Originating Author: David Floyer
Companies like Xdrive offer 50 gigabytes for $10/month which includes server and back-up costs. Xdrive knows that the majority of its customers will use less storage than allocated and it prices the service accordingly. Increasingly, Goliaths like Google and Microsoft are gearing up to provide application and storage services that will be attractive to user departments. Many applications with large amounts of storage will be candidates for these services, especially those with external communication (e.g., email).
IT departments need to understand how and when they will be competitive with these types of storage services and find ways to qualify and offer them to clients where it makes business sense. Service-side and delivery-side virtualization implementations are key enablers. In addition, IT must focus on adding services that provide the enterprise functionality and protection that consumer companies are unlikely to provide.
Action Item: User departments will demand consumer-like services that provide simple interfaces, reasonable service levels and transparent costs and usage metrics. IT should qualify and offer such services to leverage emerging consumer service infrastructures and focus on aligning internal resources to areas these providers will not address. This includes providing additional enterprise services such as very fast recovery through snapshots, recovery with zero data loss, remote replication and highly specific application functionality.