It's tough to see the future of cloud storage services without acknowledging hybrid cloud benefits.
If you spend any time in or even near a data center, you've undoubtedly heard the word "cloud" at least five times already today. When talking about storage infrastructure, however, hardware and software vendors have largely sidestepped the issue of cloud storage services. But with many companies looking to cloud services to help ease their infrastructure burden, hardware and software vendors can no longer afford to ignore cloud service offerings.
Storage vendors, both hardware and software, now offer on-premises products that enable access to data stored externally. In this emerging market, products range from treating cloud storage as another production storage tier to enabling long-term archival. Regardless of the product, the goal is to offer hybrid cloud benefits that enable an on-premises experience with data stored in the cloud.
Most organizations are unlikely to move 100% of their data into cloud storage services. However, the relatively low cost of cloud services has encouraged many organizations to test the waters, so to speak, of accessing data externally. The most common implementation of this strategy is a hybrid model that uses a cloud gateway. Cloud gateways are simply software or hardware appliances that aim to treat cloud data as on-premises data. These types of products come in three forms: gateway appliances, array-based tiering software and combinations that work both ways.