News/Trends, Tech/Engineering

Top Trends & Challenges: Shifting to the Cloud

Moving to the cloud can actually create as many challenges as it solves. This is especially true if a company’s goals for the cloud aren’t in keeping with what the cloud can accomplish. The cloud can do many things, but it isn’t magic. And expecting magic is a sure fire way to be disappointed.

Virtualization Survey: Most Popular Responses

The results from Druva’s 2018 Virtualization Survey bear this out. Some respondents from the survey are creating new problems by overly relying on processes that are prone to error. 73% of respondents said they are relying on such manual processes, despite the risk this poses to their data. It also increases costs, because solid data management practices are if one is to identify and eliminate waste.

This could also be why 53% of respondents also said that they have yet to achieve lowering costs by moving to the cloud. Not fully automating data management can result in bloat that increases cost. The other side of this particular statistic is that the cloud is often not the best place for all workloads. If you simply move a workload to the cloud, without taking into consideration how the cloud works or how its services are paid for, you may indeed blow up your costs.

Why Cloud Costs Are Increasing

Data protection is a perfect example. Moving your traditional backup software product to an AWS account is a surefire way to explode your costs. The first problem is that almost all backup software products and data protection appliances prefer storing their main data on block storage – as opposed to cheaper object storage. If your backup product stores backup data on a filesystem, it will require your EC2 instance to store backup data on enterprise block storage (EBS) vs AWS’s simple storage service (S3). EBS is 2.5 times more expensive than S3.

Another reason that a typical backup software product will increase cloud costs is that backup server VMs run 24×7 by design. Cloud VMs are more expensive than the same VMs when run 24×7. If your backup software was able to spin VMs up and down for backups, it might save money – but traditional backup products don’t think like that. Their VMs run 24×7, whether they are backing up or not. Moving such VMs to the cloud will definitely cost more than leaving them onsite.

The biggest surprise of the Virtualization Survey is that 53% of respondents don’t intend on centralizing their data management systems across their various types of environments. Managing multiple types of backup systems is always risky, especially if one of them is a manual scripting type setup, such as what is common in AWS and Azure.

The cloud can be a great thing, and can definitely make a lot of things better. Just be aware of how the cloud works and how it is billed before making any assumptions on cost.

Next Steps

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