It is difficult to predict and plan for storage needs of today’s enterprises, especially so given the vast amounts of unstructured ‘big data’ that enterprises generate. “Storage on Demand” offered by the cloud is an attractive proposition, in addition to other benefits such as reduction in capex for storage equipment, real estate and administrative costs in managing data centres. Naturally, enterprises have taken enthusiastically to cloud storage, with a wide choice of vendors offering a range of solutions. But are all cloud storage offerings the same? What should enterprises really care for when it comes to choosing a vendor for cloud storage? Here are some important considerations that we think enterprises should look at closely.
Enterprises can’t afford to compromise on Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality of data stored in the cloud. The data has to be safe in transit and at rest. Who keeps the encryption keys is the key! Enterprises may have to use a third-party Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to ensure that the encryption keys don’t leave the enterprise perimeter.
Data residency is often a regulatory need in addition to comfort it provides to the enterprises. The cloud vendor must ensure that the data doesn’t leave the required geographical boundary.
After a delete operation, cleaning of data forensically by the cloud vendor is critical for an enterprise. But, it is not an easy task for a cloud vendor to guarantee this. Hence, storing data on the cloud in an encrypted manner where the enterprise has full control of encryption keys becomes an essential need.
Migrating to a new cloud vendor should be easy but is often not the case. Enterprises should have this flexibility for the future. Sometimes, there may be an additional cost for migration, which should be known up front.
Different classes of storage based on cost, availability and speed will be useful, especially to archive less frequently and old data in cheaper storage. At the same time, performance sensitive data could be stored on solid state drives.
Restrictions on number of files in a folder and maximum file size can become issues for users. Some cloud solutions impose a limit on the number of files in a folder. Some have a limit on the length of the file path. There may be a limit on the maximum size of a file as well. Naming conventions for a file or an object may have certain restrictions. There may be a need for third-party solutions if the chosen cloud has such limitations.
Some cloud solutions impose a limit on amount of storage per account. This may work against the “storage on demand” attraction of cloud. For most enterprises, this limit may be a show stopper. Using smarter third party solutions, this limit is easy to overcome.
Organizations needing additional security measures or high performance may prefer bare metal storage in the cloud.
Integration with authentication mechanism of the enterprise is a must along with anywhere and anytime access.
Availability of data stored in the cloud is another consideration. Some cloud solutions have better availability built into them than others.
It will be great to hear from you on other considerations that I may have missed. Happy reading and wish you a successful cloud adoption for storage!!!!