A recent IDC report says that we should expect enterprise spending on private cloud storage will grow by 28.9% between now and 2015. At the same time, the report also indicates that big data and archival are among the key drivers of this growth. It is not surprising that organizations are seeking new cost savings alternatives. Private and public cloud deployments are just the next extension of outsourcing. By definition, archived data are inactive data that’s infrequently or rarely accessed, and perhaps needed only for compliance audits or eDiscovery. It is therefore ideal for storage in the cloud. Cloud storage also accommodates for the on demand, elastic growth of aged, archived, and retired data.
Using the cloud to store archived data, however, also demands an archiving solution that supports flexible storage solutions, whether on premise or in a public or private cloud. Ideally, the process for data archival is agnostic to the storage platform or location. Putting data in the cloud also raises security and privacy concerns that need to be addressed by the solution. Since data may be going outside a company’s firewall, it needs to be encrypted during transmission and may also need to be stored in an encrypted format.
Though cloud storage promises cost efficiencies, the rapid rate of data growth demands an optimized solution where archived data is highly compressed. Compression not only reduces storage requirements, but also the network bandwidth required to transmit data to the cloud. And since most cloud vendors also charge based on the volume of transmitted data, compression can be a significant source of cost savings.
Once data are archived to the cloud, you need to ensure that they are easily accessible and you can search and query the data quickly. This means that a high performance search, reporting and eDiscovery solution that goes against data in the cloud would optimally reside in the cloud as well, close to where the data is located. In this way, less data needs to be transmitted outside of the cloud.
As you’re contemplating the cloud, either private or public, as a cost-effective storage of your archived data, you should ensure that you’ve considered the end to end requirements for security, accessibility, performance, scalability and flexibility of the archiving solution as well.