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Cloud Storage is about Application Delivery, not Cheap Backup

2012 ushers in the Consumerization of IT (CoIT) within the enterprise as the most strategic opportunity in IT infrastructure. CoIT is generally defined as consuming applications and content within your work life the same way you do it in your personal life. For enterprises to deliver equivalent applications they need more than an Enterprise App Store, they require a storage cloud supporting customers, partners and employees.

2011 led us to believe that cloud storage is bulk cheap – 12 cents per gigabyte storage for backup and archiving delivered as a service. Cheap cloud storage made it easy to miss highly productive applications based on public cloud storage.

For example, Evernote continues to drive enterprise users to the public cloud. The proliferation of applications like Evernote is sending a clear signal to Enterprises everywhere — cloud storage is about application delivery.

CIOs are scrambling to engage in some form of enterprise application delivery based on CoIT. CIOs realize Enterprise App Stores require a mobile-first development model. “Mobile-first” development assumes your application is first developed for mobility and App Stores, as shared by Kevin Spain in a guest post on forbes.com.

Mobile-first applications store data differently because they are designed for delivery via App Stores. Mobile-first products will not use traditional storage, file systems, databases and content management systems. Deployments of mobile-first enterprise CoIT applications require Storage Cloud software.

Applications have evolved from browser-based to App Store-based since the introduction of Apple iTunes and Apple Store. Browser-based applications use data services provided by simple databases, file systems and even traditional content management systems. Those data services work well behind a firewall or within a perimeter zone.

Perimeter zone data services do not translate well to the needs of enterprise CoIT applications. CoIT applications developed by the enterprise for customers, partners and employees require scalable back end data storage, exposed as a simple API storage pool.

CoIT applications designed to use CoIT data services improve the usability of thin client applications. Usability is improved because the application is richer, consumption is flexible and manipulation is made possible. Thin client application provisioning is made possible by Enterprise App Stores. However, the anytime and anywhere CoIT data services are made possible through scalable and simple storage.

MobileFirst application delivery requires RESTful storage.png

Figure 1 visualizes Enterprise CoIT applications using Storage Cloud software as the panacea of application and desktop deployment once envisioned by virtual desktop. VMware’s late 2011 announcement of re-purposing Zimbra for Enterprise App Store data services indicates their support of Figure 1. The silent move is in response to their March announcement of VMWare View and the extreme adoption path of VMWare View over a 6 month period.

Mezeo understands why VMWare has a sudden and aggressive interest to support enterprise CoIT applications. VMWare realizes an Enterprise App Store combined with on-premise hybrid cloud storage is more natural than virtual desktops.

Supporting Mezeo’s strategy and VMWare’s announcements, there were multiple enterprise CoIT application examples in the news in the latter half of 2011. The following are examples of enterprise organizations adopting App Stores and Storage Cloud software.

NASA was one of the first organizations to share its success with Storage Cloud software. Its cloud storage infrastructure is called Nebula. One year later, NASA kicked off its organizational App Store. InformationWeek Government quotes NASA Goddard CIO Arian Gardner as saying, “We are looking at how we can virtualize the desktop so you can gain access to your resources from any device, anyplace, anywhere.”  NASA is realizing the convergence of CoIT with its application and cloud storage infrastructure, much like Mezeo knows and VMware recently discovered.

RehabCare, a Healthcare organization in St. Louis, MO, reduced its information technology infrastructure costs by 92%. In addition, it generally eliminated “shadow IT costs.”  Shadow IT is when a business unit or group of workers procure technology outside of the normal IT business process. RehabCare CIO, Dick Escue, shares his story in a VentureBeat article. Mr. Escue employed tablets, CoIT applications and services like “Apple Devices, Force.com and Google” have led to the reduction in costs. You can learn more about RehabCare custom application based on cloud storage from force.com on apple.com iPAD for business.

Throughout 2011 Mezeo was quietly enabling cloud storage infrastructure throughout the US and Asia. Mezeo’s business strategy and product offerings are aligned with strategic choices made in 2012 for an Enterprise App Store using REST-based Storage Cloud software.

For an enterprise solution that is like Dropbox™, consider Mezeo Cloud for your e

nterprise. Mezeo has developed and will make available this quarter a file-share-synch product. Mezeo knows cloud storage is not about 12 cents per gigabyte storage; it is about enabling your enterprise CoIT App Store for customers, partners and employees.

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Joshua L. Konkle

About Joshua L. Konkle

Vice President DCIG, LLC

Joshua Konkle is Vice President at DCIG LLC, an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Konkle has been a business advisor with them since September 2006.

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