8 Cloud Storage Problems: How to Avoid Them: Page 2 - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

8 Cloud Storage Problems: How to Avoid Them - Page 2

Cloud storage problem #6: Failing to get a clear understanding of how to get your data back or move it to another provider

Cloud storage providers may fall over themselves to make it easy for you to give them your data in the first place – perhaps by collecting physical media such as hard disk drives from your data center or offering free data ingress over a network connection. But if you decide that you no longer want to use the provider's services it can often prove unexpectedly difficult or expensive to get it back.

To avoid this cloud storage pitfall it's important to get satisfactory answers to the following questions:

* How will your data be made available – over a network connection or can it be placed on physical storage media for collection?

* How soon will it be available – will you be expected to wait for days or weeks?

* How much bandwidth will be available if you plan to download your data? That's important because even with a 1Gbps link, it would take almost two weeks to get 150TB of data back from a cloud storage provider to your data center.

* What bandwidth costs will be involved if you move your data back over a network, and what are the costs of having it put on physical media?

* How long will it take for copies and backups of your data to be deleted, and what formal confirmation can you expect that all copies have been deleted?

* In what format will data be made available – will it be provided in a .csv file or in some other more closed format?

Cloud storage problem #7: Assuming that using a cloud storage provider absolves you of all security responsibilities

Cloud providers are meant to be experts at what they do, including keeping their clouds and the data within it secure. But if there is a data security breach then it is you that your customers will hold responsible and seek compensation from, and it is you that will suffer the embarrassment, loss of reputation and possible loss of business.

That means that to avoid this cloud storage problem it is up to you to do due diligence and satisfy yourself that the security offered by the cloud storage provider is good enough for your needs. To do this you will need to find out as much as possible about the security arrangements that are in place, and what guidelines and regulations (think HIPPA, PCI-DSS, SSAE 16) it has been certified to comply with.

Cloud storage problem #8: Fixating on costs without considering other factors

For many companies one of the key drivers for moving to the cloud is reduced costs, or at the very least a switch from a single large capital expenditure to small regular operating expenditures. While that may be beneficial from a business point of view it's important to remember that as well as changing how you pay, you are also paying for something fundamentally different.

Cloud storage, in other words, is not the same as your existing data center storage, and as well as new security, compliance and accessibility challenges there are also new performance characteristics to consider. What this boils down to is that some applications that you run in your data center aren't performance sensitive and are well suited to being used in conjunction with cloud storage. For other applications that's not the case.

That means that if you decide to use cloud storage for these latter applications then the applications themselves may also have to run in the cloud, close to the cloud storage. And that in turn means that moving your data to cloud storage may need to be part of a far larger consideration of the viability of moving some or all of your applications to the cloud.

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