This guest post comes from our friends at Cloudian. 

Whether you are a service provider or an enterprise considering providing cloud services, using cloud services, building an internal private cloud, or even enabling a hybrid cloud, it can seem that there are an overwhelming number of things to consider: Network, Compute, Storage, Virtualization, Cloud Orchestration, APIs, Deployment Costs, Hardware costs. And the list goes on.

At Cloudian, we believe the first and most critical decision to make is regarding your cloud storage system. Why?  Storage systems are critical in enabling hybrid clouds and cloud migrations, and storage systems need to ensure the reliability of the cloud system. Storage can be a significant component to any IT budget and through scale out technology, object storage technology and the hybrid cloud model, storage costs can be reduced.

Hybrid cloud models have yet to be realized and there are plenty of reasons why. But now with the advent of cloud storage platforms that are easy to install, support the industry de facto standard S3 API from Amazon, and are priced in the spirit of the cloud model, the storage system, a key component of the hybrid model, is available and accessible to the enterprise and all cloud service providers.

Up to now, enterprises that have developed their applications for the Amazon cloud and leveraged its performance, availability and APIs from the very beginning, have found it challenging to pull workloads and applications into their own data center once they have reached scale. Likewise enterprises that have built private clouds for traditional IT workloads have found it complex and expensive to use external cloud services whenever they need additional or transient capacities.

Now, with platforms like Cloudian, if you are an existing Amazon user you can quickly and inexpensively build your private cloud with the full confidence that your workloads will migrate easily. Likewise if you are a service provider you can now build Storage-as-a-Service (StaaS) quickly and inexpensively with the confidence that you have access to an existing market and can provide all of the applications and tools found in the Amazon ecosystem.  And to ensure that there are no cost based barriers to entry, Cloudian is now offering it’s fully featured Community Edition for free for systems up to 100TB.

Cloudian was designed to provide the critical features needed to enable the hybrid cloud model including full support of all of the advanced functionality of S3, lowering the cost of storage by utilizing object storage technology, and integrating as the secondary storage system to the most widely used cloud compute platforms, including Citrix CloudPlatform.

Cloudian’s integration with the Citrix CloudPlatform ensures a highly reliable cloud compute environment. Cloud management is simplified by giving users and administrators one user interface and single sign-on capabilities. Multi-zone access to templates and snapshots also helps ensure the cloud’s scalability and reliability. You can learn more about this integration at http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/6342.

The Community Edition is a great way to get started without incurring any cost, or spending significant resources. To request a download of the Community Edition visit us at http://www.cloudian.com/get-started.html.

By Bob DeFeo, VP of Business Development, Cloudian