Hybrid cloud storage is a storage environment made up of both private cloud storage and public cloud storage.
The concept behind hybrid cloud storage is fairly simple to understand if you have background information on a few terms. So, before we build the five cases of why you should choose hybrid cloud storage for your data, here are a few definitions to make things a little clearer:
Public cloud storage: a multi-tenant environment featuring off-site storage typically connected through the Internet to an external data center. An enterprise purchases a certain storage amount for their company data.
Private cloud storage: a single-tenant virtual infrastructure unique to an enterprise. This storage option is maintained and secured by a corporate firewall, usually by an enterprise’s on-site IT staff.
Hybrid cloud storage: a blend of both models leveraging a local private architecture with the ability to spill over into a public architecture.
Now that we’ve laid the ground work for hybrid cloud storage, how do you use it? Let’s take a look at five use cases. Pay attention, because these five reasons may interest your company and sway your enterprise’s cloud policy rules.
5 hybrid cloud use cases
Users of hybrid cloud storage usually appear to be the most comfortable with backup data. This data typically consists of file-level or image-based replication snapshots existing in the public portion of the hybrid cloud for a finite period of time. These snapshots allow for peace of mind that files are securely waiting for use when needed. Following the defined time period, backup copies are deleted and replaced with the most up-to-date versions. The clear advantage of backup storage? If a virtual machine or file becomes corrupted or deleted, the copy can be accessed for quick restoration.
Typically associated with a large project, bursting uses public cloud storage as a fill area and borrows capacity on a temporary basis. When the project is complete, data is deleted from the public cloud, while a local copy is kept in house. Bursting offers significant cost savings, because the business no longer needs idle storage arrays sitting empty until needed on a temporary basis.
A data copy is kept in a centralized public cloud where employees can access it. Collaborative storage deletes local copies of the data but retains copies located in the public cloud. Companies with remote locations have full-employee access to documents when working on a common project. Collaborative storage uses a centralized point ensuring bandwidth speeds are equal between users, unlike if the data was stored solely at the company’s main location.
Archival storage is an extensive collection of data with historical significance to the enterprise. This type of data is created and stored on premises until it is labeled archival. When the data is considered “retired,” it is moved to the public cloud indefinitely, which frees up the scarce resource of the expensive dedicated hardware on premises.
These data sets are accessed frequently by a majority of employees in an enterprise and are typically housed on dedicated, in-house storage arrays. This data type is extremely dense and because of this, speed is considered an issue when housed in the public portion of the hybrid cloud. However, the storage capacity requirements change rapidly in primary storage, making the elasticity of cloud storage a practical and cost-effective way to manage this type of data.
Regardless of the general fears toward third-party appliances, overall enterprise use of hybrid cloud storage is growing. Before spending more on in-house storage arrays, reconsider hybrid cloud storage and the benefits it can bring to your enterprise.