Storage: special report

"For firms that have a lot of remote workers, a lot of them are going to be going across the WAN to get to files anyway so rather than going to headquarters they may as well go to a cloud provider."

Finally came backup and restore, where again performance was less of an issue.

"It might be an option for companies that don't have a second data centre to send their data stream to. Instead they can send it to this cloud provider across the WAN and then be able to restore their operations from that location."

Whichever way it is used in the cloud though, both analysts agreed it was an imperative part of a cloud computing environment.

Glamorous storage?

Storage is not surrounded by the same levels of excitement as other technologies are but will it ever get the same recognition as its more glamorous counterparts?

Longbottom just could not see it happening.

"[Businesses] understand a computer," he said. "It's a case of you have a computer at home and you know what problems it has every now and again, and it is generally down to an application, the operating system or something like that."

However, when it came to storage at home, we have the 1TB drives we pop down to the shops for and pay about 70. Enterprise storage is a different ball game.

"When the storage expert says we need another terabyte of storage and EMC says to us they are going to charge us this much, it is just the case of jaws hitting ground. It is difficult for the business to understand what enterprise class storage holds that is so completely different. It is many orders of magnitude different from oh, I just went down to PC World and got this for 70.'"

Until that understanding happens, which Longbottom thinks is unlikely, storage just won't have the same recognition as other technologies.

Yet, with such a plethora of features, real excitement around acquisitions and a future in the cloud, it may not be glamorous but storage will remain an essential part of any IT environment.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.