The rise of the Cloud

Since its inception, the cloud has taken the IT world by storm. QSAN managing director David Kao however thinks that its hidden costs often go unconsidered. 

We are forever hearing how on-premise servers and storages will disappear and that businesses will be moving all of their infrastructures into hosted environments. 

The use of acronyms such as SaaS, PaaS, IaaS are ever increasing, however I don’t believe that many businesses will truly go 100 per cent cloud any time soon. 

At this current moment in time, the cloud is offering affordable and easily manageable services, in hosting specific services or infrastructures such as Exchange with Office 365 and Webroot AntiVirus, etc. These are generally able to be hosted for a monthly fee that can be scaled on something like a per user basis. This is good for the SMB/SME. However, these pricing models become more expensive and more difficult to manage when you scale up into the enterprise space. 

As a result, many companies are still unclear when or if ‘the cloud’ is right for them. I think this is especially true when it comes to Cloud Storage. 

As businesses rely heavily on their data and require access constantly, the reality of giving all of the trust to someone to house, backup and secure that data seems like a very daunting prospect for many. 

“I don’t believe that many businesses will go 100 per cent cloud any time soon. 
David Kao, QSAN

Couple this with the prediction from Ofcom that, by 2017, about a fifth of small businesses will still not have access to superfast broadband, and it becomes clear that the widespread uptake of cloud in the UK is still a distant dream that many will not be able to achieve for some time. Until the UK is able to provide businesses with the connectivity to enable cloud infrastructure to flourish, we will be in a state of flux. This marks the rise of the hybrid cloud, where some applications or servers are hosted and some are still on site. 

Many businesses already rely on cloud storages for backup. Services such as Amazon S3 and Google Cloud or appliances like Barracuda are simple ways of scaling up storage when required (however confusing their pricing structures) and allowing long-term retention of backup data without the cost of physical hardware, at a price not too far off from LTO. Yet, server applications and primary data require access to be faster and more robust than ever before, hence the rise of all-flash. 

On premise, high performance storage is not going anywhere for a while. However, there is a change coming with how that storage is put together. With Virtual SANs and Software defined storage becoming more intelligent and coupled with cheaper SAS attached DAS, or JBOD devices, or with Tier 2 vendors making SANs capable of the same (or better) features or performance of Tier 1, the days of hardware defined storage on expensive SANs may indeed, be numbered.

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