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As an IT leader, you are responsible for building an infrastructure that will serve your company not just today, but for years ahead. While foretelling what will happen tomorrow is no easy task, you’ve got to do your best. That means making reasonable assumptions and investing with those expectations in mind.
What do we know about the future? It’s virtually certain that the public cloud will play a key role. Less certain is its exact role. Will your IT infrastructure be run entirely on a public cloud service? Probably not. Will you use public cloud services for some things? Probably. Will your public cloud usage increase? Very likely. Could you bring some data back in-house? You can’t rule that out.
Some IT leaders see that data volumes are steadily increasing and recognize the need for additional capacity for their on-premises infrastructure. However, they’re unsure which storage architecture to deploy and afraid their investment won’t be protected if requirements change—especially with the cloud looming overhead. So they hold back. But standing pat with a hodgepodge of technologies in siloed data center systems is no way to prepare for the future. And extending data silos and adding multiple copies of the same datasets both on premises and in the cloud is no better.
Other IT pros might think the smart thing to do is set up a storage gateway, an appliance that sits on your premises to bridge your local applications and remote storage in the cloud. But a chain is only as strong as its weakest link—in this case, the cloud gateway. How can you be sure the gateway you install today will be able to handle the quantities of data you must handle tomorrow? And as long as your legacy on-premises storage doesn’t integrate with public cloud storage, you’ll be totally dependent on that gateway to handle data moving back and forth, and pretty inefficiently for that matter. That’s not a very safe bet to place on the future.
Still others might think that deploying a virtual cloud appliance would help with moving data and make better use of public cloud. But working with such an appliance typically involves the complex process of spinning up, configuring, and setting up virtual hardware in the cloud. Most IT pros and, more important, developers and users are looking for a simple service with large capacity, fast performance, and a strong service-level agreement—not all the hassle a virtual cloud appliance requires.
In considering your options, it’s important to remember that every seemingly small inefficiency in storing or moving data adds up and becomes quite costly over time.
The best choice is to make your on-premises storage cloud-ready. Since cloud services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform use REST APIs, you should consider on-premises storage arrays that are built from the ground up to integrate directly with cloud APIs. When your storage APIs integrate with cloud APIs, it becomes much easier and more efficient to move datasets between on-premises and cloud-based storage. You won’t require hardware gateways or software tools. Add a management system with automated features and you will have visibility and efficient manageability across your hybrid cloud environment.
You will be able to run the same production workloads on your on-premises storage arrays or in the cloud. You also will be able to quickly deploy and efficiently run such processes as test-dev, analytics, and cloud bursting. And you will be able to easily back up your storage to the cloud—and restore it anywhere to meet your disaster recovery objectives.
You will generate savings because data will be stored in the most economical location. You also will achieve investment protection because your storage will look and act the same, whether on premises or in the cloud. This will enable you to easily move your on-premises data to the cloud when you choose to and get it back if you need to.
No one can predict the future. But you can be prepared for what is likely to happen. That means putting cloud-ready storage in place today.
This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.