The cloud is one of the biggest buzzwords in the data storage world today. But who is using cloud computing storage, what are they using it for, and is it a good fit for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)? According to a survey by Storage Strategies NOW and the Storage Networking Industry Association, the storage of backup data is the primary use for cloud storage. Sixty-six percent of the respondents also said that they would use the cloud for email data.
In contrast, Iconnyx recently revealed the results of its "State of the Nation Cloud Report" for the SMB market. This report said small businesses are using cloud predominantly for storage (67%) and website hosting (56%). Iconnyx's research also showed there's still confusion around the benefits of implementing cloud storage, with cost cited as both a benefit and a top barrier.
In our quiz on SMB cloud terms, learn about the most important cloud storage terms, what they mean, and why they're important. Take our quiz, and if you haven't done as well as you've hoped, check out our tutorial on small business cloud storage.
1. This is a type of cloud computing in which a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet. These services may be free or offered on a pay-per-usage model.
2. This is a type of cloud storage that looks like and operates like a standard DAS, SAN or NAS storage system. But what makes it different is it acts as a cache to the storage cloud. It can provide most of the functions expected in primary storage today, including snapshots, thin provisioning and even deduplication and/or compression.
3. This is a strategy for backing up data that involves sending a copy of the data over a proprietary or public network to an off-site server. The server is usually hosted by a third-party service provider, who charges the backup customer a fee based on capacity, bandwidth or number of users.
4. This is a proprietary computing architecture that provides hosted services to a limited number of people behind a firewall.
5. This is a backup strategy also known by the acronym D2DTC.
6. This is a term for a Web-based service that provides storage space on a remote server. They are accessed over the Internet with client-side software, and are useful for backing up files. They can make it possible for a small business to store and sync documents and other electronic media without having to purchase or maintain external hard drives or file servers.
7. These types of systems can be used as an alternative to in-house email archiving.
8. This is a contract between a service provider and a customer that specifies, usually in measurable terms, what services the service provider will furnish. It's important to get one of these from your cloud storage service provider.
9. This is a turnkey product for private cloud deployments. With this technology, a private cloud is a virtualized environment behind a firewall that automates self-provisioning for authorized users whose business departments are billed by usage.
10. This is cloud computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and has others provided externally. For example, an organization might use a public cloud service for general computing but store customer data within its own data center.
This was first published in May 2011