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Don’t drown your business in the multi-cloud

data ocean.pngWe have all heard, “the data apocalypse is coming!” Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? However, for the most part, most people do not seem fazed. We all know that more data is being produced each day - the storage industry itself is responding to the surges in data growth by driving down storage costs while increasing the capacity and performance of storage devices. This is evident with on-premises storage solutions such as tape and disk, but also within cloud storage. 

Cloud storage itself is becoming the norm for many organizations, as they begin to integrate more than one cloud into their infrastructure. In fact, 74% of enterprises are using multiple cloud infrastructure platforms, and 23% are using four or more.... However, despite the move being made towards multi-cloud models, the same problem remains; storage has not suddenly become smarter. And this is where the inherent problem lies.

“Keeping it all forever” no longer works.

According to 451 Research, unstructured data (such as text, log information, machine and sensor data, and media files with little or no context) accounts for 47% of enterprise data. Moreover, the Voice of the Enterprise Storage Poll shows that unstructured data is becoming the “new” mission-critical data. So, organizations are blindly storing unstructured data under a “save all” mentality – if it could be useful, why get rid of it?

Furthermore, when it comes to the cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Cloud, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud all leverage object storage for unstructured data. However, the challenge is that each provider uses their proprietary storage tiers and metadata frameworks which make it difficult to institute a comprehensive multi-cloud strategy effectively. So, even in the cloud, businesses are still hoarding all the data they have. In the long run, this model is unsustainable. Storing all unstructured data (on-premises or in the cloud) drives up storage costs and resources and has no net-positive impact on the bottom line.

So what should you do?

Try something new! With the increase in multi-cloud usage, there needs to be a storage technology that provides information about what these unstructured data files are and subsequently, uses this intelligence to move identified data to the right storage tier. This is where the necessity for a universal metadata set comes in. With an industry-based model for metadata, enterprises can use the same data classification across all their cloud object storage. This way, organizations can effectively tag and identify their unstructured data regardless of which cloud it resides in.

Whether you are using one cloud or multiple clouds, your challenge remains the same; understanding your data. Visibility and insight in unstructured data need to be at the top of the list of priorities because storing everything forever no longer works. All it does is drive up costs, waste resources, and more importantly not use the value of the data. It will be interesting to see where the cloud industry goes regarding developing a metadata standard because otherwise, organizations will just drown in the volume of data they are currently storing, regardless of how many clouds they use.

If you are beginning or continuing your journey into the multi-cloud, learn more about how to deploy an effective data management strategy that enables you to visualize, migrate, protect, and move your data and workloads no matter where they reside.