You know when a blog post begins with a Saturday Night Live reference, it’s going to be an interesting read. Either that or it’s going to be funny at some parts and unbearably drawn-out and unfunny at others… you know, like Saturday Night Live itself. Over at ComputerWorld, Ben Golub evokes a classic SNL commercial parody and draws a connection to cloud computing: is a hybrid storage cloud just about the same as a combination floor wax/dessert topping?
Golub’s looking at hybrid strategies – that is: using a mix of cloud services and on-premises storage for an organization’s needs – as a means of bridging the gap for organizations that want the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of the cloud, but also the autonomy of on-site infrastructure. He points out disaster recovery, load balancing, and application storage as the primary benefits of a hybrid solution. He also seems to conflate “cloud storage” – what you get when you can, say, keep your music, videos, and files in one easily accessible place – and “cloud services” – wherein processes and computations are performed in the cloud. This is a mix-up that’s pretty common, but it’s important to be aware of the distinction.
So, is a hybrid solution the right way to go for your organization? Of course, that’s a call only you can make. But, if you’re looking to get all the benefits of the cloud without needing to make the sizable investment necessary for on-site infrastructure, perhaps you should just cut out the middle man and go with the service that lets you upload and download your data from anywhere with an Internet connection. Say, a service that maximizes your available bandwidth while minimizing the load on your on-site systems, so that you can always get to your files and have the resources available to work with them. Why go with the floor wax/dessert topping combo when you can get all the sweetness of the dessert without having to worry about the floors? ElephantDrive: it’s like frosting or whipped cream… if frosting and whipped cream could securely store files, that is.