Cloud data storage is nothing new. Most of us have been using it unknowingly for years with the likes of Gmail, OneDrive, DropBox, and other such cloud-based services. But the business benefits are significant when you compare the capital outlay, management, maintenance, and backup of on-prem storage. With remote working becoming more prominent since the pandemic plus the exponential growth in unstructured data from IoT, the use of Cloud data has taken on new impetus, with experts predicting that the global cloud storage market will grow from $76.43 billion in 2021 to $390.33 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 26.2%.
But there are challenges with Cloud Data storage with vendor lock-in, data sprawl, compliance, and security considerations – to name but a few.
Avoid vendor lock-in
Vendor lock-in is less of an issue with cloud data than other more bespoke PaaS -based services. And at the outset can be advantageous to provide the best possible pricing with attractive discounts for long-term commitments, combined with ultra-low-cost cold storage for archive data, the size of which can be considerable. However, as your data grows, so does the cost of extraction in the form of egress or migration costs. For data held in immutable storage, the problem is potentially worse. The nature of this storage means that you can’t delete your data from the cloud as the mechanisms in place to provide security of data prevent this in line with any set retention policy. The key is to ensure your data remains consistently held in a transportable format, such as in backups elsewhere, to regenerate the data without having to “lift and shift” the live data set should the costs of doing so be prohibitive.
Long-term cost-effective tiered storage
Providers can also charge for data movement between tiers of storage. So, ensure that your ‘hot’ or ‘warm’ data is wherever possible staged on more accessible storage, and migration policies only utilise ‘cold’ storage for stagnant data unlikely to change. Therefore, it is crucial to assess your existing data and group it based on the most suitable tier to be broken into three levels:
- Primary Storage: high-IOPs SSD-based or magnetic storage with unrestricted access
- Secondary Storage: Object-level storage typically accessed via API or native protocols (NFS / SMB)
- Archive Storage: Object-level ‘Cold’ storage for data that is unlikely to change.
In reality, most providers will offer different sub-tiers around these, with specific access policies and associated charges should you exceed these. Tiered storage does mean that there is a shift from just managing storage to managing data, as insufficient data analysis and management could increase your cloud storage costs considerably.
Avoid ransomware and data encryption attacks
As well as solving your ‘live’ data requirements, cloud data storage can also be used for backup purposes, the benefits of which include:
- Off-site ‘air-gapped’ backup storage
- Archive data storage utilising low cost cold ‘tiers’
- Immutable options for ransomware protection
- Simplified Disaster Recovery and sandbox testing
- Access backup data from anywhere
The 3-2-1 rule of backup of backup recommends that any backup strategy includes three copies of data held across two different media types, with one copy offsite. Cloud data storage as part of an overall hybrid backup solution provides a cost-effective way of meeting these criteria, and many backup solutions include Cloud backup providers to host and manage your backups and data and directly integrate with cloud storage from the major Hyperscalers.
CiCloud for data storage
Here at Centerprise, with our CiCloud offering, we have partnered with HPE for Servers, Storage, and networking under HPE Greenlake, CloudSigma for public cloud secure multi-tenant provisioning for IAAS & PAS, and the ARK Data Centre for secure (Crown commercial service certified) and high energy efficiency COLO hosting for our CiCloud implementation which we see as a perfect for SMB customers’ requirements.
We’ll be providing high performance, flexible, public cloud IAAS, Backup aaS, Disaster Recovery aaS, PAAS focused on dev-ops all supported by Centerprise Consulting IT services for Managed cloud capabilities.
Contact us now
More blog posts on other aspects of CiCloud soon. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.