The impact of hybrid cloud storage in gaining flexibility

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Organizations don’t need more data; they need techniques to help them identify opportunities and value from their data. But searching data for answers about what impacts the business requires that you rethink data storage.

Why? Because it’s clear that the data deluge is underway, bringing with it new types of unstructured data — from product descriptions and reviews to social interactions and emails. To take advantage of all this data, whether it exists in the cloud, the data center or a managed service, you need an approach that scales. The variety of the data, and its sheer volume, results in petabytes of data that have to be stored, accessed and utilized by a variety of teams across a business.

To be successful, businesses must gain control of all their data, managing it, understanding where it is located and protecting it no matter where it resides. Having a consistent way of managing data is an essential element to gaining actionable insights into all of an organization’s data, across a range of storage resources.

Redefining storage strategies

Adopting a hybrid cloud strategy gives you the ability to add storage capacity as needed, while also leveraging previous investments in data center storage.

The imperative of managing storage in an efficient and useful way is what’s leading many clients to think about their hybrid cloud storage strategies. Software that allows storage teams to manage data across hybrid environments in a unified platform is vital to successfully implementing a hybrid cloud storage strategy.

A hybrid cloud approach offers three key benefits:

  • Scale storage resources up or down based on changing business needs.
  • Use your existing investments while adding cloud resources on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • Manage a variety of off- and on-premises storage resources in a unified and cost-effective manner.

First steps toward hybrid cloud storage

To be successful, you need to use the full range of your existing storage resources. At the same time, to be competitive, leaders must plan for future growth of data stored off and on premises. There are important steps in this journey of discovery, assessment and planning.

Here are five key requirements to help you plan for hybrid cloud storage success:

  • Discover all the storage resources you have available across business units within your organization.
  • Plan for changes in storage requirements beginning with your current storage resources, and then do a full evaluation of future needs. This planning must be based on the service levels demanded by the business.
  • Identify public cloud options for your hybrid cloud storage roadmap. Understand how to use public cloud services while retaining the appropriate level of control and protection of the data in your data center.
  • Develop a clear set of priorities for storage policies. That will help you drive efficient use of both off and on-premises storage resources.
  • Adopt a gradual, multi-phase deployment plan, which allows you to gain experience in hybrid cloud storage infrastructure. You will discover any challenges in the environment including technical or business issues, and you will learn how to address them for future rollouts.

Adopting a hybrid cloud strategy for storage will ensure that your organization can afford to make data-centric decisions while maintaining a cost-effective storage infrastructure. By developing a hybrid cloud plan, you will be better able to predict future storage requirements and control costs while adding data capacity.

Find out more about IBM hybrid cloud offerings to help kick-start your strategy.

Vice President and Principal Analyst, Hurwitz & Associates

Daniel Kirsch

Principal Analyst and Vice President at Hurwitz & Associates

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