In our last post, we discussed how the cloud can help address the data protection challenges associated with rampant data growth. Data volumes increased 569 percent from 2016 to 2018, resulting in a greater risk of unplanned downtime and data loss. Cloud-based data protection solutions offer greater flexibility, scalability and data availability than legacy backup platforms.
Backup, archival, disaster recovery and other secondary storage applications have long been leading use cases for cloud storage. However, organizations are increasingly using the cloud for primary storage in a hybrid model. Growing demand for low-cost storage and faster data accessibility is driving the shift to hybrid cloud storage.
According to a report from Allied Market Research, the hybrid segment contributed to two-thirds of the total cloud storage market and is expected to see a 26.6 percent compound annual growth rate through 2022. That’s higher than the overall cloud storage growth rate of 24.8 percent. A new report from Transparency Market Research finds that hybrid cloud storage is boosting the growth of the top 10 cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.
As the name implies, hybrid cloud storage combines cloud and on-premises storage resources and allows data to be moved between platforms as needed. A cloud storage controller (sometimes called a gateway) sits between the storage platforms and translates incompatible protocols. It simplifies management by creating a global namespace and unified view of the storage environment. Many cloud storage controllers offer caching, data de-duplication, compression and encryption features.
A number of traditional storage vendors also offer hybrid cloud solutions. In addition, application programming interfaces (APIs) such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) can be used to integrate cloud and on-premises storage.
Hybrid cloud storage gives organizations the scalability needed to accommodate rapid data growth while reducing costs. Caching active data on the cloud storage controller maintains the performance of traditional local storage arrays. Policy-based automation determines where data should be stored based upon cost, performance, data protection, security and other factors.
The hybrid model enables organizations to take advantage of the cloud as primary storage regardless of security or regulatory compliance requirements. It can also serve as a logically consistent file system for sharing data across the organization.
Data analytics is another valuable use case for hybrid cloud storage. Data generated by workloads running on-premises or in a private cloud can be extracted and moved to the public cloud for analysis. Hybrid cloud storage also facilitates software development and testing by enabling the use of snapshots to clone production data in the cloud.
A key benefit of hybrid cloud storage is the ability to “burst” into the cloud as needed to meet the capacity demands of specific workloads. This eliminates the need to overprovision resources to support unpredictable traffic spikes. Tiering features enable organizations to move inactive data into the cloud to save expensive primary storage space and reduce data protection requirements.
Organizations that need to maintain tight control over their data may be best served by on-premises or private cloud storage. But the hybrid model offers the ideal mix of cost, scalability, reliability and performance for a number of use cases. Technologent’s storage specialists can help you evaluate the various options.