Deciding whether and how to use cloud computing is a complex, and made all the more complicated by the overwhelming number of vendors and products. What’s more, hybrid and multicloud approaches blur the lines between the cloud and on-premise deployment options.
With an operations team that counsels organizations on which type of architecture is best for them – on premise, cloud, hybrid or multicloud – and then evaluates what went well and didn’t in all four kinds of deployments, here’s our view of what situations tip the scale toward one approach or another. While the context is data storage, this analysis applies to most enterprise IT scenarios.
Choose on-premises architectures when:Security is an emotional subject. Security considerations are always paramount, but some sectors have a gut level reaction to the cloud, and the decision stops there, period. For example, if the sheriff deploying a body worn camera application fears the team could not demonstrate a chain of custody over digital evidence in a cloud-based architecture -- meaning evidence becomes inadmissible in court -- it’s difficult to beat the peace-of-mind of an on-premise deployment where blinking lights on the hardware holding the team’s photos, documents, and videos are in full view, and typically within a locked cage.
Governance rules are tricky. Beyond HIPAA and PCI compliance – and other modern data sovereignty practices – when IT architectures in a vertical sector must demonstrate physical as well as virtual control over data at all times, an on-premise paradigm may be easier to comprehend. Ditto if rules dictate aligning a data retirement schedule with a complex lease or CapEx decommissioning schedule.
Legacy applications are immovable. Most applications are available either in the cloud or on-premise, but some legacy software has licensing restrictions or proprietary dependencies that preclude cloud usage – making on-premise or hybrid deployment a requirement.
Migration size and time are formidable. Although the track record of organizations who have successfully moved multi-petabyte deployments to the cloud is impressive, even dark fiber lines can’t fully ameliorate the time and hassle associated with an on-premise to cloud migration. Nor can some legacy gear be readily migrated to a cloud modality. Sometimes it’s just more time- and cost-effective to retain certain applications and storage assets on premise, move other applications to the cloud, and frame a hybrid infrastructure uniting them.
Choose cloud architectures when:There is significant or uncertain growth ahead. Cloud deployments provide more flexibility to “walk before you run” by getting things right on a smaller scale, and then scaling from there.
A variable business demands flexibility. For example, if one location is planned for a cloud rollout first, or one business unit experiences dramatic seasonal variability, a cloud architecture makes it easy for IT teams to move in an agile fashion with the ebb and flow of today’s dynamic business models. This is particularly true when the business itself is a software-as-a-service offering with its inherent variability.
You want an “aw, crap!” button. The DevOps philosophy of rapid rollout then continuous iteration is permeating more than just test and dev teams. That said, sometimes a major correction quickly becomes evident. Cloud-enabled architectures are far more malleable and enable IT organizations to morph the deployment at will, providing a safety measure.
It’s time for radical change. In addition to the well-publicized cost and agility advantages of the cloud, changing from on-premise to cloud infrastructures has wide-reaching impact on networks, bandwidth, real estate and more. The cloud’s agility and breadth of on-demand services enable teams to make more changes with less effort and over a shorter period of time.
Choose traditional CapEx purchases when:There’s a Use-It-Or-Lose-It budget situation. If you simply can’t get funding any other way than a CapEx appropriation – the choice is made. Market research by IDC, 451 Research and others confirms this approach is steadily waning.
Choose As-a-Service options when:The organization values agility. In late 2016 IDC FutureScape predicted that 80% of enterprise IT offerings would be sourced on a pay as you consume, OpEx model. The guidance was prescient given that by the fall 2016, at least seven major vendors had debuted On Premise, As a Service options, reiterating that it is a fundamental shift in how enterprise IT is delivered. Following the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) - from $0 in2006 to almost $8 billion business ten years later, and the dominant force among hyperscale cloud providers with nearly 3x larger than its next largest competitor, the OpEx solutions concept has spread through networking, security and storage sectors. As vendors watch customer adoption, industry analysts have predicted additional OpEx-solution shifts.
IT resources are limited. As-a-service offerings put the vendor in charge of operation, maintenance and upgrades. It’s easy scaling up – and equally importantly, scaling down – and letting those who know the most about the product hassle with the mundane details. This frees IT teams to focus on their core deliverables that accelerate the business and avoids being stuck with the wrong equipment, and wasting time on low-value, high-effort tasks. It allows them to respond to business demands promptly, with a right-sized architecture. Doing this can allow IT teams to effectively deliver infrastructure for a new application without delay and without having to free up purchasing budgets for it.
