Moving From Disruptive to Productive: The Future of Cloud Storage

Moving From Disruptive to Productive: The Future of Cloud Storage
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Moving From Disruptive to Productive: The Future of Cloud Storage

Not long ago, cloud object storage was a “disruptive” new technology because it changed the paradigm of file storage.  It offered the ability to have virtually unlimited online storage of unstructured data.  You could store digital files offsite, access them online for global file sharing, backup or software distribution and only pay for the storage you used.   However, for a new disruptive technology to become a productive technology with a real ROI, it must be reliable enough for an organization to entrust its vital assets to and it must be seamlessly integrated into the daily operations of the organization without slowing down workflow. 

The benefits of unlimited storage in the cloud become rather moot if files gets corrupted or become unavailable for any length of time.  HP Cloud object storage is built on proven HP hardware.  Whenever a file is uploaded to our cloud, we make three copies of it and distribute them across physically separate availability zones (AZs).  Each AZ has dual power and internet connections. Continual integrity checks are performed on all stored files to detect and repair errors.

Integrating cloud object storage into an organization’s IT infrastructure usually involves some time for developers to get familiar with the associated APIs and configuration tools.  Transferring data to and from the cloud is slower than over a local network. If you could eliminate development time and leverage all the benefits of cloud storage without sacrificing performance, that would be a big advantage.  Several companies have seized that opportunity and have created hybrid storage solutions that not only offer a shortcut to cloud storage integration but add performance and security benefits as well. This Tuesday, April 2nd, I will be speaking at the SNW conference.  During my session, “How to Reduce Storage Expenses and Gain Flexibility Using the Public Cloud,” I will be discussing these new cloud storage models and how a major entertainment company improved global collaboration and reduced storage expenses using the hybrid storage approach.

Global Storage at the Speed of Local

The hybrid storage model relies upon “appliances.”  The appliances may be a physical or a virtual device that attaches to your local network, acting as a gateway to the cloud.  The hybrid appliance performs the heavy lifting of encryption and file transfer and can also contain terabytes of local cache storage so they essentially behave like local Network Attached Storage (NAS). Hybrid storage appliances can allow you to combine the nearly unlimited storage, global access and data durability of the cloud with the performance of local storage. 

Securing Data in Transit and at Rest

Security best practices require that data be encrypted wherever it is stored and whenever it is transferred.  Hybrid cloud storage appliances automatically handle this.  Additionally, appliances that employ file-based permissions and integrate with Active Directory provide extra layers of security.

The easy integration and flexibility of hybrid cloud storage is accelerating public cloud adoption and powering new use cases for collaboration, archiving, backup and Disaster Recovery (DR).  I will be diving deeper into these areas during the SNW conference this week.  Stop by the HP booth #107 to see an example of one of these appliances. Maldivica’s Storage Connector virtual appliance makes HP’s Cloud storage look like Network Attached Storage.  For those of you planning on attending SNW, I look forward to seeing you in Orlando at my session or at the HP booth.

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