The cloud is not all hype. There is some hype, no doubt, but a lot of capability. There is a need to separate the hype from the capability to truly appreciate the cloud and what it has done for businesses!

The cloud grew out of a business need—the need for instant access, highly available storage. Traditional storage systems failed to deliver in the fast track environment of the modern business and hence are being discarded or relegated to the status of secondary stores. Modern day businesses demand that data must be available instantly, immediately and at the click of a button. Delay is considered fatal to the business.

Growing data volumes have created pressures for scalable storage. The cloud comes with offers of scalable storage. Enterprises can no longer afford to wait endlessly while budget constraints and conferences on scale up of hardware eat into business timeframes. Data must be accommodated instantly in the right type of storage, on demand and the cloud offers an ideal solution.

Not all data is equal and enterprises need data life cycle management systems that can be configured to automatically treat different kinds of data differently. Data life cycle management systems are integral to cloud storage systems. High value data should be stored into Solid State Disks and other high performance disks for instant access and high performance. Data that is not mission-critical should be automatically removed from high value storage and saved into cheaper storage devices. Historical data should be moved into low cost devices such as SATA devices in accordance with policy definitions that are configured in the software settings.

Increasing data volumes have forced businesses to identify ways and means of reducing volumes. Automated data deduplication technologies and compression technologies that are built into the cloud offer data reduction solutions to the businessman.

Data security is a necessity and not a luxury. Businesses must ensure that their data remains secure at all times. Cloud data storage systems enforce data security. Data is not accessible to unauthorized persons at the data level, at the software or hardware level. All data is encrypted at source and is stored in the backup server in an encrypted format. Cloud agent interfaces permit IT Administrators within the enterprise specify authorizations and assign different kinds of rights and permissions to different types of users. Machine numbers can be captured and used as an access input parameter for desktops, laptops or handheld devices that connect to the data repository.

It follows that everything about the cloud is not hype. There are very specific capabilities that have grown out of business needs and service the business!