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Cloud Storage: Looking Beyond The Bottom Line
There is more value to cloud storage than meets the eye

Cost reduction is often perceived as the most compelling adoption driver for new technologies. However, in many cases, looking beyond bottom line benefits often uncovers additional intrinsic value.

Such is the case for cloud storage. While frequently touted benefits of cloud storage include cost savings, maintenance reduction and better utilization of IT resources, there is actually more to the value equation than meets the eye.

An important, but perhaps less touted, benefit of cloud storage is the ability to store more of an organization’s data securely online, rather than to less accessible and reliable tape or external media. This added benefit can translate into operational improvements for businesses that extend beyond cost-cutting, including:

  • Improved regulatory compliance: Access to archival data has become a regulatory requirement across many industries with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, etc, mandating that data be retained for several years or even indefinitely. Traditional retention strategies where data can be difficult to access pose a risk toward meeting regulatory compliance. The attributes of cloud storage makes a strong case for improving accessibility to that data.

  • Improved disaster tolerance: In the context of backup copies of data, cloud storage represents an added insurance policy.  Why settle for restoring data from tape in the case of data loss or disaster, when the data can be accessed and restored online? For businesses without a dedicated recovery site for their applications, why not consider the cloud as that recovery site if data is stored there? Even if tape remains the last resort for recovery, cloud storage gives businesses an added layer of protection against disaster and data loss.
  • Improved revenue: Can using cloud storage actually contribute to a business’s top line? Any organization that stores client data can immediately realize a benefit by having more of that data accessible. How so? Well, several years of financial history or medical records can be valuable planning tools for clients, particularly when the data can be easily presented in insightful reports. Such reports can be the business differentiator that attracts more clients and revenue. Moreover, analysis of historical trends and archives can provide an organization intrinsic value for internal planning as well.

Keep in mind, cloud storage should be deployed with an appropriate security framework using strong encryption of data allowing only the user/owner to manage the keys. While security fears are frequently voiced around consumer-grade cloud storage services, cloud storage gateways that implement enterprise-class security are proving that cloud storage can be just as secure, if not more so, than local storage and even simpler to deploy.

When considering cloud storage, think beyond just cost savings and consider the benefits of keeping more of your data online.

Read the original blog entry...

About Nicos Vekiarides
Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.

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