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Optimizing Your Cloud Storage Spending For Hybrid Cloud Environments

Most organizations know that hybrid cloud’s many benefits extend far beyond financial factors. Agility, flexibility and scalability are just some of the most attractive features of hybrid cloud, as well as the ability to move workloads from on-premises to the cloud and back, or from cloud to cloud. In fact, these and other benefits have driven most organizations to adopt hybrid cloud as part of their overarching IT service delivery strategy. 

With cloud now an essential part of all IT strategies, organizations should aggressively seek new ways to get every penny of economic value from their hybrid cloud investment. After all, Mordor Research projects that enterprises will spend more than $128 billion annually on hybrid cloud infrastructure by 2025. That kind of investment demands careful scrutiny by IT decision-makers to determine that they are, in fact, getting the proper bang for their buck.

There is little debate that organizations are under a mandate to store more data—and more mission-critical data—in the cloud, even as they continue to rely on their on-premises storage infrastructure for numerous workloads. But too often, enterprises end up creating more silos—this data for on-prem, this data for this public cloud, this data for that private cloud—creating operational and economic inefficiencies.

The No-Frills Guide to Optimizing Your Cloud

Read this paper for a list to help identify rogue cloud storage spending that will help you collaborate across your company to put basic controls in place and will help in the cloud storage optimization process.

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10 ways to optimize enterprise cloud storage spending
Here are 10 things that can help you get more from your cloud storage budget:

  1. Remove unattached cloud storage. The natural tendency for organizations to “save everything” when it comes to data typically results in higher-than-necessary costs. Of course, it’s important to closely examine and identify which group “owns” the storage and determine if that data is important to save.
  2. Purchase the right storage tier. Choosing the fastest tier isn’t always the right decision for all data. Consider both your performance and cost requirements when evaluating and selecting storage tiers. You can always move a workload to a faster tier if it’s demonstrated to be necessary.
  3. Right size underused storage volumes. Identify those oversized volumes, create a new volume with the space you actually need, migrate the data and delete the oversized volume.
  4. Match storage with necessary throughput. Monitoring the actual read-write access to a given volume; if the throughput is low, downgrade to a lower-performance tier.
  5. Determine redundancy levels needed for storage. Plan your redundancy requirements by doing a business impact analysis and risk assessment. For instance, redundancies across geographies can be substantially higher than within the same geography.
  6. Delete old snapshots. Be sure to delete previous days’ snapshots to avoid unnecessary cloud storage cost “creep.”
  7. Manage outbound data transfer requests. Store data as close as possible to where it’s actually needed in order to cut down on the cost of moving data from point to point.
  8. Minimize cross-region and cross-zone data transfer. Host essential data as geographically close to the users who need that data.
  9. Monitoring storage pricing tiers. Keep a close eye on your storage usage within the constraints of your existing contracts, and always be alert for ways to negotiate prices down based on actual usage trends.
  10. Clean up incomplete uploads from storage. If an upload is interrupted, partial objects may linger in cloud storage as unusable data, driving up your costs. 

Selecting the right solution and partner
In order to optimized your hybrid cloud storage environment, organizations must select a storage solution that applies the same data management practices as an on-prem environment for such requirements as de-duplication, backup, data compression, archiving and recovery. You’ll also need to manage that environment by enabling access to a single pool of data, regardless of whether that data is on prem or in the cloud.

NetApp Cloud Volumes, which is available on any of the popular public clouds, delivers performance comparable to an on-prem environment, giving storage administrators the flexibility of managing the data fully in the cloud or on-prem. Also, NetApp’s ONTAP data management framework helps organizations control costs by eliminating a second, redundant level of infrastructure to manage data in different locations.

IDC analyzed NetApp’s public cloud storage strategy, and concluded that it offers “a unified view of data across customer premises and multiple cloud platforms, and can facilitate implementation of a consistent experience in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments.”

Cloud storage is an essential element in your hybrid cloud strategy, and managing those costs is essential in order to continue to demonstrate suitable return on investment and helping senior executives feel confident in the business value in a hybrid cloud IT service delivery model.

For more information on how NetApp can help your organization get the most value from its hybrid cloud investments, please visit https://www.netapp.com/us/cut-cloud-storage-costs.aspx.

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