As companies look for ways to trim expenses and streamline their storage architecture, one solution is the hybrid cloud. While there are some differing opinions on what a hybrid cloud looks like, we consider the hybrid cloud to be a combination of a private cloud, which is a third-party managed cloud infrastructure located behind an organization's firewall, and a public cloud, where data is stored outside the organization's data center in a third-party managed cloud storage system. The hybrid cloud storage solution is rising in popularity; it combines the cost savings of public cloud storage for less sensitive data, while providing the security of the private cloud for more sensitive data.
The Hybrid Cloud - a Critical Concern
This year is a pivotal year for hybrid cloud technology. IDC (News - Alert) predicts that more than 65 percent of IT organizations will commit to the hybrid cloud before 2016. Clearly, this is a trend that has deep support. With no up-front hardware investments, cloud storage can be a fraction of the costs of on-site storage and a viable choice for many organizations. As more cloud storage providers offer solutions that enable organizations to easily search data across the hybrid cloud, this new integrated architecture and toolkit enable the hybrid cloud to emerge as a strong contender in the archive data storage industry.
Benefits of Cloud Storage
There are many basic benefits of cloud storage that apply to any data situation.
- Cloud storage fees are paid on a monthly basis and eliminate the need for a large upfront investment in storage hardware
- Cloud storage is generally less expensive per terabyte than traditional on-site archive storage
- Organizations save money by reducing internal personnel hours, since cloud storage providers are generally responsible for the management of your data
- Cloud storage reduces heating and cooling costs since some, if not all, of the hardware is located off-site
There are also benefits of cloud storage that are specific to archive data storage. When an organization moves its archive data to the cloud, this can reduce the personnel hours spent on capacity planning. With the right cloud storage plan and architecture, hybrid cloud storage should be almost endlessly scalable. In addition, many of the archive data storage headaches are outsourced to your storage provider. Furthermore, by storing archive data in the cloud, organizations should have multi-platform support and easy access to the data. This simplifies access for organizations with different geographic locations or organization that contract a big data company to mine its data. Cloud storage ensures that collaboration should be easy and groups should be able to access the data from any location.
What Organizations Need to Know Before Migrating Archive Data to the Cloud
When moving from on-site archive storage to cloud storage, organizations should be aware that these two solutions have different file system interfaces. Most on-site archive storage solutions support standard file system interfaces (CIFS/NFS) as well as APIs for the current storage provider. Cloud storage requires support for new APIs such as Representational State Transfer (REST) and possibly Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), although SOAP is fading in popularity. When selecting a data migration provider, ensure that the company can accommodate the file transitions. Furthermore, when switching to cloud storage, keep in mind that it is subject to Internet slow-downs and outages. Public cloud storage is generally a little slower than on-site storage, and if there is an outage, organizations can temporarily lose access to backup and storage data. With a hybrid cloud architecture for archive data, as long as the less sensitive and infrequently accessed data is in the public cloud section of its solution, the slower transfer and access concerns are generally less critical.
Is the Hybrid Cloud the Right Choice for Archive Data?
For organizations that are considering storing archive data in the hybrid cloud, evaluate all of the pros and cons, and then carefully vet the cloud service providers to ensure that data will be safe, scalable and accessible. When it is time to migrate the archive data, select an experienced data migration professional services company. Ensure that the archive data migration company has experience migrating all of the pertinent types of files. Many organizations are surprised to discover that many cannot migrate certain types of application files. With the trend moving towards the hybrid cloud, organizations have a wealth of archive data storage solutions from which to choose. An organization that migrates its archive data now, can increase its ROI from reduced costs, and position the organization for the future with a more flexible archive data storage architecture.
About the Author: Gary Lieberman is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Interlock Technology Inc., the leading provider of archive data migrations services. Since Interlock’s inception, Lieberman transformed Interlock’s business model by virtualizing service delivery and expanding its market presence globally. Interlock is recognized by its extensive partner community for its ability to execute complex services, with a high degree of competence and agility, as well as its ability to migrate more types of application data than any other archive data migration provider.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino