Uncovering the truth about Cloud storage

A red X inside a red circle, in front of a cloud

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cloud services are billed as the solution to virtually every IT challenge. With promises of reduced capital investment, simplified management, and superior uptime, the claims are extraordinary – as is the growth of the sector.

But there are a few secrets behind the major claims.

Cloud is cheaper than on-site infrastructure

For years, cloud providers have been bragging about the ultra-low price of storage. And with per gigabyte prices rapidly approaching zero, these claims appear to be accurate (and hugely attractive to the CFO).

The CTO knows that much of the data held is “bad”. Outdated information and duplicate data make up a huge proportion of the corporate data store. If this information is moved to the cloud, you are paying for wasted storage. In perpetuity. Potentially millions of wasted dollars.

By cleansing and de-duplicating data on-site, your business makes several gains. First, you can keep more data on-premises, increasing performance by removing the lag associated with off-site storage. Second, by repurposing post-warranty, or EOSL hardware, you can further augment on-site provisions for even greater performance and cost advantages.

Those cloud services that you do use need to be regularly audited to ensure that space is not being wasted, and that you are not paying any more than you should.

Cloud systems solve all your security problems

It is true that cloud data centers are protected by enterprise class security provisions – but this does not necessarily solve all your problems. Disaster recovery and high availability are a given with cloud storage services – but what about backups?

In the event of a ransomware infection, what good are seven snapshot backups that contain corrupted or encrypted files? Especially if the provider only offers a single complete backup each week? Rolling back could lose up to six days of changes and additions.

You must carefully assess every cloud provider’s backup regime. If it’s any less stringent than your own, the service will never be as secure as you need.

Again, you may find that repurposing your own post-warranty hardware in a backup configuration may be a better strategic choice than a cloud equivalent.

The cloud does undoubtedly offer significant benefits to your business so long as these issues can be resolved. In terms of business continuity and cost control, you may find that extending your own on-site provisions may be a more effective choice.

To learn more about how your continuing on-site storage choices, please get in touch.