Managed services approach to cloud storage: a good idea for ME business?
2013 will see additional momentum in the Middle East for cloud computing, in both government and private sector, says Allen Mitchell, senior technical account manager, MENA at CommVault Systems
No doubt the benefits or otherwise of moving to the cloud in the public sector will be debated long and hard but it's important to remember that all organisations in the region that want to hold data in the cloud and use it for storage, backup and archive will need to consider a wide range of legal and data management issues. They will also have to think hard about whether they want to take a ‘DIY' or managed services approach to the entire process. There are many ways to use cloud services, and the issues around data are some of the most divisive.
There are clear benefits to working with a managed service provider: getting a third party to manage data/storage for you enables you to focus on your core business; disaster recovery including testing is frequently offered as part of a managed service, and sending long-term, non-critical data to the cloud instead of keeping it ‘local' can be a cost-effective solution that eases local backup pain. Backup can be a huge drain on resources, so employing a dedicated specialist organisation to do it not only saves you time but increases the likelihood that it will be executed to a higher standard.
Many C-level managers may like to assume that backup is already being managed effectively, whether it be in the cloud or not, and they are often shielded from any hiccups in normal service. However, it's increasingly common for line-of-business or even project owners to make the choice for a managed service and keeping an eye on this is very important.
Choosing to go down the managed services route for cloud storage means it's possible to significantly mitigate long-term storage costs, provided that some sort of effective pruning takes place for data that is beyond the scope of current governance guidelines or law. It means that archive data will rely upon cloud copies, instead of you having to manage multiple copies internally.