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Hybrid cloud seen as best choice for small and medium orgs

As the cloud experience more sophisticated attacks, hybrid-cloud storage architecture should help IT teams stay on top of emerging vulnerabilities.

Jeff Rowe | May 08, 2018 12:00 am

Cloud providers have taken significant steps, in recent years, when it comes to protecting data, but one way cloud users can plan an active role in protecting their own data is by opting for hybrid cloud environments.

Writing recently at Network World, for example,  Paul Tien, CEO of Morro Data, a data storage provider, suggested “hybrid-cloud architecture provides one of the most secure means of protecting stored data. It delivers a secure, end-to-end architecture that provides the flexibility of the cloud with the performance of an on-premises solution, while still encrypting data flows from one site to the other.”

Tien is by no means suggesting cloud providers aren’t up to the task.  Indeed, he observes, “public cloud providers are starting to apply big data and AI techniques to monitoring their cloud operations looking for leakages and misconfiguration.”

The catch is, though, that  “only the largest organizations can afford or acquire this expertise inhouse. Public cloud providers rely on their brand to protect their business and invest accordingly, while many CIOs and IT manager will only be too aware that IT is still often considered a cost center.”

Hybrid-cloud storage, he says, enables small and medium enterprises (SMEs) “to garner the benefits of cloud scale and efficiency including soft benefits of expertise and operational excellence.”

By using a hybrid-cloud architecture, Tien says, “the authoritative data storage is in the cloud and gains all the benefits of cloud storage . . . , while still presenting a traditional on-premises filer interface, with the added advantage that the filer is now no longer a critical, high maintenance component.  As the filer is just a cache of the cloud data, if it is replaced it will simply replenish with most active files once accessed.”

Moreover, Tien adds, data in cloud storage is spread across multiple drives and data on the drives is managed throughout their lifecycle by the cloud provider to prevent data loss and make failed drive replacement transparent to the user.”

One key for hybrid users to remember, however, is the need to maintain security on an ongoing basis via audits and reviews.

As Tien puts it, “once you finally secure your hybrid-cloud storage architecture, there is no guarantee that it will stay that way! Constant vigilance is always warranted, as well as regularly checking on your platform to ensure it’s still where it needs to be. As a result, you should perform regular cloud-compliance audits to make sure everything is as it should be. These audits can span both your cloud storage provider (or providers) and your own on-premise architecture piece as well.”