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June 29, 2012

Survey Tracks the State of Cloud Storage

Robert Gelber

At this year’s Cloud Computing Expo in New York City, TwinStrata surveyed 101 individuals regarding their views on cloud storage. Respondents were self-selected cloud convention attendees, so the resulting data may not reflect the views of a broader population. That being said, the information provides a unique perspective on the current and future states of storage services.

Of the attendees surveyed, 46 percent said they plan on deploying a cloud storage strategy. Together with those currently implementing the technology, five out of every six respondents either use or plan to use a cloud storage solution. Furthermore, 43 percent said cloud storage was one of their top three initiatives. This indicates the fastest rate of adoption among cloud technologies, beating out Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which is in use by 52.1 percent of the group. Platform-as-a-Service received the chilliest reaction, with 38 percent of respondents having no plans to adopt.

Time to adoption seemed to be affected by the size of a company. For example, half of the respondents coming from organizations with 51-250 employees have deployed some form of cloud technology for more than three years. On the other hand, companies with 251-1000 employees have been active with cloud services for two years or less. The trend was not relational however, as companies claiming more than 1000 employees have also implemented the technology for longer periods of time.

A majority of respondents pointed to growing capacity requirements and scalability as primary benefits for choosing cloud storage. 57 percent agreed with the phrase “It seems like we are always running out of storage.” This is may be attributable to the exponential growth of generated data in recent years. Other reasons for adoption include off site data protection, simplified budgeting and greater accessibility to backups and archives. Of the organizations not implementing some form of cloud storage, thirteen percent estimated that it would take more than one week to recover their data after a disaster.

As mentioned earlier, there is a high amount of interest in storage services, but they currently trail behind IaaS and SaaS technologies. While the results are not surprising, the survey reaffirmed familiar concerns about migrating data to a cloud service. 42 percent of respondents cited data security and control as their biggest objection to cloud storage. Performance, reliability, unknown cost structures and regulatory issues also contributed to their uncertainty.

TwinStrata views the results as an indicator of a maturing cloud market, with the greatest adoption occurring in groups consisting of less than 250 and more than 1000 employees. While there are a number of valid concerns regarding storage services, a growing number of users are paying the technology more attention.