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Mitigating Risk in Migrating Data to the Cloud

As organizations embrace cloud computing for primary, archival and backup storage, they are migrating more and more data to public and hybrid clouds. This means data is moving physically from one platform to another, which creates potential security and data protection gaps. What are some of the risks in migrating data to the cloud, and how do you mitigate them? This article discusses options for successful and secure data migrations to and from the cloud.

There are a wide range of reasons why companies are migrating data to the cloud. Cloud can be a cost-efficient means of storing secondary data such as backup and archives, offering faster access than traditional tape storage. Therefore, many organizations are moving data from tape to the cloud to reduce the pressure on IT staff resources, simplify scalability and accelerate access to data for regulatory and e-discovery requirements.

Tape can still be incorporated as one aspect of the overall data management strategy, particularly to have an offline gold copy of your data as a means of protection against the threat of ransomware. While keeping tape as an aspect of the overall strategy is a smart option, it doesn’t obviate the opportunity to leverage the cloud to accelerate access to secondary storage—which means you will still have a tape-to-cloud migration.

In addition to secondary storage, cloud is becoming more prevalent as an option for primary storage, particularly to mitigate the challenges inherent in today’s era of explosive data growth, rogue shadow IT initiatives, new data sources and cloud sprawl. By leveraging a cloud storage platform designed for end-to-end data management, IT teams can gain control over their data as a means to improve security, compliance and governance.

Ensuring Secure Cloud Migrations
So, whether it is primary or secondary storage, tape to cloud, disk to cloud—or even one cloud to another—data migration is one of the new realities of the cloud era. Given that new reality, how do you ensure that you can do your migrations as securely as possible?

One of the first steps to successful and secure cloud data migration is to understand your options and how you can leverage them. Iron Mountain, a long-time leader in data custodianship, is taking a leadership position in offering a comprehensive cloud data migration strategy as part of its overall approach to enterprise data management.


With the introduction of Iron Cloud, Iron Mountain is offering customers several innovative solutions for cloud migration, specifically:

  • Iron Cloud Data Shuttle: This is a specially designed migration appliance to move large volumes of data for first-time cloud ingest or large-scale retrieval. It supports high-speed data transfer with a variety of security features, including advanced data encryption and data erasure with certification. Data Shuttle also leverages Iron Mountain’s secure logistics and chain of custody.
  • Iron Cloud Migration Services: Managed data migration services allows customers to move massive amounts of data into and out of the cloud without the challenges or expense of limited network bandwidth. As a managed service offering, it offers the same security protections, logistics and chain of custody as the Iron Cloud Data Shuttle. Migration Services also supports tape to cloud transfers that might involve the movement of physical files from one location to another, leveraging Iron Mountain’s patented security, tracking and auditable chain of custody protections.

In addition to supporting secure migrations, these solutions enable organizations to successfully address some of the other challenges inherent in migrating data to the cloud, including costs, speed, scalability, compliance, agility and data portability. They also help organizations leverage cloud services to reduce the cost and burden of managing legacy infrastructure.

Cloud computing is one of the defining technologies in business today, leading the way toward digital transformation and other vital organizational imperatives. As IDC has said: “Today’s ‘cloud-first’ strategy is already moving toward ‘cloud-only.’”

As organizations continue to embrace the cloud, it is inevitable that they will be migrating more and more data to the cloud from a variety of sources, including on-premises data centers, off-site tape vaults and even from one cloud to another.

These migrations must be done quickly, inexpensively and, perhaps most important, securely. For more information on how you can mitigate risk in migrating data to the cloud, please visit Iron Mountain at http://www.ironmountain.com.