Not All Clouds Are Created Equal

MARCH 5TH, 2019

By Oussama El-Hilali, VP of products at Arcserve

While the shift to the cloud continues among organizations, IT decision-makers are taking it a step further by looking at hybrid disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity, too. In fact, our global survey found that IT decision-makers are prioritizing at least one type of move to the cloud in 2019. On top of that, Forbes also predicts 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.

But, the transition to the cloud isn’t as easy as ‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe,’ so organizations must first assess their applications, data and workloads to determine where it makes sense to store them to create a cloud-based strategy that is best for their organizations’ needs.

Finding your true match

Choosing where to store data is very important for both business operations and IT teams’ peace of mind. When evaluating which cloud infrastructure to deploy, it’s important to evaluate and understand the pros and cons of public and private cloud options and subscription models. Here’s a refresher course for those of you who might be struggling to find your match:

Public cloud services like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), are powered by a third-party cloud service provider through the internet.

  • Pro: Public cloud servers are built to resilient and withstand against downtime or system failure because they need to remain available to such a high number of customers. This ensures that organizations can rely on them to protect and store large volumes of critical data.
  • Con: Some IT teams perceive the public cloud as less secure than the private cloud. In fact, our global survey also found that IT decision-makers are two times more likely to believe private clouds are completely secure when compared to public clouds. This perception isn’t completely unfounded. Since multiple users are sharing resources in public cloud environments, security vulnerabilities can be easily exploited if not provisioned properly.

Private clouds are typically placed in an organization’s local data center so they can also be managed on a private network.

  • Pro: Private clouds can offer organizations the same scalability and agility as public clouds, but without fees that public cloud subscription models often charge to restore or access data. This can make DR budgets much more predictable and easier to manage.
  • Con: Some private clouds are hosted locally on-site, so if a natural disaster hits, it would not only take down the building, but it would crumble the data center and the hosted private cloud, too. This could be catastrophic for organizations who aren’t storing a copy of their data in another DR location.

But wait, there’s one more

A recent IDC survey showed that 43 percent of IT decision-makers plan to move their data to an on-premises private cloud, while 37 percent are looking to move to a hosted private cloud, showing that organizations are already starting to take the time to evaluate whether a public or private cloud is the best fit. But, there’s a third option for them to investigate, too. By combining both on-premises and cloud services in a hybrid strategy, data, applications, and workloads can move freely between cloud and local environments, making it easier to recover and access data. For example, if a company suffered a wide-area outage, they could easily recover their data from the cloud. But, there are some DR scenarios where on-premises DR might be the right fit, like if a single aging server were to go down. Having an on-prem option for such systems can make the recovery process quicker because there’s less network latency.

While this approach certainly provides the versatility organizations are looking for, it has its pros and cons just like the other options. Many organizations may initially steer away from implementing a hybrid strategy because it can be costly and complex to implement and configure. This is because it has historically required multiple vendors and services to deploy it properly. However, new solutions like the Arcserve Appliance Series are emerging to address that complexity and reduce costs.

Whether an organization chooses a public, private or hybrid cloud strategy, the most important thing for them to do is to assess their data, applications and workloads before deciding which solution is suitable for their backup processes and recovery needs.

In the meantime, learn how we can remove the “do it yourself” complexity of orchestrating hybrid DR by checking out our new Arcserve Appliance Series: