As you might have seen, Microsoft Press published a new free ebook this week: Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model. Below is a quick Q & A with the author about the book. Enjoy.

Q: Why is Rethinking Enterprise Storage an important book for people to read now?

A: Cloud services are the next big thing in computing. Everybody wants to figure out how to use the cloud or participate in the transformation that cloud computing provides. My book describes how businesses can use the cloud to simplify and manage one of their most important infrastructure elements: data storage. Storage might not be the first thing that pops into a person’s head when they think about cloud, but the changes being brought to storage from the cloud are just as profound as the changes being brought to any other aspect of information technology.

Q: What will readers walk away with after reading Rethinking Enterprise Storage?

A: I think readers will walk away with another example of how profoundly transformative cloud computing is. There will be a lot of “I wish I had thought of that” with readers of this book. But more than that I think readers will get a glimpse of how the new Microsoft devices and services strategy can deliver a lot of value to customers. The hybrid cloud storage model is all about on-premises storage devices integrating with Windows Azure Storage services. People who may be skeptical of this vision need to see what we are doing with hybrid cloud storage.

Q: What’s so exciting and important about hybrid cloud storage?

A: The biggest thing – the most important and exciting thing about hybrid cloud storage is that it solves problems that traditional storage can’t – like data growth. We live in a world where data growth is projected to be doubling every two years. This is literally breaking the operations of companies all over the world. There is all this data to do things with, but companies can’t get ahead of how to store and manage it all affordably. Hybrid cloud storage is the only technology designed to deal with that.

Q: What are some of the other problems that hybrid storage solves that are described in Rethinking Enterprise Storage?

A: One of the biggest is the near impossibility that companies have testing disaster recovery for many of their applications. DR is too disruptive to practice, so IT teams tend to skip it, hoping they won’t ever need to do it. I describe a process called deterministic, thin recoveries in the book that allow IT teams to test recoveries without turning their operations inside out. Another big problem is automating off site data protection for lots of data that companies can’t afford to protect with replication, but need that sort of protection just the same. The book explains how cloud snapshots effectively overhaul data protection for a lot of applications – removing the long hours, drudgery and errors that are associated with backup.