We all have surely been pitched the low price of cloud storage or heard a great debate on storage availability in the cloud. Whether or not you have been wooed over, I do believe it important to be aware of the technologies in play. For cloud solutions, I further believe that the right tools will make all the difference for legitimizing a cloud solution.

With API-driven cloud solutions, there are going to be a number of tools that make accessing cloud resources easy. There are some well-known names in the space, like Elasticfox and FastScale Stack Manager. But, also coming into the mix are a number of tools that can provide very specific functionality.

One series of products that have caught my eye is the offering from CloudBerry. This is clearly a fast-moving area as many products are in beta and we are working with a moving target in the clouds. In my opinion, one of the easiest ways to get into cloud is a second or third tier of storage protection. There are a number of CloudBerry tools to help with that, namely the CloudBerry Explorer series. Figure A shows CloudBerry Explorer interacting with the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) cloud with an intuitive interface.

Figure A

Click image to enlarge.

CloudBerry doesn’t stop there, as the CloudBerry Explorer product is offered to connect to the S3 cloud as well as the Nirvanix storage delivery network, Azure blob storage, and SUN cloud storage service. Other CloudBerry products include integrations for Windows Home Server and a Windows Mobile application. Whenever I bring up cloud, one of the most frequent responses is that the cloud is a single point of failure. While, yes, this is true, a cloud service can go offline. Federation, however, allows us to significantly reduce these risks by implementing additional providers.

I think we are at a point where cloud federation with API-driven clouds, especially for storage, is going to be a very realistic solution. What do you think of the possibility of single-tool cloud federation? Share your comments below.