis, it can be considered an operating expense rather than a capital expense. The total cost of storage stored in a cloud typically depends on the capacity, and so in theory can rise and fall as capacity increases or decreases. However, capacity seldom decreases, unless part of it is used for specific temporary projects such as testing of new applications.
While the cost-per-gigabyte of using a storage cloud sometimes seems low when the total amount of data stored is low, the costs can add up quickly as capacity increases, and can exceed the cost of storing the data in a company's own infrastructure. However, outsourcing the management of that data, a feature of cloud storage, could result in significant cost savings for many customers.
A Storage Cloud For Everyone