Big Data

Is your hybrid cloud storage strategy agile enough to handle data growth?

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cloudstorageMore than 80% of enterprises embarked on a hybrid cloud strategy in 2015, according to Rightscale’s 2015 State of the Cloud Survey. Driven by new workloads and the convergence of cloud, mobile, analytics, and cognitive technologies, data growth is increasing at an accelerated rate. Most of that data is unstructured, which means the strategies used to store and control it must be agile and well-managed.

Addressing cloud storage strategies within the context of an overall hybrid cloud approach typically follows a similar journey: identify where you are from a maturity standpoint, assess your workloads, start small, then iterate. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Start with identifying the storage use cases for your workloads. High-value storage opportunities include:

  • Backup and archive – Use the economy and scale of public cloud based storage.
  • Disaster and/or data recovery – Replace error-prone tape-out or fix non-existent disaster recovery solutions with lower cost, online and on-demand data recovery.
  • Storage bursting – Quickly extend on-premises storage environments without additional CapEx using secure, public-storage cloud services.
  • Collaboration – Use storage based SaaS services for file sharing and syncing, email, and real-time messaging and document sharing.
  • Unstructured data – New sources of high-volume data, ranging from IoT sensors and video (such as mobile digital cameras, surveillance, drones) to the upcoming rise of virtual reality devices.
  • Analytics – A variety of big data workloads including: Hadoop, real-time analytics and data warehouse modernization.

A successful cloud storage strategy includes not just the use of public cloud storage, but also techniques that reduce costs and provide business agility using private and hybrid cloud approaches. The cost per byte of storage continues to drop, but the rate of decrease has slowed. Innovative IT organizations rely not only on price reductions but other storage techniques to drive efficiency.

Effective cloud storage strategies include:

  • Virtualizing on-premises storage environments to drive utilization and provide a foundation for automation
  • Implementing information life cycle management techniques to manage data from inception to disposal
  • Automating the placement and movement of data to the right storage platform at the right time based on demand and service levels
  • Employing compression and deduplication solutions to store and do more with less
  • Encrypting data, not just in motion (https), but also at rest while having a key management solution to ensure data security and privacy
  • Using storage gateways to move data from private, on-premises storage to public cloud storage services
  • Standardizing on the use of software-defined interfaces such as OpenStack (Cinder, Swift, and Manila) to enable flexibility, agility and increased automation

Start building your hybrid cloud storage strategy today.

Learn more about IBM cloud storage solutions or to speak with a cloud expert, contact me on Twitter @suniack

IBM Cloud Advisor

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