According to IDC spending on public IT cloud services is expected to reach more than $107 billion in 2017.
If we are to believe analyst forecasting, it is safe to claim that cloud is more than just an IT buzzword.
Besides the obvious benefits of storing data in the cloud, including fast deployment and minimal set-up costs, interest in cloud migration has no doubt been driven by the challenges related to the management of big data.
Cloud is an ideal option as it creates an agile environment where masses of data can be easily accessed anywhere, anytime.
Why should businesses switch to the cloud?
There are numerous options for storing and backing up your growing data. In particular, from a disaster recovery perspective, cloud backup is an appealing choice as the data is stored offsite.
In addition, cloud offers a reliable alternative to other methods such as tape, as major cloud providers such as Amazon Glacier boast an annual durability rating of 99.999999999%.
Another major benefit of using cloud is flexible payment options. Many cloud backup and storage providers now allow organisations to forgo substantial upfront costs and reduce the financial risk involved by offering subscription options or billing on pay-as-you-go terms.
This means enterprises can pay for storage as they need only, rather than invest in an expensive storage array.
What should organisations look for in a cloud provider?
In most situations, taking a multi-tiered approach to storage, using a combination of local backups, tapes and cloud storage solutions will ensure comprehensive data protection.
While cloud storage and backup solutions are highly economical, not all solutions will be the right fit for your company and, from a financial standpoint, companies should evaluate whether all data should necessarily migrate to the cloud.
Finding the best solution is about assessing your individual requirements.
As an example, public storage clouds offer reliability for organisations without the significant costs and logistical preparation associated with building your own infrastructure.
Alternatively, the use of private cloud enables organisations to have greater scalability and control over aspects of the implementation including hardware, networking, the operating system and security.
In addition, when implementing a cloud solution, it is imperative for an organisation to consider the vulnerabilities involved in using each solution, especially for backup purposes.
Monitoring tools are useful to notify performance issues before applications and end users are affected.
Most importantly, companies should always safeguard themselves by ensuring their disaster recovery plan plan is tested, as this helps avoid the risk of running into trouble in the event of a disaster.
By Charles Clarke, technical director, Veeam APAC