Cloud Storage: More Than Your Digital Dumping Ground

Enterprises are dealing with an onslaught of data that is being generated outside of a traditional, centralized data center. Simply put, data is everywhere, being generated in an expanding number of branch and remote offices, by a growing number of contract and remote employees, and on a diverse range of mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Many enterprises are turning to cloud storage services to obtain a centralized repository for this distributed data environment. Using the cloud for backup can enable the enterprise to delay or to completely avoid investing in a new data center. It can also help to ensure availability as the cloud by design does not store a singular copy of data in a singular location. In today’s age of business analytics and compliance, centralizing to the cloud furthermore can help the enterprise to obtain greater visibility across their copy data. However, using the cloud solely for backup purposes does not position the enterprise to fully leverage the potential of the cloud in terms of supporting disaster recovery, and it positions the enterprise to potentially pay for unused resources.

When evaluating the cloud for use as not strictly a backup repository but as the foundation for their disaster recovery strategy, storage managers should first look for a cloud-specific data protection application that utilizes scale-out cloud compute in addition to storage capacity. Applying elastic compute cycles to capabilities such as deduplication and index management enables these functions to be run on demand. It can also improve the efficiency of disaster recovery operations, as it enables the enterprise to pay only for the compute cycles that they actually use.

In a similar vein, storage managers should look for intelligent tiering of data across on and off-premises cloud resources. On-premises storage can serve effectively as a cache for most current backups, which comprise the vast majority of restores. Intelligently tiering data as it ages to lower-cost, capacity-oriented cloud archive storage can help to cut costs (provided the storage manager is mindful of how their archive capacity requirements will scale with time as well as potential egress charges when recalling data from cloud storage).

Harnessing cloud compute furthermore can enable direct recovery to the location that needs data as opposed to routing through a different backup server. This saves time by eliminating the need for the data to traverse slow network resources, which can be particularly helpful when managing disaster recovery across multiple remote sites.

Learn more from StorageSwiss Lead Analyst George Crump and Druva Chief Technical Architect W. Curtis Preston (“Mr. Backup”) in our on demand webinar, All in the Cloud – Data Protection Up, Costs Down.

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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