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Network World - According to a Gartner survey, about 19% of organizations are using the cloud for production computing, while 20% are using public cloud storage services.
That means there's a pretty good sized market for the cloud, and specifically cloud storage. Gartner predicted in 2012 $109 billion was spent on cloud computing, a 20% increase from the year before.
But the cloud is a big industry too, with a lot of vendors seemingly having a cloud strategy today. So where do potential customers start? Recently, Gartner released a list of the top 10 cloud storage providers, based on enterprise capabilities. Below is a description of each, based on pros, cons, strengths and weaknesses.
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Amazon Web Services
Like many other aspects of cloud computing, Amazon Web Services is considered a market leader in cloud storage. It's been an early and aggressive player in the market and its services drive offerings from competitors, Gartner says, while its pricing is the "industry reference point." Its Simple Storage Service (S3) is the basic object storage, while Elastic Block Storage is for storage volumes. AWS keeps innovating too. Earlier this year AWS announced Glacier, a long-term, low-cost archival storage services. More recently, at its first-ever user conference, AWS announced Redshift, a cloud-based data warehousing service.
AWS has challenges though, Gartner notes. While it has a tool to link on-premise data to its cloud, named AWS Storage Gateway, the ability to create hybrid storage architectures that span both on-premise storage options and AWS's cloud is still largely a work in progress, Gartner says. AWS is an innovative company that continues to release products and services to round out its already-market leading position though. With services geared to specific vertical industries, most notably the federal government agencies with its GovCloud service, it has a wide breadth and depth of cloud storage features and services.
More information on Amazon Web Service's cloud storage options.
AT&T's Synaptic cloud storage service is aligned closely with EMC's Atmos storage service, which is used as an on-premise storage system. This creates an opportunity for AT&T to sell into the strong EMC customer base, and gives customers hybrid cloud capabilities with a leading storage vendor. Gartner says this has been focused mostly on small and midsized businesses though. Still, AT&T claims it has recorded double-digit growth in its service, with several billion objects stored in its cloud. AT&T Synaptic already spans multiple regions, which customers can choose to take advantage of, with plans by AT&T to expand the service globally, with Europe being the next stop. Customers using AT&T's VPN service are freed from ingress and egress charges when using the company's cloud service.