Once considered difficult, if not impossible, to achieve, high-performance cloud storage is becoming a reality for some enterprise IT shops.
There's cloud storage, there's high-performance storage, but is there really such a thing as high-performance cloud storage?
For a long time, the answer was no.
"Any time you move your infrastructure somewhere outside of your data center, there's going to be latency involved, and you run in to the speed of light problem," said Scott Sinclair, analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass. "The speed of light can only go so fast."
Those that required high-performance storage out of their cloud providers either learned to compromise, or stayed home. Increasingly though, there are emerging technological approaches that suggest that you can have your cloud storage cake and eat it too – that is, it's possible to run IO-intensive, latency-sensitive applications with some level of cloud-based infrastructure.
High-performance cloud storage could allow organizations to run demanding database applications in the cloud that have been stymied by cloud storage's limitations. It could also allow you to keep applications on-premises, but take advantage of cheap and scalable cloud storage over the wide area network. And finally, it could make it possible to run compute in the cloud that accesses storage infrastructure back in the private data center.