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Technology companies are on the upswing, as is clear from results of companies like Apple, Google, VMware, Intel etc. This does not imply that the rising tide is necessarily lifting all boats, as evinced from lackluster results of companies like Cisco, Yahoo etc. One common thread that is helping the growth is the adoption of hosted solutions – the “cloud,” as they are now called. The adoption of all flavors of the cloud – public, private, hybrid – is on the upswing. This week’s Force10 acquisition by Dell is interesting since it now allows Dell to provide the complete solution stack – servers, storage, networking – to enable enterprises to create private clouds.

Right now, there is a clear distinction between Public Cloud (like Egnyte) or Private Cloud (in your own data center). My belief is that these two distinct worlds will start merging within this year’s time frame. I envision large enterprises adopting a version of a Public Cloud solution where the “control plane,” i.e. the ability to access files from anywhere with any device, access and manage metadata around the files, indexed searches etc., is served by a company like Egnyte, but the actual data store still resides within your own data center. There are some interesting challenges related to time duration of data being transient in the control plane for all kinds of processing to happen, compliance with corporate policies, and last but not least, latency management when the actual storage layer could be quite distant from the control plan.

But this will happen. I am placing a bet on this.

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