Projecting future demand is uncertain. For example, with data storage, most organizations don’t accurately know their requirements in 3- to 5-years – they’re lucky to know it one-year out. OpEx approaches enable the team to test before they buy, and instead of worrying about right-sizing storage today, focus on selecting a solution that meets today’s needs, has the ability to scale to at least an order of magnitude greater than the largest envisioned deployment, and has the elasticity to scale both up and down.
our product or solution is an As a Service offering. Software application providers and service providers alike are better able to manage costs and profit margins if they can continually match their infrastructure footprint to the ebb and flow of their subscriber base – without hefty carrying costs, rollout logistics and bloated overhead from over-provisioning.
Shendar, chief operating officer of Zadara Storage, has over 20 years of experience in storage and chip-level engineering, product development and business planning.
By Noam Shendar
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It’s World Backup Day, which is another way of saying it’s a good time to safeguard your digital photos, videos, documents and emails by creating second copies, or backups, of them and storing them somewhere secure.
As headlines about hacking and cybertheft remind us daily, our personal devices are vulnerable. The good news is that setting up a system to keep your files backed up automatically is easy. Spending a little time today could save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Here’s a quick guide to the basics, with tips from our partners at The Wirecutter, the product review website, and J. D. Biersdorfer, who writes the Tech Tip features for The New York Times.
Backing Up Your ComputerAn automated backup system can preserve all the essential files, even your iTunes library, that are stored on your computer.
For those who want more than the basic built-in backup software, third-party programs like Acronis True Image (for Windows and Mac, as well as Android and iOS) or Carbon Copy Cloner (for Mac) can grab a backup of the entire computer.
Next, you will need a place to put those backed-up files, typically an external hard drive or network server. The Wirecutter product review site (owned by The Times) has several suggestions for external hard drives.
Some programs (like Acronis True Image) also back up your files to a cloud-storage server. If you have a Mac and you want a cloud-based storage option, you can back up your files in iCloud. You can also use an online backup service — The Wirecutter recommends CrashPlan.
Many of today’s lightweight, travel-friendly “ultrabook” laptops come with internal solid-state drives that store data in a type of flash memory. Solid-state drives are more expensive to make and typically come in smaller capacities compared with hard disk drives.
If you have files you can store elsewhere, either in the cloud or on an external hard drive connected to the new laptop, you can offload them from the main drive if you get a laptop with a smaller capacity. Many laptop makers advertise devices in basic configurations, so even if a new computer’s drive looks like it tops out at 512 gigabytes, you may be able to pay extra for a custom configuration with a one-terabyte solid-state drive.
Backing Up Your PhoneIf you have an iPhone, you have the choice of backing up your data in iCloud or in iTunes.
If you choose the iCloud option, you will get up to two terabytes of storage, with the first five gigabytes free. Your backup files are always encrypted, and you can create and use backups from anywhere with Wi-Fi.
If you choose the iTunes option, your backup files are stored on your Mac or PC, and the amount of storage you get depends on your Mac’s or PC’s available space. You have the option of encrypted backups. You can only create and use backups from your Mac or PC.
You can also skip iTunes and iCloud and have more control over backing up an iPhone to a PC or Mac with a third-party backup program, like iMazing or iExplorer.
If you have a phone that uses the Android operating system, you can automatically back up your data and settings to Google Drive and your photos and videos to Google Photos. Unlimited automatic backups are available for Google Calendar and Google Contacts data and your photos and videos. For app data, call history and text messages, limited automatic backup is available — as much as 25 megabytes of data per app.
If you want to move photos from your Android to a Mac, Google Photosmay be a simple solution. You can install the app on the Android phoneand have it automatically back up your images online to your Google Photos account, where you can also see and download them to the Mac from a web browser. And iPhone users can install the Google Photos app for iOS to see their photos there and add any new pictures taken with iOS devices to a Google Photos library.
Flash drives designed especially for smartphones are becoming popular options for quick photo backup — SanDisk and Leef Mobile Memory are two of the major players.
Backing Up Your Social Media FeedThe horror of a hacked, crashed or deleted social media account can mean losing years of personal memories. Even if you are not worried about being hacked, you may want to save a copy of your account’s contents if you decide to quit the service, the company goes out of business or changes to its terms of service agreement are not to your liking.
If you want a simple way to download a backup of the pictures, friends, followers, tags and comments from your Instagram account, a social media backup service like digi.me can be a hassle-free solution. Digi.mehas free software for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS systems that automatically backs up and syncs your posts from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and several other social media networks to your local drive. Frostbox is another service that works with Instagram, among other social media sites.
Backup Tips for Music LoversIf you have backed up your iTunes audio library onto an external hard drive, you can use it to listen to your music on another computer.
If you don’t have room on your laptop’s hard drive to store the MP3 audio files you finally converted from your compact discs, you can store the collection on an external hard drive or upload the converted files to a cloud server, like Amazon Music, Google Play Music or iTunes Match, which makes your music accessible on any mobile gadgets you may also have. For those who want a richer sound than the MP3 format, here are some tips for converting CDs into high-fidelity tracks.
This is a NY Times article
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