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Data centers are jumping on the cloud storage bandwagon for a variety of reasons, according to the latest data from our Cloud Storage Post-Purchase Survey.
The availability and variety of cloud-based storage services is often cited as a key reason for the dip in sales of hard disk drives and networked storage arrays. It's hard to determine just how much cloud-based storage services is impacting traditional storage systems, but it's clear that it's having some effect.
A few years ago, most storage shops were just testing the cloud storage waters, dipping a digital toe into a cloud backup service or maybe sending some older data to a provider's cold storage archive. Today, those apps remain popular, with 61% of recent cloud-based storage services buyers citing backup as the key cloud app. Sticking to that data protection theme, the second and third most-popular cloud storage apps among recent purchasers were disaster recovery (41%) and archiving (39%). Those numbers aren't surprising, as these three services are the most mature cloud storage applications. More interesting, perhaps, is the 37% who said file sharing and collaboration were their main service objectives. With cloud-based file sync-and-share services adding more management and enterprise features, and interest in in-house sync-and-share implementations growing, this looks like a category that will heat up across all cloud flavors -- public, private and hybrid.
Speaking of those three cloud storage architectures, overall, for more than half (52%) of the shops looking to add cloud storage capacity this year, a hybrid arrangement is the preferred architecture, tightly linking in-house resources with a cloud storage service.
Companies adding cloud storage capacity are doing so in relatively modest helpings; 36% say they will add up to 10 TB of capacity, while 27% expect to add up to 49 TB. Storage shops may still only be dipping a toe into the cloud storage reservoir, but that toe is getting bigger.
For previous and future buyers of cloud-based storage services, one feature was far and away the most important: 74% cited total cost, including capacity, transfer fees and other charges. Security is also on their minds, with 30% saying encryption was an important feature. Only 3% said initial seeding of the cloud storage repository was an important feature, so maybe cloud-based storage services users have some sort of magic transporters they can use to move terabytes of data into the cloud. Beam us up, Scotty!
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