Realising the full potential of the cloud means identifying the platform not only best suited for the current needs of an organisation but one that can future-proof its infrastructure to reflect evolving technology innovation. Making the winning move has become one of selecting a hybrid environment that leverages the best the public and private clouds have to offer.
Of course, transitioning those components to the cloud that are still reliant on premise-based systems is not simply a matter of copying and pasting. It requires a strategic approach that factors in the complexities of migrating legacy processes into a more dynamic environment. And just because it is hybrid, does not necessarily mean the journey will be smooth. Companies must assess each component and gain an understanding of whether it can support the cloud. If not, they must look at the requirements of either enhancing the process or solution or replacing it with a cloud-based one entirely.
Even though the initial focus of cloud migrations was on the additional capacity provided, those days are gone. Now, storage Is about more than the space available, but must also provide dozens of other capabilities to satisfy business requirements. Capabilities like data protection, resilience, analytics, and performance optimisation have all become vital.
However, an often-overlooked capability especially when a company is accustomed to an on-premise data centre or a single cloud is that of having cross-platform compatibility. Much of this revolves around the number of APIs that are available to manage business storage. Today, companies need APIs across all platforms and places, protocols and drive types, vendors, and technologies.
But most organizations are not there yet. Their on-premises storage does not use the same APIs as their cloud storage. Their block storage does not use the same APIs as their file storage. And so on.
In a world of microservices, agility is a key to success. Any obstacles drive up costs and complexity and make innovation difficult. A forward-looking data storage strategy ought to consider cross-platform compatibility and not using the cloud as a repository for data to avoid these problems.
Change for the better
Having integrated infrastructure across on-premise and the cloud is vital. But it is a work in progress that continues to evolve through the adoption of foundational technologies. Simply put, having integrated storage infrastructure allows the business to better cope with the data onslaught it is experiencing.
In the digitally-driven environment, many companies are realising that their storage demands are spiraling out of control. This problem is exacerbated by disconnected pools of storage, often containing duplicate terabytes of information. And not every storage technology is suited for rapidly increasing data.
Data reduction technologies will be key at any point in the data stream. Edge computing environments already benefit from data reduction technologies like edge gateways. Storage technologies like compression and deduplication, especially if they span multiple platforms or places, become a boon to addressing data growth.
Throwing additional cloud storage at the problem is not sustainable in the long term. Costs can quickly spiral out of control and effectively manage everything can also become challenging. Instead, companies are looking for a proven approach to storage that spans many requirements without compromising on essential capabilities.
Using an excellent storage technology that runs wherever the business needs it is on vendor platforms, hyperconverged infrastructure, virtual machines, cloud resources, and containers. It must also provide flexibility in deploying the right storage in the right place at the right cost. This approach translates into accelerated development, better efficiency, and improved cost controls.
One way this can be done is by using flash technology, which will be explored in greater detail in the next article.