Cloud Data Storage Solutions

By Dani Magestro
Updated: May 24, 2012

Cloud Data Storage Solutions

Cloud Data Storage Solutions are fast becoming one of the top picks for network administrators. With advances in cloud models making your choices easier than ever, you really can’t go wrong. The growth of Cloud Data Storage Solutions isn’t going to slow down any time soon. What we are seeing is more of an evolution of a strong enterprise option that clearly is not just a flash in the pan.

In the early stages of Cloud Data Storage Solutions, businesses were wary  to make the leap. Executives did not want to risk compromise of their data by handing it over to a 3rd party. First they wanted to know what that the vendors were doing to ensure security, privacy and compliance. They also wanted to know how moving to a Cloud Data Storage Solution would help their business in the long run and if the technology could sustain their growth. While the notion of offsite backups and storage was not new, the idea of the cloud being used in an enterprise environment was. What exactly is a Cloud Data Storage? It a model of networked online storage where data is stored in virtualized pools which are generally hosted by third parties. Cloud storage is not about replacing the standard hard drive cluster you would have at your datacenter. It’s about streamlining certain data storage for ease of access as well as securing a more fault tolerant solution for that data. It’s less of a security blanket and more of an extremely secured extension of your business. Data that is stored in the cloud becomes more fluid and the service can give your IT department more momentum because of it. Imagine getting to free up some of your manpower that is used for maintaining your data solution and being able to refocus that energy on other projects.

There are three deployment models you can choose from when deciding which Cloud Data Storage Solution to use. They consist of private, public and hybrid. A private cloud is a data center that delivers service solutions to only your business. It can be managed internally or by a 3rd party. You purchase and own all the equipment but you also have the advantage of it being onsite so you are able to deal with latency or other issues from within. You also have access to the data anytime. This option can be costly and does not deliver the benefit of reducing the internal manpower needed to manage it.

A public cloud is a storage solution that has been made available to the public by a 3rd party provider. It consists of data centers with hardware that are owned by the 3rd party provider. They then sell the storage service to you over the internet. You only buy what you need or use. The benefits of this type of Cloud Data Storage Solution are less manpower is needed on your end to manage, less hardware to buy and possibly more redundancy than you could have purchased within your budget. This cost saving solution makes it a great option but you have to weigh in the security risks in order to truly tell if it is a good match. 

The hybrid model uses both public and private clouds to give you the best of both worlds. This allows you to put your most valuable data in the private cloud and put any more less valuable data in the public cloud. You gain scalability and may lose the secure feeling that comes from handling your own data storage within. When you hand over part of your data storage to a 3rd party, it hard not to think about the what if’s. These concerns are valid. Also, with hiring any vendor, there isn’t enough background research in the world that can predict whether a company will go out of business. It is one of the downfalls of using a service in the cloud. 

If compliance to HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley or any of the other regulatory requirements is a concern for your company, you will need to research whether or not the Cloud Data Storage Solution you want is a viable option. Each vendor can provide a detailed report as to their services compliance with any of the regulations mentioned.

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