A HYBRID STORY: CLOUD STORAGE AND ARCHIVING

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1 A HYBRID STORY: CLOUD STORAGE AND ARCHIVING C2C Systems 2013

2 Abstract Table of Contents Adoption of cloud computing is growing rapidly and IT managers are under pressure to make decisions about adopting it in their organisation. But it can be difficult for them to know where to start. Background... 3 Models for Cloud Deployment... 3 Public Cloud... 3 Private Cloud... 3 Hybrid Cloud... 3 Storage a Good Place to Start... 4 This paper looks at the three main deployment models for cloud and discusses why cloud data storage, for data in particular, is a good candidate for cloud adoption. Archives A Natural Choice... 5 A Hybrid Solution... 6 Hybrid Solutions in Action... 7 Final Thoughts... 7 C2C Systems

3 Background Cloud computing has evolved extremely rapidly over the past few years, and with continued growth is now establishing itself as a viable alternative to on-premise IT resources for both small and large organisations. Gartner predicts that the worldwide market for cloud computing will grow 18.5 percent this year to 78 billion, and the adoption of cloud services is now one of the most important issues facing IT managers. For most businesses, it s not a matter of deciding whether or not they will they adopt cloud services, it s a matter of deciding which ones they will adopt first. This is a complex task, as cloud deployments come in many different shapes and sizes. Models for Cloud Deployment A good starting point is to look at the three main deployment models: Public Cloud This is probably what most people initially think of when they mention cloud. In this model, applications and services are delivered by a 3rd party service provider (such as Amazon, Rackspace or Microsoft), from a public datacentre which is accessed via the internet and may be located some distance away or even in a different country. All resources are owned, maintained and managed by the service provider. They are provided on demand, shared with other datacentre customers, and are usually paid for on a monthly usage basis. Private Cloud A private cloud is a cloud infrastructure operated exclusively for a single organisation. It can be owned or operated either by the organisation itself or by a third party service provider, and can be located locally or in a remote datacentre. All resources are provided on demand and are shared across applications and users. The key difference compared to a public cloud is that the resources are dedicated to that one organisation and are not shared with any other external organisations. One could think of private cloud as a different variant of on-premise resources, since the organisation does not share any of these resources and in many cases, the private cloud is located behind the organisation s own firewall. Hybrid Cloud This is the combination of two or more clouds (private or public) that are maintained and administered as separate entities but are linked together operationally, combining the differing characteristics to provide a wider range of deployment options for cloud services and applications. Typically this might involve linking a locally-managed private cloud with a 3rd-party remote cloud. C2C Systems

4 Hybrid cloud can be used to manage resources efficiently, with applications running locally in the private cloud under average loads and scaling out onto public cloud resources when needed in order to meet temporary peaks in demand. It can be used to build fault tolerance into application architectures by retaining a level of local capability in case internet connectivity fails, and to provide a disaster recovery capability by maintaining mission critical data or processing capabilities off-site. All three of these deployment models can be combined with local dedicated hardware to form an environment that blends cloud and traditional on-premise IT resources. This approach gives organisations the flexibility to choose which applications and services they want to move onto a cloud platform, rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach. Storage a Good Place to Start From an IT perspective, companies are adopting cloud services so they can leverage cheaper and more flexible IT resources to support the evolution of their business. But the adoption of cloud services does require significant changes to the day-to-day operations of an organisation, so it is important to start with those cloud services that can provide the clearest benefits. A survey by the Aberdeen Group, Hybrid Cloud Storage, the Best of Both Worlds, shows that growing storage demands are a top three priority for approximately 58% of the survey respondents. In other words, businesses continue to generate new data faster than IT can manage it. This situation is further complicated by evolving regulations surrounding the collection and retention of data, and increased business demands to search and analyse this data. However it s not just a matter of keeping up with the growth and management of data. After years of budget cuts many IT organisations are also contending with an aging infrastructure, insufficient security, and even limited space. It makes sense, given these circumstances, to leverage the cloud for storage. It s easily procured, with flexibility in configuration and effectively infinite scalability, and built in backup and disaster recovery features provide the high reliability and availability that is essential. It is financially attractive as the level of capital investment for the organisation is reduced, it has predictable on-going costs and there are no maintenance overheads. The big question is then what data should an organisation store in the cloud? C2C Systems

5 Archives A Natural Choice A major consideration when choosing what to store and process in the cloud is how frequently it will be accessed and who will be accessing it. Alongside this organisations should also be considering whether access to the data is business critical and whether the data itself is business sensitive. is growing in popularity as a cloud service, but it can be at risk from both service disruptions and compromised data security. These risks need to be looked at carefully when evaluating services, particularly those which are totally in the public cloud. Service disruptions are generally short-duration, although we have seen outages which lasted nearly a day. Organisations may want to consider managing their storage based on frequency of access, retaining all current locally so that it is not susceptible to service disruptions, with less recent data (for instance, anything over 6 months old) archived out to long-term storage in the cloud. Data compromise is a larger challenge, and the damage is impossible to undo. The key point to bear in mind here is that organisations always retain legal and regulatory responsibility for their data regardless of where it is stored. If their data is moved to the cloud, prudent companies will ensure they understand their cloud provider s backup and disaster recovery strategies, and whether they are expected to retain a copy locally. Companies must demonstrate due diligence should they be challenged in the case of a breach, so sometimes it can just be easier to keep all IT data processing and administration under the organisation s direct control, either locally or in a private cloud. The business content of an organisation s data is also a key factor. The recent PRISM scandal - the one in which various United States Intelligence Agencies, most notably their National Security Administration, were caught operating under the radar surveillance programs in the US and in Europe has made people take another look at who can get access to their data. Organisations may want to retain some information (e.g. for senior management or for sensitive areas of the business) behind their firewall, with the public cloud providing an effective alternative for the bulk of their general data. Organisations should also question whether they should separate the service of providing from the longer-term retention, compliance, and discovery aspects of archiving. There is a big difference between hosting in the cloud and storing archives in the cloud, and despite many vendors desire to equate these two functions they are very different, they address different challenges, and carry different risks. Finally, organisations should consider both the long-term as well as the short-term, and be aware of getting locked in to a particular cloud solution. Requirements may change over time as their business evolves, and what is a good choice right now may be less appropriate at some later point. Cloud providers can alter both the service they offer and the price they charge for it, and they can even go out of business (as happened recently with 2E2 in the UK). How easy is it to retrieve your data and bring it back on-premise, or to move to a different cloud service? C2C Systems

