Cloud storage opens possibilities for data storage that don’t exist in on-premises deployments, allowing enterprises to quickly access data and receive the benefits of managed infrastructure. Cloud storage is available to any business with internet access, and cloud providers take care of the technology required to run those stores.
But cloud storage isn’t a set-and-forget solution — it requires plenty of protective measures, including backup and other data protection strategies..
Enterprise Storage Forum interviewed Eric Seidman — the senior director of product marketing management at Veritas Technologies — who provides his perspective on the current cloud storage market and the needs facing cloud storage providers and buyers:
Eric Seidman is focused on marketing Veritas NetBackup, the company’s flagship backup and recovery solution. Seidman has more than 20 years of experience in enterprise technology, with a special focus on storage, including more than a decade at Dell EMC.
Cloud storage Q&A
The cloud storage market
Enterprise Storage Forum: How did you first start working in the cloud storage market?
Seidman: For me, moving to the cloud storage market was a natural shift that occurred, as businesses began to transition from storing files and data locally to storing and backing it up in the cloud. Rather quickly, this progressed to the market, and my role evolved to cloud-first storage strategies driven by digital transformation.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is your favorite thing about working at Veritas?
Seidman: First and foremost is the company’s overall reputation in the market. Veritas has always been a forward-thinking industry leader in innovation that helps many of the largest global businesses solve their biggest cloud data management challenges, in turn, helping them obtain the benefits of on-demand rapid provisioning, pay-as-you-grow limitless scalability, and off-site copies of data for business continuity.
Helping organizations with their cloud storage initiatives means that the business is no longer a ransomware attack or a failed storage system away from losing vast amounts of important data — a scary thought that I’ve been fortunate enough to help alleviate for many organizations.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What sets Veritas’ cloud storage approach or solutions apart from the competition?
Seidman: Modern data infrastructure increasingly includes on-premises resources, hosted services, and software-as-a-service applications from multiple public cloud providers. This multicloud approach creates new data management challenges, including unexpected costs, operational complexity, and increased vulnerability to cyberattacks.
Veritas products are designed to address the unique challenges of this multicloud reality. For example, we recently launched Veritas NetBackup 10 powered by Cloud Scale Technology. … [a] cloud-optimized, at-scale data management solution that applies web-scale technologies and automation to deliver more cost-effective, efficient, and secure data management in multicloud environments.
Cloud Scale Technology creates the foundation not only for the new features delivered in NetBackup 10, but for Veritas’ strategy to transform data protection, by delivering Autonomous Data Management. We’re building a future where our technology is able to autonomously provision, optimize, and repair data management services in multicloud environments, while empowering end users to enable self-service data protection and recovery, freeing up IT staff to focus on strategic and transformational activity.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is one key cloud storage technology that particularly interests you?
Seidman: Probably unsurprisingly, technology for managing and protecting cloud-based data tops my list. Most SaaS vendors have adopted a “shared responsibility model,” which means the ultimate responsibility to protect and secure a customer’s cloud-based data is up to the customer. While cloud service providers usually include some form of basic built-in data protection, the shared responsibility model is a clear indication that enterprises should not rely on those basic built-in capabilities alone. Things often missing from them that enterprises can only get with more robust data management and protection solutions: [these] include full coverage across their entire multicloud environments; flexible recovery to address unanticipated or unconventional recovery requirements; high performance and scalable recovery; automatic compliance enforcement; and a single, unified management console for their entire on-premises and multicloud environment.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is one cloud storage technique that teams should implement?
Seidman: Enterprises are spending too much on data backup storage in the cloud. Veritas research shows that with the most advanced multicloud storage, snapshot, and orchestrated tiering capabilities, the average business can reduce the cost of backup storage in the cloud by up to 95%. Improving deduplication capabilities can help further minimize cloud footprint, and implementing backup technology with elastic multicloud compute services to deliver the exact scale needed by businesses at the right time can further reduce costs.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is one cloud storage strategy that companies should implement?
Seidman: Data backup to the cloud. Backup data represents the last line of defense against ransomware, and enterprises need a simple, secure, and cost-effective way to adopt cloud storage for long-term data retention. But provisioning cloud-based storage with a self-managed public cloud service provider requires a series of cumbersome steps that can introduce security and compliance gaps. We recently introduced Veritas NetBackup Recovery Vault to solve this problem. It’s a simple, fully managed storage-as-a-service data repository for NetBackup that provides mission-critical ransomware resiliency as a purpose-built, air-gapped cloud storage tier for backups. At the same time, it reduces the cost and complexity of using cloud storage for data backup by providing a familiar unified interface, the NetBackup console, to choose from a selection of leading cloud service providers on an application-by-application basis for long-term retention and reliable recovery of backup data, with a single subscription.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is the biggest cloud storage mistake you see enterprises making?
