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Solving Data Storage Dilemmas With the Cloud

Thought Leadership piece with Paul Boyer, Managing Partner, Ancero

When I speak with business leaders, one of their biggest concerns is what to do with their data. More than a technology concern, this a serious business concern. Businesses are generating a ton of data each day, and they’re struggling to find the right place to safely, cost-effectively store and access their data for a long time.

According to Domo, more than 2.5 quintillion (quintillion has 18 zeros) bytes of data are created every single day. I’ve been in the technology sector for 30 years and I can’t grasp how much data that is. For perspective, the Data Never Sleeps 7.0 report from Domo provides statistics on how much data is generated in the U.S. every minute:

  • 390,030 apps are downloaded.
  • 188,000,000 emails are sent.
  • 18,100,000 texts are sent.
  • 4,416,720 GB of internet data are used.
  • 4,500,000 videos are watched on YouTube.
  • 4,497,420 searches are conducted on Google.
  • 694,444 hours of video are streamed on Netflix.

In 2020, there will be 40 times more bytes of data than there are stars in the observable universe. Has the term “astronomical” ever been more appropriate?

All this data leads to real concerns about data breaches and satisfying compliance requirements. Data needs to be stored and backed up in a safe, reliable environment, or a ransomware attack will put a company out of business.

Given the sheer volume of data and the complexity of security, storing data onsite is not a viable option. Virtually every industry expert agrees that you have to store data offsite where it can be securely accessed from any location and any device. This is why cloud adoption has exploded. The key is to find a reliable, secure cloud platform that will always be there for you.

How to choose a provider

There are a number of local and regional storage providers with homegrown cloud solutions that are reputable and secure. These providers typically purchase infrastructure or rent space in data centers and build their own real-time backup and recovery solutions. But what happens if they go out of business in five or 10 years? Will you be able to access your data?

We all remember what happened when the dot-com bubble burst at the turn of the century. When the dot-com companies crashed and burned, many of their customers never got their data back and were forced to shut their doors.

When you look at cloud providers that will be around for the long haul, you have Amazon Web Services (AWS), which was the first major player in the cloud space, and Microsoft. AWS had a 10-year head start and owns 40 percent of the market., Microsoft, with 21 percent of the market, has already cut AWS’s lead in half.

Microsoft Azure

Ancero has chosen to partner with Microsoft and provide clients access to the Microsoft Azure cloud for several reasons. First, Azure checks all the security and compliance boxes. Azure is highly available, reliable, and scalable, offering fault tolerance and redundancy with data centers all over the world. Every Azure transaction is encrypted, and organizations have full control over who can access their data.

From a cost perspective, few companies if any have the financial wherewithal to match Microsoft’s price points. Also, the vast majority of business computers use a Windows operating system. Although it sometimes seems as though mobile devices and the Internet of Things have taken over the world, people turn to their laptops when work needs to get done.

The avalanche of data created each day begins with desktop business applications, which are compatible with Windows and Azure. Users already have a high comfort level with Microsoft platforms. In my opinion, no company is better positioned to support businesses in the cloud than Microsoft.

Migrating to the cloud is no small undertaking, and you still need to manage data and applications after moving them to the cloud. While large enterprises may have the in-house technology resources and expertise to navigate the cloud, SMBs need the help of a certified Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider like Ancero.

These are important points to take into consideration when planning a cloud strategy:

  • How much data do you have?
  • How much bandwidth do you have?
  • What are your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs)? In other words, how much downtime can your organization realistically afford, recognizing that even the most advanced solutions will have minimal downtime while applications and data are restored?
  • How will security patches be managed and deployed?
  • Who will monitor desktops and update software?
  • Who needs access to your data and where?
  • What is the best way to archive old data and responsibly delete data when it is no longer useful?

Without the right answers, cloud costs could spiral out of control, application performance could suffer, and you might experience more downtime than necessary after a disaster.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution for storing and accessing data – a solution that is secure, reliable, and cost-effective – a major cloud platform managed by a reputable service provider is the best option. The good news is, these world-class cloud offerings are available to SMBs at an extremely affordable price. Companies that have yet to fully embrace the cloud need to start investigating these platforms to get a handle on their data once and for all.

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