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Cloud Data Services and The Day of Reckoning


Sorry to start the year off with such an ominous title, but one thing I like to think about is how cloud services will change our way of life. They will initially change it for the better but once customers begin using high-volume data services in the cloud they will realize that there are parts of the service they may find missing or incomplete for some aspects of their business. Users may find that they need a “historical record” of their content should an ediscovery event occur in their life.

Cloud data services pioneers are placing data into “The Cloud”.  Month after month they will place data there and Gigabytes will become Terabytes and Terabytes may become Petabytes for all we know. This will be a great “pay as you go” service intended to get data “out of sight, and out of mind”.

When the day comes that a cloud data services consumer has to produce documents for ediscovery or other regulatory events (SEC, FINRA regulatory review) and those documents are “in the cloud” they will realize that they have a large discovery problem on their hands. The problem  will be expensive to address and may require time consuming analysis . Some customers are addressing this with on-premise equipment; some are looking for total service offerings that include discovery services. There is a mixed approach to this problem as people start to use cloud services because there is no “one obvious method” to solve the problem of consuming cloud data services.

To level-set what I am talking about; there are a number of companies addressing problems with the “put it away” part of the service issue. There are companies coming up with neat products that help small businesses move data into the cloud and that make that process appear to function like it would with on-premise infrastructure that they are used to seeing. I notice that there are companies making it easier to consume cloud services and meeting part of my vision for the “data de-mark” product I mentioned previously. What I don’t see is a complete solution that addresses the overall problem of insight into and control over data that is being put into the cloud service provider infrastructure.

In one of my blog posts from last year I talked about how the adoption of Cloud Services is being slowed somewhat by the lack of a  Cloud data services box that will help set the “digital data de-mark” point in the network and enable one to consume cloud storage services.

There are a few companies attempting to address this de-mark function. The thinking at this point in time is that something that “looks like” a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device and that puts data and files into the cloud is the answer. Capabilities like these will help, but the real missing link is that they don’t analyze data very deeply before they put it away for you. They don’t deal with the nuance of archives and duplicated information. They do absolutely nothing to help you mitigate and manage costs once you have a discovery event and have to get specific data out of the cloud. In other words, they are part of the solution.


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