Fast and Cautious Evolution of Cloud Storage

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Executive Summary

When changing a storage system, the stakes are high. Any modification can undermine stability, causing temporary downtime, a permanent loss of data, and still worse - a loss of user confidence. This results in a cautious conservatism among storage developers. On one hand, the risks do justify taking great care with storage system changes. On the other hand, this slow and cautious deployment attitude is a poor match for cloud services tied closely to web-based frontends that follow an "Aways beta" mantra. Unlike traditional enterprise servers, cloud-based systems are still exploring what facilities should be provided by the storage layer, requiring that storage services be able to evolve as quickly as the applications that consume them.

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