Achieving Universal Data Availability with Distributed Cloud Data Management 

The allure of multi-cloud architectures promise optimum utilisation of on-premises and multiple clouds, where workloads, applications and data can be shared across them to the greatest value.

Many organisations seeking to fast-track digital initiatives, drive new opportunities, and remain competitive, are re-architecting their IT infrastructures to manage applications and data across on-premises and distributed cloud environments.

According to a recent announcement by Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.7% to a total of $591.8 billion in 2023, up from $490.3 billion in 2022. This is higher than the 18.8% growth forecast for 2022.

While the benefits of universal access to data are abundant, distributed data also means that enterprises must tackle an array of new challenges that often come with increased costs, complexity, and risk. IT professionals must consider which long-term strategies to adopt to ensure secure, cost-effective data management between clouds and on-premises environments.

Key Considerations for Distributed Cloud Adoption

Before adopting any cloud strategy, enterprises must first consider the needs of the business; its modern and legacy applications and workloads; and the retention requirements for its growing data sets. Depending on operational and budgetary factors, existing architectures, and data set sizes, a hybrid or multi-cloud approach may be the best long-term solution. IT teams must also ensure that all disparate elements work together while, at the same time, prepare for a long-term cloud integration strategy that may include distributed hybrid workflows,

When analysing the advantages and disadvantages of public, private or hybrid cloud solutions for protecting long-term data, a calculated approach is imperative, and the following questions should be asked: How much data will need to be stored; what will the retention requirements involve; how frequently and quickly will the data need to be accessed; and can our on-premises infrastructure and staff scale to meet these demands.

Overcoming the Challenges of Distributed Cloud 

Ultimately, an organisation needs to be able to manage, access and protect their data, regardless of where the data is created or stored.  Many businesses today are exploring cloud data management software that has the capability to manage on-premises data as well as data stored across multiple clouds.  A dynamic cloud data management software can provide on-premises and multi-cloud data management functionalities that deliver universal availability, capable of merging the on-premises  and cloud storage services into a single global namespace.

Increased data mobility between distributed IT environments invariably increases complexity and challenges such as data vulnerability, as each type of cloud infrastructure carries its own risks as well as benefits.

As organisations leverage multiple cloud platforms and expand their physical locations, so too does the need to secure and protect their data. Public cloud has opened the door to remote access, but can carry security concerns and hefty egress fees when it comes to requests for data retrieval in large quantities. This is the case for sectors such as as high-performance computing, where the viability of cloud has proven to be economically limiting because of the creation, usage and archiving of its inherent large data sets.

However, with the right multi-cloud data management software, it should not matter where the data will be stored, whether in a public cloud, on-premises, a hybrid set-up, or in multiple clouds, as all the files can be shared in their native format.

Distributed Cloud Management Benefits  

Thanks to technology advancements in data management, organisations can reap the benefits of distributed cloud environments, including multiple cloud services. This can be achieved through software that provides multi-cloud data management delivering universal availability, by essentially ‘merging’ the on-premises and cloud storage services into a single managed storage platform.

The unification of the on-premises and all tiers of cloud storage services into a single managed storage namespace mitigates the complexity, unnecessary management costs, and resources that would otherwise be required in such an undertaking. In addition, it allows IT teams to focus on critical tasks while benefitting from a whole new world of cost-effective collaborative possibilities and the effective usage and monetisation of their data.

Optimising an IT infrastructure with a policy-based cloud data management platform capable of orchestrating any combination of on-premises and cloud storage, allows organisations to embrace the flexibility, scalability and productivity obtainable by distributed cloud architectures.  These capabilities open the door to a new cloud world where the sharing, accessing and protecting of data across multiple clouds and on-premises storage has the potential to deliver unparalleled innovation and new business opportunities.

About the Author

Deanna Hoover is Spectra Logic’s Director of Product Marketing. With more than 25 years of experience in data protection software and hardware, Deanna is responsible for executing Spectra’s cloud software and storage product marketing strategy. Prior to Spectra Logic, Deanna worked at Dell EMC for 17 years in various technical marketing, systems engineering and professional services roles. Before that, Deanna managed a team at Level 3 Communications responsible for the support, design and deployment of fault tolerant storage and backup infrastructure.

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