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If you're concerned about backup, downtime during a failure or migrating your data off-premises, there are a number of cloud storage applications, tools and processes that can be of assistance.
George Crump, president of analyst firm Storage Switzerland, explained how tools and cloud storage applications can help move data to the cloud, which may seem like a daunting prospect to an enterprise. "There are a variety of solutions; most of them tend to be either gateways or appliances, where it's a local device that's installed in the data center," Crump said in his cloud storage video Tech Talk. At that point, the device resembles a file server that has data copied to it. Eventually, all the data on that device is replicated to the cloud.
While the majority of cloud storage applications are for backup, archiving -- as an inexpensive form of cold storage -- is another popular use case with many organizations. According to Crump, production applications are also seeing a move into the cloud.
In addition to cloud storage applications, a number of storage strategies can help users take full advantage of the cloud. Incorporating object storage into a cloud plan isn't required to see big benefits, but Crump noted that the technology has other qualities that make it something to consider. "The nice thing about object storage, [is that] it can do a variety of tasks. So, it could be a big repository for big ingests, it can store backup data, it can store archive data [and] it can then interface to the public cloud."
A chief concern with cloud storage is failure and the downtime that causes. To avoid major losses and downtime, Crump said, organizations can implement multi-cloud environments. By using a multi-cloud setup, a user is essentially adding a level of redundancy by placing their data in a secondary location. With this method, data is still accessible on the cloud but does not require a different type of storage. "It's sort of like having two separate cell phones from two separate carriers," Crump said. "You, hopefully, are always covered."
Transcript - Backup and archive with cloud storage applications
I'm Sarah Wilson, site editor at SearchCloudStorage. I'm talking to George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland, about the cloud. Thank you for being here, George.
George Crump: Thanks for having me.
What tools do people have available to them to move data from on-premises to cloud storage?
Crump: Well, there are a variety of solutions; most of them tend to be either gateway or appliances, where it's a local device that's installed in the data center and you're essentially copying data to that. So, to you, it looks like an NFS or an SFS mount point, sort of a file server, and you copy data to that, and then it eventually just replicates data into the cloud.
Sarah: Which applications would you say are most suitable for cloud storage?
Crump: I think the two big categories today are going to be backup and archive. So secondary data, it's usually a second copy of data, it's a little less critical. And now we're starting to see more production applications move into the cloud as well.
Do enterprises need to use object storage if they want to get the full benefits from cloud?
Crump: I don't think enterprises have to use object storage to necessarily get all the benefits of the cloud. There are other reasons to use object storage and most of that is going to be driven by Internet of Things type of sensor data, where you just have so much data, so many objects, if you will, coming in. You need a different type of storage system than a traditional NAS to do that.
The nice thing about object storage, [is that] it can do a variety of tasks. So, it could be a big repository for big ingests, it can store backup data, it can store archive data [and] it can then interface to the public cloud. Object storage facilitates that, but it's not the only reason to do object storage.
Sarah: A lot of people are using multi-cloud environments, so what are the benefits of doing it that way?
Crump: The big advantage of a multi-cloud environment is going to be the ability to have protection on a cloud failure. If cloud A goes bad ... and it's not necessarily that they go out of business, but more that they lose access or have downtime. If you have all that data in a second cloud location, you could still get to it and have access to it. So, it's a redundancy thing. It's sort of like having two separate cell phones from two separate carriers. You, hopefully, are always covered.
That wraps up our video on cloud storage, so thanks for joining me again, George.
Crump: Thanks for having me.
I'm Sarah Wilson and for more information on cloud, be sure to visit SearchCloudStorage.com