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Cloud Storage Adoption: Challenges & Solutions

24

MAY, 2019

Cloud storage solutions are a cost-effective and highly scalable storage option for enterprises and organizations. By leveraging cloud storage technology, businesses can store continuously growing data or setup highly secure backup repositories in the cloud of their choice. The flexibility of the cloud has made it popular among businesses around the world and many are already making the move to the cloud.

While several statistics suggest that the future looks very promising for the cloud, there are many challenges associated with cloud adoption.

In this article, we take a look at some of the concerns businesses have pertaining to cloud adoption and how StoneFly cloud storage solutions help with these concerns.

Cloud Storage Adoption: The Questions Businesses Ask

What do businesses ask when they’re considering cloud storage adoption? In this section, we’ve chosen five questions that are more frequently asked than others.

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The following are the 5 common questions that businesses ask about cloud storage solutions:

  1. Is it the right cloud storage service?
  2. Can we integrate the cloud storage solution with our existing storage systems?
  3. Are cloud storage solutions secure and private?
  4. How much bandwidth will the cloud storage solution need?
  5. How expensive are cloud storage solutions?

Let’s briefly look at each of these questions before answering them.

Q #1: Is it the Right Cloud Storage Service?

The “right” cloud storage solution or service varies on a case-by-case basis. Some enterprise IT environments are looking for faster storage solution whereas others emphasize more on cost and long term data retention than performance.

Considering the cloud storage model is a difficult task as there are several Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and third party service providers offering all kinds of services.

A truly useful cloud storage solution needs to be flexible enough so that it offers more in a single solution and adapts to the ever changing requirements of an enterprise.

Q # 2: Can We Integrate the Cloud Storage Solution with Our Existing Storage Systems?

Regardless of the size of an organization or an enterprise, chances are that there are already some sort of storage systems and servers. While cloud storage solutions show promise, a business or an organization simply cannot overlook the cost of their existing storage infrastructure.

This makes cloud storage integration one of the major concerns of most businesses. Will it work with their setup? What kind of gateways would they need to make it work? Would they need other third party services to make the whole storage system work effectively?

The concerns are real and there’s a huge list of them. Ideally, integration should be simple and easy. Organizations should be able to do it with just one storage solution and a single vendor; no third party services.

Q # 3: Are Cloud Storage Solutions Secure & Private?

Cloud Storage Adoption: Challenges & Solutions 2

Data security and privacy concerns have frequently plagued the minds of business owners and IT administrators when it comes to using cloud storage solutions. And these concerns are well founded.

Data leaks and data breaches are a constant part of the daily news. No wonder businesses are worried about using the cloud for their mission-critical data.

If we keep it there, who else will be able to access it? When we put it in the cloud, where does it actually go? If we put it in the cloud, will hackers be able to access it? Questions like these make businesses uncomfortable with the idea of the cloud and more susceptible to on-premises storage solutions.

Therefore, data security and privacy has to be an integral part of a reliable enterprise cloud storage solution.

Q # 4: How Much Bandwidth will the Cloud Storage Solution Need?

There are limits to how much bandwidth a business can dedicate for the express purpose of cloud storage. It depends on the volume of data being stored but cloud storage solutions tend to consume quite a bit of bandwidth; reducing available bandwidth size for other business operations.

Bandwidth consumption incurs cost whereas the size limitation puts core operations versus cloud storage. This makes it important for businesses that cloud storage solutions maintain a balance and consume only the necessary amount of bandwidth.

Q # 5: How expensive are Cloud Storage Solutions?

Cloud Storage Adoption: Challenges & Solutions 3

A business must always keep an eye on their expenses, revenues, and the ROI of technology like cloud storage solutions. In comparison to on-premises storage solutions, cloud storage solutions are fairly less expensive.

Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) have different pricing structure for different read and write operations and these prices vary depending on the storage tier. If configured right, cloud storage solutions are capable of delivering impeccable ROI. However, if they’re configured without keeping in mind the volume of hot, cool, and archival data the cost implications can end up quite complex and expensive.

This makes it necessary to employ CSPs that offer a simpler cloud storage payment model.

Answering Questions & Providing Solutions with StoneFly Enterprise Cloud Storage

StoneFly enterprise cloud storage solution is an innovative, business-friendly storage option that enables users to setup Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN – iSCSI) volumes in Microsoft Azure cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and any other S3 compatible cloud.

What features enable StoneFly enterprise cloud storage to become a solution for all the concerns mentioned earlier in the article?

A brief list of these unique attributes is as follows:

  1. File-Level (NAS) & Block-Level (SAN) Storage in Azure, AWS, and StoneFly Cloud
  2. Simpler Integration with StoneFly Gateway Technology
  3. Secure & Encrypted Enterprise Cloud Storage Solution
  4. Optimized Bandwidth Utilization
  5. Simpler & Cost Effective Cloud Storage Payment Model
Cloud Storage Adoption: Challenges & Solutions 4

1.     File-Level (NAS) & Block-Level (SAN) Storage in Azure, AWS, and StoneFly Cloud

As opposed to conventional cloud storage solutions, StoneFly enterprise cloud storage solution facilitates different types of storage and multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments.

