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November 3, 2011

Data on the Cloud: Not Magic

By Joe Maglitta

Darn that Steve Jobs. His Apple was genius at making tech appear to work like magic. Exciting for consumers of all things “i”, revolutionary for the industry. Latest example: “iCloud.” Yet it’s an emerging modern paradox: What makes life easy for consumers often complicates things for IT. And it’s not just management of smart phones and tablets; it’s much of what happens in “the Cloud”.

Consider one facet: Managing data in the cloud. Today, it’s widely accepted that launching selected apps and workloads to the cloud can slash capital and operational, operational and energy expenses.

But it’s not that simple. What data should get managed on a public cloud? Private cloud? How? How does IT coherently manage these scattered info islands? How do you capture efficiencies without croaking app performance? The latter is, in particular, a killer.

A recent industry survey of 700 enterprises in the U.S and Europe illustrates the problem: The average North American company was losing $985,000 annually due to cloud related performance problem, researchers found. Nearly 30 percent are losing more than $1.5 million, 14 percent double that. Ouch.

It’s early, but there’s a growing list of things for IT and enterprises to consider when managing data in the cloud. Among them:

• Developing middleware to connect multiple repositories
• Reducing network bandwidth charges
• Integration with and other key third-party apps
• Cloud Service Level Agreements
• Elasticity for Could Data Management Systems
• Resource and Workload Management in Cloud Databases
• Multitenancy
• High Availability and Reliability in Cloud Databases
• Cloud computing infrastructures design for cloud data services
• Transactional models for Cloud Databases

Still not convinced? Well then how about:

• Distributed and Massively Parallel query processing
• Storage architectures and technologies for cloud databases
• Privacy and security in cloud data management
• Mobile cloud data management
• Economic/business models, and pricing policies
• Novel data-intensive/data-rich computing applications
• Virtualization and Cloud Databases

Head spinning? I could go on, but you get the point.

I was taught never to raise a problem without offering a solution. So here’s a start.

Join Eye on IBM for a “Data on the Cloud” webinar Wed. Nov 9 at 12 p.m. EDT. We’ll be joined by experts from IBM to discuss how to simplify provisioning and dramatically lower costs by deploying data management on the Cloud. You can get more info and register here.

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