6 To conclude, even if an organisation decides to retain full control over its Exchange server and keep it behind the firewall, they can still consider their archive or backup as a candidate for public cloud storage. It s typically not business critical, nor something that is accessed daily at least it shouldn t be! Storing archives and backups in a public cloud can be a cost effective means to manage long the term retention and growth of data and address compliance requirements without giving up overall control of or the archiving process itself. A Hybrid Solution Hybrid models such as the Hybrid Cloud described earlier, where some elements of a product or service are in a public cloud and the rest are in a private cloud (or on-premise), are particularly well suited for archiving. ArchiveOne Enterprise Cloud adopts a hybrid model which gives organisations the flexibility to optimise storage of their long term archives and disaster recovery storage. The archive server managing the process resides in a private cloud or on-premise alongside the Exchange server and behind the firewall, thereby retaining overall control locally. There are then three parallel configurations for storing data: 1) is archived directly to the public cloud. 2) Data is archived locally, with a secondary copy maintained in the public cloud as a recovery backup. 3) Selected (typically sensitive data) is archived and maintained locally. The benefit of this approach, specific to ArchiveOne, is that each of these storage options can be used independently or in conjunction with each another as required. Granular archiving management policies, standard with ArchiveOne, allow IT managers to configure these options to balance the on-going cost, performance and risk associated with cloud storage. It also has the flexibility to adjust to changing business requirements in the future with minimal impact. C2C Systems

7 Hybrid Solutions in Action If your organisation is not convinced, a survey by Forrsights Hardware showed that 30% of respondents have already adopted hybrid cloud services, combining local servers with either private or public cloud services and another 45% are planning to do the same. Office 365, arguably the market s most popular hosted solution, is being increasingly deployed in hybrid models by organisations who simply can t or won t cede all their data to a public cloud. Employment Hamilton, a recruitment organisation, was challenged by the continued growth of their data and the need to meet compliance requirements for retention, search and discovery. They also needed a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. C2C Systems proposed their ArchiveOne Enterprise Cloud management and archiving solution to meet Employment Hamilton s requirements. They configured the ArchiveOne hybrid model to provide a server and primary archive onpremise, with a secondary archive copy stored in a public cloud for disaster recovery. End users maintain fast, immediate access to all archive data because it is held on-premise, whilst administrators maintain compliance because the archives are automatically synchronised to the cloud. Should the on-premise data be lost or compromised for any reason, recovery from the cloud is always available. This solution provides both the remote, hassle-free cloud recovery which Employment Hamilton wanted as well as an easy-to-use, rules based management solution that automatically applies the retention and disposition strategies they needed for sensitive personal data. It incorporates powerful, seamless search and information discovery, and meets their users need for continuous access. Final Thoughts It is no longer a question of whether an organisation will leverage the cloud; it s a question of how they will leverage it. archiving is an ideal candidate for public cloud storage, and well-suited to emerging hybrid models. Companies who deploy hybrid models like C2C s ArchiveOne can leverage the flexibility of the hybrid model to ease in to a cloud deployment, utilising public cloud resources for items such as long-term archive storage whilst maintaining direct control over their Exchange environment. They can also fine-tune their Exchange environment to suit both their data security concerns and attractive lowercost cloud storage. When companies consider moving to a totally-hosted environment, archiving still warrants separate consideration. The company may have data security requirements which are not in lock-step with the hosted provider and a separate archiving solution provides a great modicum of control and security. A separate archiving solution can also re-introduce elements of the hybrid model to a totally-hosted solution: the organisation may choose to run their archiving in a different cloud (often achieving better cost controls than using the hosted provider), may choose to put their archiving in a private cloud, or may even choose a hybrid solution that includes some traditional on-premise retention for highly sensitive information. C2C Systems

8 About C2C C2C is a leading provider of and information management software for Microsoft Exchange. Our products provide centralised control over archiving, retention, disposition, compliance, preservation and discovery of corporate data. From our initial compression product twenty years ago, to our flagship ArchiveOne Enterprise platform, C2C products are recognized for ease-of-use and flexibility. C2C continues to meet the evolving needs of organisations and our customers benefit from improved server performance, reduced storage costs, improved search and discovery processes, and lower corporate risk because they manage and data before it overwhelms them. ArchiveOne archiving solutions are chosen by enterprises who want a seamless user experience and tight integration with all versions of Microsoft Exchange. Configuration options include on-premise and Hybrid-cloud, offering organisations the need for flexible infrastructure design. Organisations looking to control PST files choose PST Enterprise to locate, migrate, and ultimately expire data held in PST s. This allows them to consolidate resources, migrate to new architectures, and eliminate the risk inherent in old, unknown data. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, C2C was established in 1992, and is a privately-held company with offices in Reading, UK and Westborough, MA. C2C Systems

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