In contrast, Johnston thinks data security is one factor that hinders organisations from adopting cloud for backup and storage. "Every organisation has different policies and regulatory requirements. The most important aspect is security of the data-ensuring the data stored in the public arena is encrypted and secured, as well as having an air-tight exit plan."
Supporting his view, a Fortinet study found that securing the cloud is one of the two greatest cybersecurity concerns of IT decision makers in the Asia Pacific region.
Johnston thus underscored the importance of providing a pathway for customers that would allow them to go back to on-premise or a more suitable platform in case of a cloud security failure.
He added that large-scale cloud projects typically fail because the objectives are not clearly defined. As such, he advised businesses to start small. "Choose a workload and familiarise yourself with the process first. Organisations need to understand what is working and what is not, understand the true costs of migration, and gauge success before moving on to migration of a different workload and timeframe."
In essence, adopting cloud for purpose of backup/storage requires deliberate planning.
"First of all, consider the data that will be backed up to cloud: the data size, sensitivity of information etc. After which, evaluate the costs and offerings from different providers in terms of capabilities, redundancy, service-level agreements (SLAs), limitations and such," advised Beloussov.
Likewise, Johnston asserted the importance of "understanding the costs, regulatory requirements, and the workloads that need to migrate before choosing a suitable cloud provider for their needs."
Organisations looking to use the cloud should also leverage a vendor-neutral solution. "Flexibility is key-customers need to map out a cost-efficient solution that allows them to move between cloud providers, back on-premise, or up to SaaS solutions as required," said Johnston.
Additionally, Beloussov urged organisations to rethink their governance and security strategy, particularly around data handling, erasure, and physical access to provider. "Finally, plan and prepare your cloud migration strategies and off-boarding scenarios (ie. your exit strategies should you choose to switch back to on-premise)," he said.
A multi-modal approach is the way to go
Despite the advantages of cloud, experts from Acronis and Commvault suggest taking a hybrid approach to backup as opposed to relying solely on cloud or on-premise.
"We always advise our clients to stick to a hybrid approach (ie. both on-premise and cloud). Actually, it's even better to use multiple cloud storages, which means having an extremely safe remote cloud and still keeping a local cloud that could go down in some local disaster but is generally faster to recover from," said Beloussov.
Andrew Bell, Technical Programme Director at the Office of the CTO in Commvault.
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