With data volumes and data sources exploding in size, and multiple people trying to access data from numerous locations, managing that data has become an increasingly challenging task for many organizations. Today’s data managers need a system that is versatile enough to meet all of their employees’ access needs while still guaranteeing data security. Many companies are finding solutions to these data difficulties through cloud computing. Using cloud services to solve multifaceted business problems requires understanding cloud data management, staying up-to-date on best practices, and learning from other successful organizations.
What is Cloud Data Management?
Cloud data management is a way to manage data across cloud platforms, either with or instead of on-premises storage. The goal is to curb rising cloud storage costs, but it can be quite a complicated pursuit, which is why most businesses employ an external company offering cloud data management services.
It is emerging as an alternative to data management using traditional on-premises software. The benefit of employing a top cloud data management company means that instead of buying on-premises storage resources and managing them, resources are bought on-demand in the cloud. This cloud data management services model allows organizations to receive dedicated cloud data management resources on an as-needed basis. It also involves finding the right data from on-premises storage and moving this data through data archiving, data tiering, data replication, and data protection, or data migration to the cloud.
What are the benefits?
There are numerous benefits to cloud data management that often mimic those of cloud services in general. Some of the benefits commonly associated with cloud data management include:
- Pay-as-you-go pricing. Cloud service providers generally bill subscribers on a per gigabyte, per month basis. This means that organizations don’t have to endure the costs of purchasing storage hardware. Instead, organizations pay only for the storage they consume.
- Scalability. One of the challenges associated with on-premises storage is that storage consumption must be closely monitored to avoid running out of space. When the available storage is depleted, the organization must purchase additional storage hardware that meets its anticipated future needs. In contrast, cloud storage providers have a nearly unlimited amount of storage that is readily available at any time. Organizations never have to worry about running out of storage or engaging in complex capacity planning tasks.
- Anywhere access. The very nature of the cloud means that data is accessible from anywhere.
- Zero maintenance. Public cloud providers handle all required maintenance, meaning that organizations never have to worry about replacing failed hard disks, performing hardware refreshes, or installing firmware updates.
- A single source of the truth. Many cloud data management platforms are designed to centralize data, thereby enabling a single data set to be used throughout the organization. This approach helps eliminate duplicate data, driving down storage costs while also eliminating the inconsistencies that so often exist across data sets.
- Cloud storage might be more secure. Cloud providers invest tremendous financial resources in data security and keeping their platforms secure. The result is that cloud storage is likely to be more secure than an organization’s on-premises storage. Keep in mind that the security of data that is stored in the cloud comes down to the security policies the organization puts in place.
- Automated backups. Some – but not all – cloud providers automatically back up data stored in the cloud. Some cloud backup services even provide immutable point-in-time data backup capabilities, which can help keep data protected against ransomware
How to use it?
Cloud data management empowers you and your organization to focus on managing data, not infrastructure. Organizations can opt to subscribe to discrete data management offerings addressing a wide range of use cases from one or more providers, or run cloud data management software on the public cloud or hybrid cloud.
Here are the ten most popular cloud data use cases:
- Offsite backup and recovery or BaaS
- SaaS and cloud apps protection
- Disaster recovery (DR)
- Air-gap security and ransomware recovery
- Compliance and data governance
- Long-term retention and archiving
- Files and objects
- Development and test
- Cloud data lake
The future of Cloud Data Management
Data management has been rapidly evolving from outdated, locally hosted storage systems to a much more versatile and reliable cloud data management module. Although local data storage was the industry standard for some time, this preference is changing as businesses become aware of new developments in cloud storage technology.
Over the next few years, more and more companies will undertake digital transformation initiatives and migrate to the cloud as their preferred method of data management. Data will play an increasingly important role in the ability of organizations to stay competitive in their respective fields. This projection further emphasizes the need to achieve and maintain an efficient data management structure that will allow a company to keep pace with a fast-paced and constantly evolving business landscape.
Cloud-first strategies are being willingly adopted across multiple industries. Still, trying to take advantage of its benefits without the proper cloud data management will make little difference to your experience. There is no universal handbook explaining how to manage cloud data. However, when you know how your current data infrastructure works, what a strategic approach is, what practices to follow and which ones to avoid, it will only be a matter of time before your data management in the cloud will prove successful.