Getting the Best of Two Worlds with Hybrid Cloud Storage

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We recently ran across a report on hybrid cloud storage from the analysts at Aberdeen Group, who conducted a survey of more than 100 companies. Aberdeen reported that firms deploying a hybrid cloud storage strategy were “getting the best of two worlds.”

Specifically, more than half of all the respondents (58%) said that meeting the increasing demand for data storage was their top IT pressure, while 38% said dealing with reduced IT budgets was their biggest headache. The hybrid cloud structure, Aberdeen suggests, is the best way to alleviate those problems through the implementation of an on-site networked storage deployment, coupled with a public cloud utilization. The way Aberdeen’s analysts figure it, your most important, most accessed data can stay on-site; “as the data ages and its value to the company decreases,” the report says, “it can be moved to the lowest cost solution, public cloud storage.”

We agree, up to a point. Windstream believes that cutting operating costs while increasing efficiency and reliability is always a good thing. We also think hybrid clouds are an excellent idea. However, the way we look at it, your Tier 1 data—the stuff that’s most recent, most important and probably the most sensitive as well—can be easily hosted in a private cloud configuration. So, our hybrid approach combines both public and private clouds, giving you maximum flexibility in deploying and utilizing your infrastructure.

More importantly, keep in mind that the cloud encompasses far more than data storage. Thousands of companies have placed their entire infrastructure into cloud configurations, allowing them to take advantage of the cost benefits even as they comply with all of the regulations you see across and among multiple industries (like PCI, HIPAA, GLBA and more). Of course, not every document or every application needs to be in a private cloud, which is where the hybrid cloud simply makes sense.

At Windstream, we’re proud to say we were one of the pioneering companies in developing and implementing hybrid cloud solutions. Our hybrid cloud option allows you to leverage Windstream's Cloud for web front-end computing power and other resources like network, firewall, load balancing and web servers. In addition, you can cross connect cloud computing resources directly into your environment to handle overflow situations such as seasonal spikes that require excess compute capacity.

The result is a single, more versatile environment powered out of our Enterprise-class Data Center. We believe the hybrid cloud is the best fit for businesses with regulatory compliance or other requirements for which they don't want to run their entire application environment in the cloud.

If anything, this points out that there are still varying definitions for many of the terms we use in cloud computing. We believe the hybrid cloud is the way to go for many companies that want to cut their costs, run more efficiently and yet maintain a higher level of control over certain parts of their operation. (Of course, we’re also partial toward public and private clouds as well.)