Industry News Desk
Cloud Storage Initiative Seeks Holy Grail of Portable Data
SNIA's CSI Integrates Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI)
By: Roger Strukhoff
Oct. 19, 2010 11:15 AM
The promise of vendor lock-in is a promise that most IT buyers avoid, particularly smaller businesses and enterprises in developing countries. It's unavoidable to a great degree when it comes to hardware infrastructure, operating environments, and major software applications. One of the promises of Cloud Computing is to avoid vendor lock-in, with computing services being provided by a third-party that is responsible for acquiring the IT infrastructure. But how do you avoid third-party vendor lock-in?
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is attacking this problem through its Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI), and particularly through the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) contained within the initiative. In SNIA's words, "by implementing a standard interface such as CDMI, you are free to move your data from cloud vendor to cloud vendor without the pain of recoding to different interfaces."
Portable data is a Holy Grail of sorts for the industry. It adds a final flexibility and elasticity to Cloud that is lacking when data is locked into a particular provider's environment.
Marc Farley, a well-known storage guru who now works for 3Par (which was recently acquired by HP), is very enthusiastic about it. "This is a huge deal because it promises to alleviate one of the largest concerns about cloud storage, which is portability of data among different cloud storage service and IAAS providers," he writes at his very informative and highly entertaining website, www.storagerap.com.
Marc recently posted a very informative and highly entertaining video at his site as well about CDMI.
You don't have to be a SNIA member to join the CSI/CDMI conversation at the SNIA website.
SNIA's quest is a complex one, and one that I would imagine will involve some passive-aggressive or even actively aggressive pushback from vendors who would love to have a standard of their own, but who are not likely in favor of universal data portability. The seriousness of the issue again points out the empty-vessel nature of hype cycles and other such ephemeral claptrap. Onward!
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