Seidman: Far too many enterprises think their cloud service provider is responsible for the protection of their cloud-based data. This is an incorrect assumption that puts businesses at risk. The truth is that as part of their standard service, most cloud service providers only provide an uptime guarantee of their service — not cloud data protection. In fact, some make it clear in their terms and conditions that a customer’s data is their responsibility to protect. Storing data in the cloud doesn’t automatically make it safe; it still needs strong data protection.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What are some current trends in the cloud storage market that are promising? What are the biggest factors that are driving change in cloud storage?
Seidman: Enterprises are discovering that one cloud does not fit all and are increasingly shifting to a hybrid cloud model. The multicloud approach can help increase an enterprise’s agility, scalability, and redundancy. Like the old saying goes: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Not to mention that a multicloud strategy is often necessary for global companies dealing with local data privacy laws.
That’s why today’s enterprise infrastructures increasingly include local on-premises resources along with hosted services from more than one public cloud service provider. In fact, 62% of the participants in a recent Cloud Security Alliance survey said they already have a multicloud strategy. Of the remainder, 84% plan to have a multicloud approach in place by 2024.
Enterprise Storage Forum: How has cloud storage changed during your time in the market?
Seidman: I’ve been in the industry long enough to see the enterprise cloud grow from infancy to table stakes. More recently, it’s been astonishing to watch the acceleration of cloud adoption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as much of the world shifted to a work-from-home model and relied more than ever on cloud-based technologies, like Microsoft 365 and Zoom. In fact, the “Veritas Vulnerability Lag” study conducted last year found that since COVID-led digital transformation initiatives began, 80% of respondents’ organizations newly implemented or expanded their deployment of cloud infrastructure beyond their original plans.
Enterprise Storage Forum: Where do you predict the cloud storage market will be 5 or 10 years from now?
Seidman: What was initially a COVID-led acceleration of enterprise cloud adoption will continue, even as the pandemic continues to wind down, and companies return to something similar to the old normal. It forced proof of concepts into production, and there’s no going back. However, we’re now starting to see more clearly some of the consequences of allowing production environments to outpace protection infrastructure. Nearly every organization has been stretched by the challenges of the past few years, and businesses were right to prioritize the immediate issue of empowering the shift to remote work and cloud everything. Now, though, the time has come to restore the balance.
Cloud storage professionals
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is one cloud technology your team wants storage professionals to know?
Seidman: It comes back to the fact that storing data in the cloud doesn’t automatically make it safe — you still need reliable data protection technology for your cloud-based data. All the better if that technology can help you protect all your data at once — from edge to core to cloud.
Enterprise Storage Forum: If you could give one piece of advice to a cloud storage professional in the beginning of their career, what would it be?
Seidman: Backup everything, even in the cloud. Backup in the cloud is as important as it is in your physical data center. Backing up in the cloud assures access to copies of data and applications and prevents interruptions to the business from cloud outages, cyberattacks, and human error. Don’t be complacent and assume that because it’s in the cloud, it’s protected and recoverable.
Enterprise Storage Forum: With the shortage of tech talent, how is your team finding and retaining professionals to work in cloud storage?
Seidman: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a big part of our vision for Autonomous Data Management. Those also happen to be very exciting areas to work in. The promise of working with these innovative technologies to fundamentally change the way enterprises manage and protect their data no matter where it lives, especially in the cloud, goes a long way when we’re recruiting cloud storage technologists and other technical talent.
Enterprise Storage Forum: For the greatest business impact, what should cloud storage professionals be focusing on most in their roles?
Seidman: As I mentioned, multicloud infrastructure is the new normal. But it brings with it certain challenges, including unexpected costs, operational complexity, and increased vulnerability to cyberattacks. Cloud storage professionals need to focus on solving these challenges with tools that deliver more cost-effective, sustainable, and secure multicloud environments for their organizations.
Work and life
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is one of your top professional accomplishments?
Seidman: In my current role, it was working cross-functionally to bring the new Veritas Cloud Scale technology to market. The reason this is one of my top accomplishments is because of the value that it brings to our customers. It significantly reduces costs and carbon footprint, while improving operational efficiency, agility, and security in the cloud. It’s a game-changing approach to cloud data management.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is your favorite part of working in the cloud storage market?
Seidman: Working with Veritas’ customers to help them realize the many advantages of a sound cloud storage strategy, from reducing costs to delivering infinite scale to making data more accessible and benefiting from increased security. This is especially fulfilling, because our customers deal with managing a lot of data.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What is one of your favorite parts of the work week? How does it encourage or inspire you? Do you have a favorite way to recharge during the workday?
Seidman: Collaborating with colleagues. They’re always super motivated and inspire me daily.
Enterprise Storage Forum: What are your favorite hobbies or ways to spend time outside of work?
Seidman: I love listening to music. Every day, I like to get outside and go for a walk with my dogs Lucy and Bella and tune into a favorite playlist. In the evenings, I often relax with a favorite album on the turntable with the dogs at my feet.
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