Storage Thriving in the Hybrid Cloud

Jim Poole
Storage Thriving in the Hybrid Cloud


Storage in the hybrid cloud is fast becoming a primary tool for the enterprise. The global cloud storage market is expected to grow from $18.87 billion today to $65.41 billion by 2020, spurred by the increasing amount of unstructured data being created in enterprises. These huge data volumes are one reason that Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS), originally conceived as a way to inexpensively enable enterprises to lease storage infrastructure space for secondary storage (i.e., backup) purposes, has branched out to support more primary storage solutions, as well as disaster recovery, data gateways, and data movement and access.

STaaS is not the only cloud-based market that is expanding rapidly: Cloud database and Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) solutions are projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 67% between 2014 and 2019 to become a $14 billion market. This market is being fueled by many tier 1 cloud and database providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud.

Nearly one third of enterprises surveyed by Storage Magazine reported using cloud storage services in the last 12 months, with almost half of them planning more cloud storage deployments in the next 12 months. On average, these companies were storing 32 TB of data in the cloud. The top applications reported for cloud storage were backup, disaster recovery, archiving, collaboration/file sharing and primary storage. But as storage has become more essential to more companies, common worries such as security and cost remain.

Hybrid Cloud Secures Private Storage

Security topped the list of main concerns around storage services, with cost of capacity and cost of network/transaction fees coming in second and third. But many of these concerns over cloud-based storage and storage application services can be alleviated with hybrid cloud deployments that mix and match the security of private storage with the flexibility and accessibility of public storage. Migrating enterprise storage to a hybrid cloud enables better control over data compliance and sovereignty, while maintaining a choice of cloud services. Hybrid clouds enable enterprises to ease into emerging STaaS and DBaaS solutions with less risk.

Take, for example, the NetApp or EMC hybrid cloud private storage solutions that have been deployed globally in Equinix data centers with Equinix Cloud Exchange. Sensitive storage assets can be kept private, while applications running on public cloud services such as AWS, Azure and SoftLayer can access that data through direct, secure, high-speed interconnection. Cloud services can be switched on and off instantaneously, as needed. Multiple clouds running replicated DBaaS solutions for disaster recovery can continue to securely access private data in the event of a failure. Depending on the business requirements, different workloads can be placed in different clouds: A company can run data analytics on one and a CRM application on another, while simultaneously accessing the same private data store.

In addition, it is easier for enterprises to manage performance and costs if their data is in close proximity to cloud and network services and interconnected via high-speed, low-latency connections. In many cases, migrating to a hybrid cloud mitigates the cost around network transaction fees. There is also a cost savings in not having to purchase additional compute resources to support the growing number of applications that are accessing larger amounts of data. For cost-effective storage of less sensitive data, STaaS solutions would fit right in with a hybrid cloud approach.

If your company is testing the waters with STaaS and DBaaS solutions, look at taking a more risk-free and cost-effective migration path using a hybrid cloud private storage strategy.


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