There may be no market paradigm more prominent in today’s IT community than cloud computing. IT executives polled by Gartner Inc a US Based Company, called it their number-one technology imperative for 2011, and organizations are stretching the boundaries of their imaginations and their budgets to leverage cloud’s efficiencies from both an economic and operational perspective. And perhaps nowhere is cloud gaining greater acceptance than for storage functions, particularly data backup and recovery.
Cloud based storage may be the talk of the town for the IT industry, but not everyone understands how to move from traditional, staff-based procedures for data backup and recovery to one where at least some activities are moved to a cloud vendor. I was working with one of major ISP in Kenya which was providing a remote back-up service to its clients and as companies increasingly moved their critical business data to a remote back-up environment, they undoubtedly do so with the understanding of the risks and challenges caused by unexpected outages or unanticipated business needs. Making a successful transition to a cloud model for some or even all of an organization’s data backup and recovery needs requires a unique combination of business smarts, technical acumen, legwork and common sense.
For some companies typically smaller ones with less demanding requirements this transition often goes fairly smoothly. But for most other organizations juggling more complex scenarios surrounding business continuity, robust data warehouses, rich-media data types and myriad compliance requirements the migration necessitates a well-planned-out and meticulously executed collaboration between an IT organization and its cloud partner. Cloud-based storage has quickly become a huge market. International Data Corp. says more than $3 billion will be spent on public cloud-based storage in 2011, growing to more than $7 billion by 2014. There are many reasons for this dramatic growth, such as:
- The increasingly difficult storage management tasks associated with data backup and recovery.
- Smaller, overworked in-house IT staffs.
- Companies’ commitment to reducing capital expenses, especially related to IT infrastructure.
- Desire to support new computing models, such as virtualization and Software as a Service (SaaS).
- The need for a more precise and “shared” ownership process for producing data for compliance and regulatory requirements.
More and more, IT decision-makers do their homework and come to the conclusion that cloud based data backup and recovery makes sense for their organization. In fact, a recent US study based research on responses from more than 200 IT decision makers pointed out that more than 60 percent of IT managers say their organizations either already have made the move to cloud based data backup and recovery or a planning to do so in the near future. But how do IT organizations improve their odds of making a successful migration from largely in-house management of these tasks to a cloud model?
Let’s say you’ve done your homework in studying the efficacy of cloud-based data backup and recovery for your organization. You’ve crunched the numbers, comparing internal costs with an external expense. You’ve talked with your IT colleagues who have already gone down this road and heard their experiences. You’ve done the cost/benefit analysis necessary to understand if moving these important functions to a cloud vendor will let your internal staff focus on other, high-value activities to will deliver an overall net benefit to the organization. What additional steps do you need to take before and after flipping the switch to a cloud model for data backup and recovery?
Fortunately, the dramatic movement to cloud based data backup and recovery has generated a host of best practices that serve as an important roadmap to a successful migration. These best practices can be broken down into two broad set of initiatives: actions you should take within your own organization to make the transition a smooth one, and steps you should take as you evaluate, select and manage your relationship with a third-party cloud vendor for data backup and recovery. I will be giving you at least 10 best practices for cloud-based data backup and recovery as days goes by. Join me for the first cloud-based data backup good practice in few days time.