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Cloud Data Storage

Cloud data storage is a service for individuals or organizations to store data through a cloud computing provider such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM or Wasabi. Storing data in a cloud service eliminates the need to purchase and maintain data storage infrastructure, since infrastructure resides within the data centers of the cloud IaaS provider and is owned/managed by the provider. Many organizations are increasing data storage investments in the cloud for a variety of purposes including: backup, data replication and data protection, data tiering and archiving, data lakes for artificial intelligence (AI) and business intelligence (BI) projects, and to reduce their physical data center footprint. As with on-premises storage, you have different levels of data storage available in the cloud. You can segment data based on access tiers: for instance, hot and cold data storage.

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Types of Cloud Data Storage

Cloud data storage can either be designed for personal data and collaboration or for enterprise data storage in the cloud. Examples of personal data cloud storage are Google Drive, Box and DropBox.

Increasingly, corporate data storage in the cloud is gaining prominence – particularly around taking enterprise file data that was traditionally stored on Network Attached Storage (NAS) and moving that to the cloud.

Cloud file storage and object storage are gaining adoption as they can store petabytes of unstructured data for enterprises cost-effectively.

Enterprise Cloud Data Storage for Unstructured Data (Cloud File Data Storage and Cloud Object Data Storage)

Enterprise unstructured data growth is exploding – whether its genomics data, video and media content, or log files or IoT data.  Unstructured data can be stored as files on file data storage or as objects on cost-efficient object storage. Cloud storage providers are now offering a variety of file and object storage classes at different price points to accommodate unstructured data. Amazon EFS, FSX, Azure Files are examples of cloud data storage for enterprise file data, and Amazon S3, Azure Blob and Amazon Glacier are examples of object storage.

Advantages of Cloud Data Storage

There are many benefits of investing in cloud data storage, particularly for unstructured data in the enterprise. Organizations gain access to unlimited resources, so they can scale data volumes as needed and decommission instances at the end of a project or when data is deleted or moved to another storage resource. Enterprise IT teams can also reduce dependence on hardware and have a more predictable storage budget. However, without proper cloud data management, cloud egress costs and other cloud costs are often cited as challenges.

In summary, cloud data storage allows:

  • The opportunity to reduce capital expenses (CAPEX) of data center hardware along with savings in energy, facility space and staff hours spend maintaining and installing hardware.
  • Deliver vastly improved agility and scalability to support rapidly changing business needs and initiatives.
  • Develop an enterprise-wide data lake strategy that would otherwise be unaffordable.
  • Lower risks from storing important data on aging physical hardware.
  • Leverage cheaper cloud storage for archiving and tiering purposes, which can also reduce backup costs.

Cloud Data Storage Challenges and Considerations

  • Cloud data storage can be costly if you need to frequently access the data for use outside of the cloud, due to egress fees charged by cloud storage providers.
  • Using cloud tiering methodologies from on-premises storage vendors may result in unexpected costs, due to the need for restoring data back to the storage appliance prior to use. Read the white paper Cloud Tiering: Storage-Based vs. Gateways vs. File-Based
  • Moving data between clouds is often difficult, because of data translation and data mobility issues with file objects. Each cloud provider uses different standards and formats for data storage.
  • Security can be a concern, especially in some highly regulated sectors such as healthcare, financial services and e-commerce. IT organizations will need to fully understand the risks and methods of storing and protecting data in the cloud.
  • The cloud creates another data silo for enterprise IT. When adding cloud storage to an organization’s storage ecosystem, IT will need to determine how to attain a central, holistic view of all storage and data assets.

For these reasons, cloud optimization and cloud data management are essential components of an enterprise cloud data storage strategy. Komprise has strategic alliance partnerships with hybrid and cloud data storage technology leaders:

Learn more about your options for migrating file workloads to the cloud: The Easy, Fast, No Lock-In Path to the Cloud.

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