Is your storage going bad or getting old-fashioned? Perhaps you’re just considering your alternatives while you revaluate your data storage costs, internal IT resources, and the footprint of your office or datacentre. These alternatives have undoubtedly increased in recent years due to the cloud expansion.
There may be a better, more affordable storage option that satisfies your capacity, performance, and security demands out there, so if your company has previously been hesitant to go to the cloud, now is definitely a good time to do so. If your organisation has already dipped its toes into cloud, you might be wondering if you’re getting the best from your current provider or if there is a way to ease the burden of cloud storage management on your team.
Deciding which solution and choosing a managed service provider are no easy tasks, and the pressure to get it right – for the sake of customer and employee experience, never mind the bottom line – can be huge. This FAQ guide aims to help with some questions to ask before you choose a solution or an MSP for your storage needs.
What’s the difference between private and public cloud?
At the end of the day, any cloud is just a collection of servers. In the public cloud, these servers are housed in large data centres that are usually owned and operated by the behemoths of the digital age – AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure. You neither control nor have access to these servers. In a private cloud, the servers are owned by you or a private cloud provider. With private cloud – as with on-premises storage – you know where your data is stored. Which leads us on to:
Where will your data be stored?
As mentioned above, calling it ‘the cloud’ might give the wrong impression – your data still must be stored in a physical location. With public cloud it’s not always clear where that is. If your cloud provider stores your data in a different country, it may be subject to different laws around access and control.
If your organisation must use UK-based or EU based data storage for regulatory reasons, for example, this can be an issue. But it doesn’t mean you absolutely must take care of storage inhouse. Any reputable Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) provider will be able to tell you where your data is stored, and offer the option of on-premises if you still need it.
How do you manage visibility and transparency?
If you decide to use public cloud, you will be managing the cloud resources in-house and paying to use them. You will need to know – and stay on top of – exactly what those resources are, as well as other information like: How many accounts do you have? Have your developers’ added machines, new functionality, or external connections? Who put that data or application there? Are you sure it’s configured properly? Does it have vulnerabilities?
And with anyone in your organisation able to sign up to public cloud services, it’s even trickier to keep track. You need visibility to be able to identify potential issues and threats so that you can act on them, not to mention for compliance with laws and standards. Working with an MSP makes visibility and transparency much easier to achieve. Many, like Creative ITC, will have consolidated dashboards for straightforward monitoring and analytics.
What security capabilities do you need?
A major factor holding many organisations back when it comes to cloud adoption is security. Using a cloud storage provider means essentially entrusting your data to a third party, and the concern that they may not always keep it safe is understandable.
If you choose public cloud, the onus is on you to ensure data backup, protection and security are up to scratch as ultimate responsibility for your data rests with your organisation – not the cloud provider. This all comes at an additional cost and requires skilled resource. It’s also important to note that anyone within your organisation can sign up to public cloud storage, leading to cloud sprawl and reducing your ability to manage the environment effectively.
That said, no single architecture or environment fits all. If you manage your storage in-house, you’ll have to look at the cybersecurity needs of all your applications and data sets (as well as doing a cost comparison) before deciding on public cloud, private cloud, on-premises, or the right mix. Employing a manage service provider’s expertise is worthwhile in terms of their ability to analyse your business needs, existing footprint and the sensitivity of your data to make sure it’s stored in the optimum environment with the right level of security.
When you’re choosing a STaaS provider, they should also be happy to discuss the security measures they have in place, which may include anti-virus software, data encryption, firewalls, and routine security audits. At Creative ITC, we proudly adhere to proven processes and best practices like ISO 27001, the international information security standard.
Hopefully this FAQ guide will give you some great pointers for choosing your next storage solution and unlocking the benefits of choosing the right managed service provider for your business. If you would like to find out more about STaaS from Creative ITC, please contact us today.