Taking the Hybrid Approach - Integrating In-house and Cloud Storage
With all of the hype about big data and what it can do for businesses of all size and scope, it's easy to see why so many companies are scrambling to get a handle on it. There's a wealth of data out there, and it's growing and expanding every second.
Like most companies, however, yours may struggle to pull it all together. Analyzing it is an even taller and more formidable order. No matter the size of your business, it may not be practical for you to invest in and maintain the kind of in-house resources and infrastructure that are needed to cull and analyze so much data. If this is the case, hybrid cloud computing may be the answer.
Pros and Cons of In-house Data Storage
For years, the only viable way to store and analyze data was by doing it all in-house. As data grew and grew, though, the feasibility of doing this has diminished. None of this is to say that in-house data that you won’t need a server or two. By being aware of the pros and cons of this option, you can see why it's not quite enough:
- Pros – The biggest and most obvious advantage of in-house data storage is that when, implemented correctly, it offers the most security and control of the data. Since there’s only one entity (your business) that has access to the data, you have a better idea of what’s going on with it. Another big advantage of in-house data storage is that it's instantly accessible. You don't have to put yourself at the mercy of an offsite server.
- Cons – One big con for in-house storage is that it can be expensive to buy and maintain all those servers. It’s also not very scalable. And, while on-site accessibility is great, sharing it off the premises can be a headache.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage
Cloud storage has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. Many companies have attempted to switch entirely to the cloud, but many have had mixed results. A few of the pros and cons of this storage model include:
- Pros - Data storage in the cloud is flexible and scalable. As your needs grow and change, there's no need to invest in additional software or infrastructure. It's very affordable, and it offers incredible accessibility in the form of public clouds. Cloud storage is up to the demands of big data.
- Cons - The biggest concern that most companies have with cloud storage involves security. That's a very valid concern, but major strides have already been made. Another concern is that you're somewhat at the mercy of the cloud storage provider.
Hybrid Storage - An Ideal Compromise
The latest development in data storage is hybrid cloud storage, or HCS. As the name suggests, this is a system in which there is a common management interface that pulls together in-house resources and resources in the cloud. Many companies opt to keep most of their data local while using the cloud to process and analyze it. Data processing can also span between the two platforms, which reduces costs while enhancing efficiency.
The Best of Both Worlds
There are certain types of data that you'd probably like to keep on the premises. It's wise to also back it up offsite, and cloud computing can be used to do so easily. When you rely solely on hardware at your physical location to store and process data, you're going to continually have to invest in new infrastructure to keep up with increasing demands.
With a hybrid cloud computing system, you can avoid this expensive issue. The cloud is almost endlessly scalable, so you can keep storing and process ever-increasing amounts of data without having to invest ever-increasing amounts of money.
The Next Big Thing
Hybrid cloud storage is still in its infancy, but it's already being embraced by businesses in many industries. There's little doubt that this is going to become the preferred way to store and analyze data in the future. Cloud storage providers will resist this change, and companies that sell physical storage solutions will too. A third category, which promotes the use of both technologies, will spring up to meet demand, which will lead to improved functionality and even better affordability.
There's no need to wait to embrace the benefits of hybrid cloud storage. The sooner you get on board, the sooner you can start enjoying the many advantages that go along with it. One thing's for sure: You can't afford not to gather and analyze data. With hybrid cloud storage, doing so is easier and more affordable than ever.
What’s your strategy for storage? Share with us in the comments.
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