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The case for cloud storage: Cloud considerations and strategies

Cloud storage is gaining traction in the data storage space, but user concerns over security and benefits remain. This guide can help you to decide whether the cloud is right for your environment.

Introduction

Despite all the interest in cloud storage today, many organizations still wonder whether the technology is the right route for their environment. Questions about value, cost and security weigh heavily on the minds of users and administrators; and cloud outages and failures by companies such as Nirvanix further exacerbate these concerns when it comes time for users to evaluate their cloud considerations checklists.

While there may not be a definitive answer as to whether or not cloud is the best bet for every organization, the question you should be asking is whether the cloud is right for your enterprise. How you intend to use the cloud and the steps you take to ensure the security of your data all play a role in the success of any cloud deployment.

In this essential guide, we've collected the best of our experts' tips to help you utilize the cloud, analyze costs and ensure the security of your information in the cloud. Learn the differences between public and private cloud storage and traditional storage. Find out how other companies use cloud technology. Get the information you need to prevent unexpected "sticker shock" with a move to the cloud -- while vendors promise initial lower costs, the pricing structure can be difficult to decipher. Finally, we provide a number of resources you can use to determine how to best handle cloud security issues.

1Cloud uses-

Determining the cloud's business value

Recent surveys reveal that many companies are using the cloud for more than just backup. The following links outline recent developments in cloud storage use, and the decisions users need to make once they've taken their first step into the cloud.

Feature

Use of cloud-based services grows beyond just backup

The real penetration cloud storage has achieved is the growing number of companies that use the technology to store data for applications other than data protection. Continue Reading

Feature

The differences between local and cloud storage architecture

Expert Brien Posey explains how cloud gateways can help to make cloud storage seamlessly available to a local network. Continue Reading

Answer

Primary storage cloud vs. cloud for backup

The difference between cloud backup and cloud storage comes down to application and access rather than architecture, according to analyst Greg Schulz. Continue Reading

Podcast

Is a private or a public cloud better for cold data storage?

The private cloud vs. public cloud decision for cold data storage hinges on data amounts, length of storage and access needs, consultant advises. Continue Reading

Tip

The 10 questions to consider when picking a cloud storage service

Cloud storage expert Arun Taneja offers a core set of evaluation criteria to help you choose a cloud storage provider. Continue Reading

2Cloud costs-

Do cloud costs outweigh benefits?

Prominent among cloud considerations is cost. Are you really saving money? The cloud's relatively low base price can be appealing, but organizations need to look out for hidden and unanticipated costs, and know how to get the best bang for their buck. The tips below provide information on performing a cloud cost analysis and on benefits that go beyond just a reasonable price.

News

Watch for unexpected cloud costs

Think cloud computing is just a matter of spinning up resources? Cloud computing costs for resource contention, storage, bandwidth and redundancy can come as a surprise. Continue Reading

Tip

Tips for doing a cloud cost analysis

Arun Taneja breaks the cloud storage cost analysis process into three categories: monthly storage pricing, transaction charges and cost of bandwidth. Continue Reading

Tip

Avoid sticker shock with cloud cost analysis tools

Cloud costs can quickly skyrocket if the budget isn't kept in check. Cloud cost analysis tools, such as CloudCheckr and Cloudability, can help users to evade unanticipated costs. Continue Reading

Answer

Is cloud storage truly cheaper than traditional data storage?

Cloud storage can be less expensive from a cost-per-gigabyte perspective, but it's important not to lose sight of its other benefits as a value proposition. Continue Reading

Tip

Corralling cloud pricing can be more complicated than anticipated

Explore the hidden costs of joining the cloud, including on-demand and third-party services. Continue Reading

3Cloud security-

But is it safe?

The No. 1 concern with cloud technology is, undoubtedly, security. As with any "new" form of storage, users need to feel confident that it's safe to use before trusting it with their mission-critical data. The following links address common security concerns, including privacy policies, risk assessment and your role in keeping your data secure.

Answer

Are outages a security concern for the cloud?

Service provider outages should be a warning to customers that keeping data safe in the cloud is a shared responsibility. Continue Reading

Tip

Why IT professionals need a firm grasp of the meaning of 'cloud'

So, what is cloud computing anyway? The definition isn't always clear. Ravila Helen White helps enterprise security professionals figure it out. Continue Reading

Feature

Unravelling the cloud security paradox

Is the cloud more or less secure than your current environment? Learn how to assess your risk before moving data processing or applications to the cloud. Continue Reading

Tip

Cloud security considerations for mission-critical environments

According to expert George Crump, as long as storage professionals understand encryption and authentication, the cloud is just as secure as any data center. Continue Reading

Answer

What should you know about your cloud privacy policy?

A good cloud provider privacy policy should cover not only physical and logical security, but geographic and personnel constraints. Continue Reading

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