More data has been created within the past two years than humankind has produced — ever. Whether you’re dealing with “big data” or just a growing heap of business data that needs to be stored and managed, it’s time to answer some critical questions about how you’ll handle all that data. Enterprises are not only contending with mountains of archived data, they must also handle data streaming in continually from many disparate sources, including websites, social media accounts, transactions, and IoT devices. So, which storage solution is right for you?
All of the talk about Storage-as-a-Service, software-defined storage, and on-premises versus cloud can get confusing. It’s important to remember that all storage — whether virtualized or “in the cloud” does actually still rely on physical servers. The virtualization simply changes the nature of the storage, distributing it across servers so that storage-related resources are utilized optimally.
In reality, there are three basic groups of storage to choose from, and fortunately, it isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Here are the considerations you need to make regarding on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid data storage.
Which Storage is Right for You: Evaluating On-Premises Data Storage Solutions
When considering onsite data storage, many businesses don’t realize the affordable solutions available now. You don’t have to break the IT budget for the year to accommodate your growing storage needs
On-premises storage gives you full control of your data and data management. Many enterprises opt for on-premises storage to adhere to compliance regulations, while others choose on-premises for control and to eliminate latency. The primary downsides to on-premises data storage are the space, staff, and expense it takes to house the data storage.
But on-premises storage no longer requires enormous capital expenditures, on hardware like servers and storage infrastructure. Storage-as-a-service is now available onsite, so that you can continue to protect and manage your data in-house, while still taking advantage of low-cost leasing options.
Which Storage is Right for You: Evaluating All-Cloud Storage Data Solutions
The primary advantage of cloud-based data storage is cost savings, but it goes beyond that. With cloud-based storage, you can cut the IT staff’s workload, freeing them for more productive tasks that actually benefit the company’s bottom line. Instead of having your IT teams tied up managing data and maintaining servers, they can put their efforts toward other projects that actually increase your revenue.
Cloud-based storage also takes considerably less space, freeing your square footage for a bigger sales team or more production employees. Cloud data storage is also a greener alternative, reducing your carbon footprint by many times, since data centers are notoriously hoggish consumers of power. Cloud storage also means shifting these expenses to the operational expense side of your business ledger, because there are no more costly servers and equipment to buy.
The downside to most enterprises is having their data off-premises. This can present certain challenges, such as adhering to compliance regulations. Fortunately, the cloud isn’t all-or-nothing. Most enterprises opt for a nice middle ground with the hybrid cloud.
Which Storage is Right for You: Evaluating Hybrid Cloud Data Storage Solutions
The hybrid cloud allows you to configure your data storage in a way that makes sense for your business, keeping sensitive data onsite and utilizing affordable cloud storage for the other data. It’s especially handy for customer-facing apps, archiving data, and essential backup storage.
The hybrid cloud allows the enterprise to leverage that low-cost, easy-to-maintain cloud storage, while still keeping the mission-critical data onsite. For example, some companies opt to utilize the cloud for archived data or for virtualizing their work desktops, keeping their current workloads and application data onsite. Others use the cloud for customer-facing applications, and the onsite side of their data storage for employee applications and related data. The beauty of the hybrid cloud is that you can cut data storage costs tremendously, without giving up the control associated with on-premises storage.
To learn more about software-defined storage and how it differs from traditional storage options, download the whitepaper: Software Defined Storage vs. Traditional SAN and NAS Storage. Or, you can learn more about your on-premises, cloud, and hybrid data storage options by downloading the On-Premises as-a-Service Lease Comparison infographic.