Integrated hybrid cloud storage solutions can be highly beneficial,but there are factors to consider

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By Eric Herzog, CMO at Infinidat

Many companies today have some form of hybrid cloud strategy and often find themselves juggling a relatively mature mix of cloud and on-premises storage technology, while also needing to extract more value from their data.

Integrated hybrid cloud storage solutions have become increasingly efficient at delivering the performance that organisations need, while helping them to contain the costs of rapidly- growing data volumes. Hence, the key to effectively deploying hybrid cloud storage is finding a solution that reduces the complexity of managing highly distributed data, minimising the burden on IT teams, and lowering data management costs.

Essentially, hybrid cloud storage integration architecture enables organisations to take advantage of the scale and flexibility of the public cloud, while maintaining the security and control of a private cloud or data centre. It also allows them to pursue a tiered storage strategy for maximum cost-efficiency.

However, finding seamless integration with hybrid cloud environments for an organisation may not be as simple as it seems and there are a few key aspects that companies must keep in mind when investing in integrated storage solutions.

Structure and performance considerations

When an organisation grows, it should adopt practical methods of thinking about the structure and performance of the solution. From innovation and enablement to cybersecurity and applications, deploying a storage solution that caters to an enterprise hybrid cloud environment, including the overall computing environment, provides a variety of advantages to businesses.

Generally, an integrated hybrid cloud storage solution provides organisations with a lot of flexibility and agility for rolling out new services and applications, while also providing them with the ability to roll out these services at speed, either to the market or their internal user base.

An integrated hybrid cloud storage solution also provides enterprises with the flexibility of not having to keep all their eggs in one basket, as some more critical services, applications, and workloads will deliver the best security, performance and availability with the on-premises private cloud portion of a hybrid cloud storage equation.  Additionally some shared infrastructure is more suited to going to the public cloud portion of a hybrid cloud deployment. Where data resides is also a critical consideration to meet compliance with regulatory requirements.

Significant scalability

Aside from the ability to mix and shift workloads on demand between on-premises, private and public cloud environments, integrated hybrid cloud storage solutions also enable a significant degree of scalability. In hybrid cloud storage scenarios, there is generally no cap on the cloud burst that enterprises can use to gain access to additional resources. At the same time, integrated hybrid cloud storage offerings also allow for tiering of hot and cold data, which refers to moving less frequently used data to cheaper levels of storage or tiers.

Customers need scalable, high-performance, low latency and highly available Tier 1 storage capabilities as they transition from legacy on-premises infrastructure to modern cloud-optimised solutions. Cloud storage options for block and file datasets are not a sufficient replacement for many Tier 0/1 on-premises storage offerings, with particular challenges around scale and enterprise features. InfiniBox bridges that gap with proven Infinidat values such as: high performance, built-in data protection with zero-penalty snapshots and active-active clustering, cross-region replication including synchronous, asynchronous, and three-site options and scalable snapshots that make test and developments environments easy and fast to use on premises. 

This also applies to customers with a private cloud approach. The ideal hybrid cloud storage solution can be deployed, and the storage can be consumed as a cloud extension for different business units within an organisation.

Despite the multiple benefits that integrated hybrid cloud storage solutions bring to a enterprise, there are several factors that companies must keep in mind when deploying.

Firstly, enterprises must consider the cost. A thorough cost evaluation must be conducted in the form of a cost analysis that will determine the total cost of ownership related to implementing a hybrid cloud storage solution.  Understanding what applications are best served from the private cloud portion of a hybrid cloud storage scenario and what applications are best served form the public cloud.

Secondly, enterprises must consider performance. When considering a hybrid cloud storage solution, an organisation should evaluate the needs of its applications, workloads, and services determine which should be deployed in a public cloud configuration and which should be deployed in a private cloud environment.

Thirdly, companies need to evaluate a potential hybrid cloud storage solution from a regulatory, compliance, and cyber resilience perspective. Where different types of data are stored must be determined against data sovereignty requirements, regulatory requirements, and cyber security issues.

Security considerations

Lastly, enterprises must consider the potential security implications. When deploying a hybrid cloud storage solution, an organisation must ensure that, from a role-based or application perspective, strict security measures are in place in terms of what data can be accessed in the private and public clouds.

Companies can thus enjoy a host of benefits from deploying hybrid cloud storage solutions, including flexibility, agility, scalability, and cost efficiency, as well as greater reliability, and back-up and recovery services. However, equal consideration should be given to potential challenges, including complexity issues, security, visibility, and compatibility, as well as potentially losing control of infrastructure.

An increasing number of enterprises are investing in hybrid cloud storage. If done properly, a hybrid cloud storage solution will serve as a supplement or extension to an organisation’s local private cloud. It can enable organisations to manage data in a unified storage system while at the same time striking the right balance between  performance and cost.

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