You’ve heard it again and again. The advantages of cloud computing are many – increased scalability, gains around flexibility and, of course, cost-efficiency. The cloud is a cost-effective and customizable storage solution because businesses only pay for what they use and cloud providers take care of the rest, such as hardware purchases, upgrading operating systems, maintenance, and encrypting data for security. By moving data offsite and finding a cloud storage provider, business leaders have more time to focus on customers and spend less time worrying about infrastructure.
Moving beyond the two Cs
So what’s the problem? With all of these advantages, data storage is sometimes categorized as a fast, cheap, one-size-fits-all commodity. While cloud storage systems often cost less and meet PCI, HIPAA/HITECH, and GDPR, there’s also more to the equation. What’s the migration plan for moving data to the cloud? Do you move all of your data at once? What about connecting legacy systems with new cloud-based apps? How will the cloud provider keep up with security needs?
Companies need to move beyond the basics – cost and compliance – so that they are confident knowing they are making the right decision and data is continually protected, secure, and readily available in a cloud storage environment. By finding a cloud storage provider that can be with you for the long haul, you’ll eliminate wasted cycles and any unplanned gaps in service. Let’s dive deeper into a few considerations.
What does migration look like?
Just because a company decides to ‘migrate to the cloud’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that data will be 100% stored offsite with a cloud service provider. Before starting on your cloud migration, it’s important to first look into the type of cloud storage needed, matching those requirements to things like cost of storage, how often the data needs to be accessed, speed of access, and life of data. Then, the cloud provider can help designate the types of storage ‘buckets’ that are most appropriate for storing data.
The time required for migrating from on-prem to the cloud depends on the data type, size, and security needs, and the connection speeds. Knowing the options can help a company determine the best approach, whether it’s over a public network, a direct connection, a physical transfer, or some combination of all methods.
What should you move to the cloud?
For many companies, legacy systems within the organization are not cloud-ready, or it doesn’t make financial sense to run applications that way. A hybrid cloud storage strategy allows teams to get new life out of that expensive on-prem hardware while leveraging systems that are difficult or expensive to fit into a cloud-based storage model.
For example, many organizations decide to keep existing applications on legacy on-premise storage systems, and they use the cloud as primary storage for ‘new’ applications, which could include analytics data, Big Data, or IoT. This gradual transition of moving applications to the cloud protects investments and enables teams to gradually decommission legacy storage platforms, if and when it makes sense for the business.
What about backup, recovery and archival storage needs?
Another example is using cloud storage for on-premises or cloud-based workloads, or secondary storage as backup and recovery. Many companies also start by leveraging the cloud for archival storage needs and long-term storage retention because data in this environment is infrequently accessed, and costs are kept low. This level of cloud storage versatility gives organizations the ultimate flexibility to migrate to the cloud on their terms.
While the cloud offers serious advantages for storing data when compared to managing physical or virtual data storage infrastructure on-site, there’s a lot to consider. An organization should start by looking at its requirements today and goals for growth. Before starting down your cloud migration path, let LanYap Networks help you make the right choice for your business.