How to choose a service provider for your hybrid cloud implementation

An IT industry analyst article published by SearchCloudStorage.


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Customers should evaluate the cost and effectiveness of a hybrid cloud storage implementation when selecting a provider to store their valuable nearline data.

Mike Matchett

Security, governance, cost, bandwidth, migration, access control and provider stability once impeded the journey to the cloud, but today many companies’ on-premises storage arrays tier directly to public cloud storage.

Public cloud storage has graduated into an elastic utility that everyone can now use profitably. But there are some differences between the storage services various providers offer, and organizations should shop around before migrating terabytes of corporate data into the ether with a hybrid cloud implementation.

Cloud storage has evolved to the point where companies can use it for business, not just as a remote backup archive. Network latencies still prevent I/O-hungry data center workloads from using the cloud as primary storage, but a hybrid cloud implementation that can also move workloads to the cloud using virtual machines and containers is more the norm than the exception. Still, many data centers today have yet to start using the cloud for purposes beyond cold storage.

To nail down good use cases, look at the various tiers of storage each cloud service provider offers. Companies should consider each tier as a possible plug-in resource in their architecture. Businesses should ask service providers how simple — and costly — it is to transfer data between cloud storage services directly, as this can make it easier to shift data around should needs change. Be sure to understand the costs involved in both storing data over time and accessing it when necessary. There may be access costs, but they might be within expected budgets. And pay attention to access latencies: Backups that take hours to recall may not provide satisfactory levels of business continuity.

Service providers have been constantly dropping prices in what is only a beneficial turn of events for consumers. This means organizations considering a hybrid cloud implementation should position themselves to take advantage of the lowest costs available if all other factors are equal. It currently isn’t easy to migrate massive amounts of data from one provider to another, nor is it necessarily cheap. This results in some friction-based lock in, which is something to be aware of…(read the complete as-published article there)