EU to Fund €16m Research Project into Cloud Storage

Mike Halsey MVP
Nov 14, 2010
Updated • Mar 12, 2012
Backup, Internet

The technology we use every day is move ever more relentlessly towards the cloud.  This isn't a new concept, it's been around since the birth of Hotmail and other similar webmail services.

Now the European Union is funding research into cloud storage.  Engadget has reported that the "Vision Cloud" project will "explore the possibilities around cloud computing including data mobility and secure access control".

Lead architect Hillel Kolodner says the main aim of the project is to tackle "some of the main issues with cloud storage".

The researchers will also explore concepts such as computational storage, where a program -- called a storelet -- can run within a storage system and can, for example, analyze the soundtrack of a video and, using speech recognition techniques, extract a script of what people in the video are saying.

The problems with cloud storage begin if an individual or company wants to move their storage to a different provider.  Currently they have to download everything and upload it all again to the new service.  This project aims to look at ways of transferring backups from cloud to cloud directly.

One of the largest problems, and certainly one that this commentator faces, is the sheer volume of data to be transferred in the first backup.  Very few cloud providers have the infrastructure to permit your to post them a USB hard disk containing this first backup, and Internet infrastructure simply isn't good or fast enough yet to make this backup easy.

This is a large barrier to cloud services adoption for many, I bought a new NAS drive to store off-site for my own backup rather than face having to upload near 3Tb of files to the cloud.

It will be interesting to see what solutions the research is able to provide, and how easily and quickly such problems could be overcome.


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