Businesses can choose to setup NAS, SAN, or both NAS and SAN in Microsoft Azure, AWS cloud, StoneFly cloud or any other S3 compatible cloud. Businesses can also opt to setup cloud storage in different clouds simultaneously.

For instance, users can choose to setup cloud storage in Azure while creating replicas, using synchronous or asynchronous replication, in StoneFly cloud.

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In other words, our c is truly flexible and provides a world of options for businesses making it the right cloud storage for all kinds of businesses and organizations regardless of the industry and their size.

2.     Simpler Integration with StoneFly Gateway Technology

StoneFly gateway technology enables users to easily integrate public clouds (Azure, AWS, etc.) with their existing infrastructure.

With StoneFly StoneFusion™ configured as a virtual cloud gateway, users don’t have to worry about “Can we Integrate the Cloud Storage Solution with Our Existing Infrastructure?” The answer to that question is always a “Yes” with StoneFly StoneFusion.

Why is cloud storage integration easier with StoneFly StoneFusion? That’s because StoneFly is partnered with industry leading companies like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). StoneFly is Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Partner, Microsoft Government Cloud Service Provider Partner (more on this later), and an Amazon Technology Partner.

Our partnerships enable our customers to integrate cloud storage easily and setup storage in Azure data centers worldwide.

Which Azure data centers can you configure your cloud storage in? You can choose any of the locations in the following image:

Cloud Storage Adoption: Challenges & Solutions 6

Please note: Where you choose to setup your cloud storage solution will affect the latency your workloads and applications experience. We recommend discussing your choices with our cloud storage experts before making the decision.

Automated Storage Provisioning in Azure
The common practice of integrating Azure cloud storage involves setting up an Azure account differently, then a gateway, and then adding the two with a third party storage provider and other tools.

Our cloud storage solution makes it into a one-click affair. If you already have an account in Azure, all you need are the credentials. During the setup process, users can choose the automated storage provisioning service.

This feature enables our StoneFusion software to automatically configure and integrate Azure cloud storage, thus making the entire process hassle-free and quick.

3.     Secure & Encrypted Enterprise Cloud Storage Solution

StoneFly enterprise cloud storage solution encrypts data at rest and data during transit. The user or data owner has the decryption keys. This ensures that data is only accessible with the right credentials. As long as the decryption keys are stored properly with the appropriate security measures, the business maintains the sole ownership of their data.

With technology like AES 256-bit encryption and SSL/TLS tunneling, business data is highly secure and private.

Businesses can also choose to opt out of public clouds like Azure and AWS and choose StoneFly’s private cloud as their cloud storage repository. This adds an additional layer of privacy.

We understand that data is an important asset of any business. That’s why we pay special attention to data security and privacy in all our products, services, and solutions.

4.     Optimized Bandwidth Utilization

Cloud storage solutions are meant to reduce the cost of data storage. If they end up using unnecessary bandwidth, slowing down processes, and incurring additional costs then they contradict their purpose.

StoneFly enterprise cloud storage solution uses data services, such as deduplication, to effectively reduce the size of data and enhance bandwidth usage. Our cloud storage solutions also leverage automated storage tiering; giving users the ability to define policies that automate data transfers and regulate the flow of data between on-premises storage systems and cloud storage repositories.

By scheduling data transfers, businesses can setup their cloud storage solution in a way that it has minimum impact on their core operations. This also impacts costs as data that is no longer hot or frequently accessed is moved from hot (expensive) storage tiers to cool (less expensive and affordable) storage tiers automatically and in-time; reducing the overall cost of data storage.

5.     Simpler & Cost Effective Cloud Payment Model

Cloud storage should be simple and the cost or payment model should follow suite.

This is what StoneFly believes in and that is what we offer to our customers. Instead of offering complex payment structures, StoneFly offers a simple pay per TB structure. And our price competes with any price in the market.

To make sure our customers don’t feel restricted or locked-in, we offer monthly subscriptions. For customers looking for commitment, we also have annual and 3-year subscription plans.

Conclusion

Enterprise cloud storage adoption can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be. StoneFly’s unique approach to cloud storage makes it a best fit for all kinds of businesses.

StoneFly enterprise cloud storage solution makes cloud integration easier, cost-effective, and reliable for the enterprise.

We offer cloud storage in Azure Government too for local / federal governments looking for a more secure and reliable storage option. For more details about cloud storage in Azure Government, contact us.

Our attention to detail and enterprise-friendly storage solutions have helped us secure some valuable partnerships that facilitate our enterprise customers as well.

Did you know that StoneFly enterprise cloud storage solution can be purchased directly from Azure marketplace? That’s because StoneFly is a certified Microsoft Azure Marketplace Partner.

If you’re looking to learn more about StoneFly enterprise cloud storage solution, we encourage you to contact us and schedule a demo. To do so, you can send us an email at sales@stonefly.com or you could call us at (510) 265 1616.

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