In this era of remote work and technological advancements, businesses are seeking innovative solutions to engage clients, create new opportunities, and enhance productivity. As the volume of data continues to surge at an unprecedented pace, effectively managing and storing this data has become a paramount challenge for organizations. To tackle this challenge, many businesses are turning to cloud technology. In this article, we will delve into the key factors that contribute to successful cloud storage implementation, enabling companies to seamlessly migrate, manage, store, and safeguard their data without depleting their financial and operational resources.
Cloud Storage – Begin the Fourth Industrial Revolution
With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, data production is skyrocketing, particularly in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region. According to IDC, the APJ region is witnessing tremendous growth in the datasphere, projected to increase from 5.9 ZB in 2018 to a staggering 33.8 ZB by 2025. However, managing this explosive growth is a significant struggle, especially for small and mid-sized enterprises.
To cope with the escalating volume of data creation and replication, businesses are migrating to the cloud. In 2021, approximately 70% of data was stored in the cloud, while 30% remained in conventional on-premises locations. It is projected that spending on storage and compute infrastructure will experience a remarkable Compound Annual Growth Rate of over 14% from 2021 to 2026, surpassing a value of USD $145 billion.
The cloud offers a scalable and cost-effective storage solution that eliminates the need for hefty investments in new infrastructure and equipment. With the cloud, organizations can effortlessly adjust their storage capacity according to their needs, ensuring optimal utilization of resources. Additionally, the cloud automatically incorporates data and system redundancy, guaranteeing uninterrupted access for applications and authorized users.
To achieve successful cloud storage implementation, the following steps are recommended:
- Separately evaluating storage and cloud needs
The current approach to managing storage is no longer sufficient to meet demand, and as more data and more important applications need to be brought to the cloud, analysts say companies must adopt long-term strategic strategies to control cloud storage in the context of broader business goals.
Analysts also argue that storage and data must go together. Therefore, while having a storage strategy is critical, knowing the data that will be saved is just as crucial. That emphasizes the necessity of a data management plan, particularly in light of businesses’ rising reliance on big data analytics.
Once a basic plan has been established, it’s time to evaluate your need for cloud storage. To determine if it is best to store in the cloud, on-premises, or a combination of the two, a suggested solution is to design cloud storage decisions in a tree model.
The following three questions need answering:
What is the application you are supporting (SaaS, cloud platform or on-premise)? and what is your level of support?
What are the performance and other needs for the application? For example, latency is a critical issue that can directly affect whether you reach service level agreements (SLAs).
Answering the above questions, you can determine which application to data or data to application makes more sense.
- Security is paramount
Security is more crucial than ever when considering how to migrate mission-critical apps and related data to the cloud. Businesses must shift their traditional security approach away from only backing up and restoring data and instead consider storage security from several perspectives, such as maintaining business continuity and disaster recovery. Not every data that is backed up is equally crucial. Businesses should determine which data is most crucial and handle it as such.
Keep in mind that the amount of data security offered by a cloud service will be used to determine its level of excellence. Businesses must therefore assure compliance with these processes by fully understanding the actual measures used by their providers to protect their customers’ data. The data is accessible to whom? Who holds the keys to the encryption? Is the application secure?
A cloud service provider should at the very least offer encryption for both data in storage and data in transit, but that is still insufficient. In the end, the business, not the cloud service provider, is in charge of maintaining customer data security. Therefore, it is the business’s job to ensure that there are no data leaks.
While having security is a wonderful thing, there are situations when having too much security can have negative implications. It’s crucial to establish a balance because too much or the wrong kind of security might impede performance or have a negative effect on user experience.
- Enterprise data storage integration and management
Since few businesses will adopt a pure cloud storage approach, those that do will need to combine storage from older on-premises systems with more recent cloud-based systems. Cloud storage employs an object-oriented model, whereas local storage (SAN) and network communication storage (NAS) solutions often use block and file storage. Data loss has a high probability when moving between these two platforms, hence software integration is necessary.
The cloud-to-cloud components are the next. Data-driven applications hosted in numerous clouds with multiple access points seem to be handled more effectively by businesses with experience in cloud systems development. Additionally, moving data between clouds can be extremely dangerous.
Although cloud storage is frequently based on an object-oriented model, data migration won’t be a straightforward transfer unless the two clouds are utilizing the same metadata architecture. This is because it involves export and import requests.
Ideally, data would migrate effortlessly from one cloud environment to another and cloud storage would seem and function to the end user as local storage. It will result in inefficient resource utilization, more downtime, and new security threats if the person in charge is continuously patching the system or fiddling with the programs.
- Performance issues: speed, latency and availability
When it comes to performance, the first thing to keep in mind is improving speed and reducing latency. Really, these factors are crucial in achieving performance benchmarks – even more so if large files are being pulled from one cloud to another.
To reduce access latency, data must be kept and backed up. The management and integration processes also directly affect performance. Data access should be smooth for the end user across all platforms and applications.
Consideration should also be given to availability. Superior availability and resilience were mentioned by more than a third of survey participants as benefits of cloud storage. This raises the question of whether the circumstances surrounding the deployment of cloud storage have an impact on an organization’s capacity to meet SLAs.
For certain data, an hour or two of downtime may not have much of an effect, while for other data, even a brief period of downtime may have disastrous consequences. The importance of understanding the distinctions ensures that the proper precautions be taken to prevent damaging downtime.
- Lowering costs
To cut costs, many organizations use the cloud. Although the cloud can save capital and equipment expenses, cloud storage will raise other costs and may not result in net cost savings.
It is advised that organizations estimate expenditures by factoring in bandwidth and data transportation. Prices for data storage may be modest, but as soon as data begins to change, expenses may escalate.
- Not to skip the scalability
Scalability shouldn’t be ignored even though it’s thought of as the cloud’s fundamental design. One of the main reasons for switching to the cloud is scalability.
Cloud systems can scale with the object-oriented storage paradigm, but they also need to interface with another on-premises deployment strategy. Modern scalability measures will be crucial to how smoothly the integration goes.
The requirements for scalability vary from organization to organization, and suppliers’ flexibility in responding to changing demands is crucial. The flexibility to raise or decrease storage capacity on demand may not be the primary factor in selecting a cloud service provider if a company’s storage requirements are steady, and it may even make the deployment of a private cloud more appealing.
In order to meet consumer expectations, develop, and expand the business, having the proper cloud storage strategy will become more and more important. Finding the ideal service provider gives many firms a reliable partner to work with throughout the process. An organization must have a solid grasp of performance, integration, security, and scalability that match SLAs in order to maintain and expand its client base. This understanding must come before looking for a company to partner with.
- Making a good decision on choosing providers
While there are plenty of good options, you’ll certainly want to do your homework before trusting your business data to any provider. The key criteria to be taken into consideration, based on what have been mentioned above, are: security, cloud server services, support from the provider.
After aligning your needs and the pros and cons of the cloud storage service providers, make your best decision among a wide range of products, such as: Amazon Cloud Drive, Apple iCloud, Box, Carbonite, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Mozy, SOS Online Backup, SugarSync, Western Digital My Cloud, etc.