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Disaster recovery: StorCentric CTO on balancing cloud and on-prem storage

Disaster recovery: StorCentric CTO on balancing cloud and on-prem storage

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Nexsan's Gary Watson talks disaster recovery and storage options

Gary Watson, CTO of StorCentric and Founder of Nexsan, discusses the time and place for cloud, and the benefits of a hybrid middle ground of cloud and on-prem.

With the excessive amounts of data circulating in modern organisations, the importance of finding a perfect storage solution that can safeguard data, is deemed more imperative than ever. As data generation shows no signs of slowing down, it’s necessary to realise and accept that neither backup nor cloud alone will likely be a sufficient storage and disaster recovery plan to protect all that data. Moving forward, companies will need to find a perfect balance between cloud and on-premises storage to fit their unique needs.

When disaster strikes…

Organisations are storing and retaining more information each day than ever before. In fact, the global datasphere is expected to grow from 33 Zettabytes in 2018 to 175 Zettabytes by 2025. As the digital age continues to evolve, companies can more easily capture increasing amounts of data to drive insight and business decisions. They are taking advantage of the latest developments to support analytics, drive sales and identify what customers are looking for.

With this much important data coming in, businesses need to ensure its safety in case of a disaster that could cause downtime and data loss. Anything ranging from ransomware and cybersecurity attacks, to user error to natural disasters like hurricanes, fires, tornadoes and floods are all potential threats to data storage – but they’re all threats that can be overcome with the proper protection.

Most organisations today are utilising cloud services in some form or another. Cloud computing not only offers flexibility but also elasticity with the rapid growth of data. Although this may be suitable for some data, highly sensitive information needs additional layers of protection and may not be suitable for just the cloud alone.

Organisations need to consider what data is being stored and where – a ‘one size fits all’ is not always the best approach. Although it’s important to leverage the benefits of the cloud for flexibility and freedom, combining this with an on-premises solution for archiving cold data or to add extra layers of data protection will allow businesses to create a more fine-tuned architecture. In addition, businesses can still enjoy the flexibility of the cloud by utilising on-premises storage that leaves links or stubs in the cloud for easy access.

Despite the plethora of business benefits the cloud provides, it’s key for organisations to find the right ‘cloud balance.’ Some businesses may be using the cloud effectively but others could be racking up high costs due to size expansion or breaking GDPR or other compliance rules due to the sensitivity and storage of information collected.

For many organisations creating a balanced infrastructure is essential – with a hybrid middle ground, businesses can utilise the best of both public cloud and on-premises solutions. Once the right balance is found, the next step is to ensure disaster recovery and business continuity. After all, data can be one of the most valuable business assets.

No need for fear…

Organisations should aim for a solution that safeguards data, meets regulatory demands and offers protection against ransomware and data corruption, whether accidental or malicious. With these DR features running in the background there will be no user impact and if data is lost or corrupted it can be reinstalled instantly.

Many organisations implement backup as a way to recover from a breach or data loss. Doing so remains fundamentally important. But with comprehensive disaster recovery and data protection capabilities in place, organisations can go a step further and ensure business continuity.

The future for technology is full of incredible amounts of data and organisations have a duty to protect and safeguard this information. While some data may be suited to the cloud, other data needs to remain on-premises whether it’s due to capacity concerns or data sensitivity. Even archived data needs to be offered the same level of protection and not simply discarded.

By implementing a hybrid approach, organisations can bring sensitive, data-intensive or cold data on-premises – freeing up valuable cloud storage space. Not only will there be a cost incentive by reducing those monthly cloud service bills but with on-premises, storage security can be heightened and organisations can meet GDPR and many other compliance regulations.

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