Cloud Storage Management: Balancing Cloud and In-house Data
Data has always been valuable, but over the past decade we have seen a dramatic increase in just how much data holds value. We know the optimal time of day to post on social networks, we can predict what a customer’s next purchase will be based on a few of their previous purchases, and we test which call-to-action is more likely to succeed in each demographic.
With all this data comes the need for storage and management. Protection and accessibility are essential to proper data storage, and cloud storage has become an incredibly viable solution that gives you access to your data while keeping it secure, and adjusting to fit your needs. But that doesn’t entirely replace the need for keeping some of your most vital information in-house as well.
Utilizing the Cloud
Some people still fear putting their data into the cloud based on unfounded assumptions of insecurity, but what many people with this paranoia fail to realize is that when you use a cloud storage vendor, you are using a team of professionals that specializes in storing and protecting data, so can provide you with a more secure option than your internal staff of IT generalists can provide.
Cloud services also provide elasticity in their services, allowing you to easily adjust the volume of storage you need to use, so you aren’t overpaying for storage space in anticipation of growth. The capacity grows with you which keeps the cost lower.
Integrated cloud storage will also help you sync multiple locations while keeping IT costs lower by not requiring as much support at each location.
Keeping Your Hands on It
One issue to consider with cloud storage is the possibility of downtime that could make your data inaccessible. While this is a real concern, it is also a concern with your own internal network, and cloud service providers understand that uptime is one of the most important aspects of their service and prioritize it appropriately.
What this means is that your most vital data should be stored on-site and in the cloud, because sometimes redundancies are good. Whether you’re worried about an outage or disaster recovery, cloud storage in conjunction with some physical storage is going to provide the best solution but does require integration.
There is a necessary investment to start implementing cloud storage and meld it with your existing physical data center. Fortunately, shard infrastructure platforms, like Dell’s PowerEdge VRTX server, make this integration process simple and managed so that all systems are running seamlessly on the most current information, regardless of whether your current system uses direct attached storage (DAS), network attached storage (NAS), Fibre Channel, or internet SCSI.
In addition to making cloud storage setup a breeze, these integrated server solutions put you in a position to start utilizing other services to make your business more efficient like desktop virtualization to let employees work from anywhere without issues or to automate IT tasks to provide quicker response to events and reduce errors in regular maintenance.
Making the Move
The expansion of cloud services is a growing trend because it is one of the few win-win scenarios where you get better performance and greater flexibility at a lower cost than traditional services. Many companies’ resistance on moving to cloud storage is because they have already invested in traditional storage solutions, but continuing t throw good money after bad is not how businesses survive. Making the move now positions your company to be ready for the new computing era where big ROI comes from big data.
By Mike Smith