Five Cloud Storage Tips and Tricks for CIOs

    Last year, Gartner predicted that end-user spending on public cloud services was expected to grow to more than $180 billion in 2013. The decision to transition to a system of backing up data to the cloud or accessing SaaS applications and services is no longer a question of ‘what if?’ for organizations but ‘when?’

    As businesses begin this transition, the most important thing to keep in mind is how cloud storage will impact the network. This could be an internal network between employees, or an external network with current and future customers. Network problems are inevitable as businesses start to transition more and more of their daily applications and data backup to the cloud. Overcoming the adverse effects that the cloud creates, such as distance and network quality, is essential. SaaS services increase latency, which can often decrease performance, resulting in unhappy users and workers, which inevitably lose productivity as they are forced to wait for data to be transferred.

    Silver Peak has outlined five tips for CIOs to keep in mind when transitioning data and applications to the cloud.

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    Transitioning Data and Apps to the Cloud

    Click through for five tips CIOs need to keep in mind when transitioning data and applications to the cloud, as identified by Silver Peak.

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    Be Aware of Network Challenges

    It is vital that CIOs understand the unique impact the wide area network (WAN) will have on cloud service performance. Limited bandwidth, latency caused by distance, and poor network quality caused by packet loss, can all impact data protection throughput and storage initiatives. This is especially critical when the network used for cloud access is the Internet. If an organization is using Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, to store data and host applications, those AWS data centers can be hundreds to thousands of miles away from the company’s location. Accessing distant data centers over lower-quality Internet connections can result in poor application performance and slow data transfers

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    Optimize the WAN

    CIOs need to ensure that their networks are able to cope with the increased flow of traffic that cloud storage initiatives bring. WAN optimization is essential for the migration of large volumes of data to and from the cloud, ensuring that data is easily and rapidly available. This will help CIOs guarantee successful cloud storage while maximizing data protection and consolidation initiatives, and make it seem like their cloud-based applications are hosted right next door.

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    Avoid Deploying Additional Bandwidth

    Throwing more bandwidth at the problem is not likely to solve network challenges. The price of WAN bandwidth can be extremely expensive and is a cost that CIOs can easily avoid. For example, they can deploy a software-defined approach to data acceleration, which enables CIOs to reduce their WAN bandwidth requirements.

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    Remember, You Don’t Own the Infrastructure

    Cloud space is rented space. As such, cloud storage will only be available for as long as the CIO subscribes to the service, and the service stays in business. Always have a plan to migrate data back to your primary data center, or to a different cloud vendor, with little advance notice. Additionally, replicating a short distance away from your primary source is not a good practice. During Hurricane Sandy, companies that had primary data centers in Manhattan and secondary data centers in New Jersey experienced total failure of both sites, nearly simultaneously.

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    Keep Security in Mind

    As companies adopt SaaS applications at a rapid pace, concerns over data theft mean moving traffic over the Internet requires a secure connection now more than ever. As such, traffic needs to be encrypted with AES-256. The ability to encrypt traffic is vital when securing any type of application over the network.

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