January 26, 2022

How to control the costs of cloud storage

Ten years ago, when businesses began in earnest to migrate their data and files to a cloud service, tracking offsite storage costs was a fairly straightforward process. Most companies had a single cloud service provider whose billing was based on total capacity and network egress charges. An invoice, a few lines, a payment, and that’s it. This is no longer the case today.

While the single cloud service provider model can still apply to many businesses, things are now much more complicated than that. The current trend is for IT departments to use a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud model. (combination of data center and cloud) to optimize different workloads. In fact, multi-cloud and hybrid systems are what cloud service providers in all fields – not just storage – are preparing for as 2022 approaches. storage matter that computing has known over the past decade.

Here’s a guide on how to understand and control cloud storage costs, whether you use one or more vendors.

# 1: find and acquire a good software asset management tool

To control cloud storage costs, you need to determine exactly what applications and data your business stores in the cloud. Perform a business audit and identify all active cloud accounts. Asset management tools from vendors such as ServiceNow, Symantec, ManageEngine, BMC, CA Technologies, and Quest KACE take systems inventory and identify all applications, including those that employees run themselves outside of the system. company information. With this information, IT can begin to reduce cloud storage costs.

Speaking of applications and storage, shadow IT continues to wreak havoc in 2021. Gartner Research has reported that on average, 30-40% of corporate purchases involve shadow IT spending, and that includes storage. A study by Everest Group estimates that these figures are closer to 50%. Businesses can have hundreds, if not thousands, of cloud accounts that are not managed by IT. Without visibility into how society uses these services, businesses run a security risk and leave money on the table. A business, for example, may qualify for a storage volume discount, but because its payments for cloud storage go to a multitude of departments in different locations neither the vendor nor the business sees the overall volume of storage. data.

# 2: know your storage volume needs

If you know that you will need to store petabytes of data and files each month, you might want to study the prices of a few higher-level services (Google Cloud Platform, Oracle, or VMware) versus other less expensive (AWS, Dell, Rackspace and Azure). For businesses with storage needs of the terabyte or less, one of these services may be suitable; in some cases a local supplier may be the best solution. Be sure to compare the capacity costs and network access charges for the types of storage you plan to deploy.

As your needs change, you will have the opportunity to switch providers, but be aware that once you choose a cloud storage provider, it becomes more and more difficult to switch. Processes integrate with your systems, and staff are trained and familiar with the service and its protocols. Habits are hard to change. A good storage analytics platform using AI can be expensive, but is a smart long-term investment.

N ° 3: Choose your supplier’s performance levels wisely.

Cloud storage providers offer performance levels to meet a company’s data movement needs. You can reduce storage costs by monitoring actual read-write access to a given volume; if the flow is low, change to a lower performance level. Depending on the volume, savings of 25-30% per year can be achieved; CFOs like that kind of statistic. Check that your provider doesn’t impose limits on when you can make such changes – you might get a surprise. Your supplier does not have performance levels? Bad sign !

“Many data storage solutions start with a low price, sometimes free, intended to entice a business to use the service, but the price increases with the different add-ons,” says George Crump, president of Storage Switzerland, a consulting firm. analysis specializing in storage and virtualization.

# 4: be smart about using data access and egress

Every time you make a move to extract files, logs, or other data from a cloud service, you are going to pay for that service. Yes, we know it’s your data, but in reality it is their data until you pay to download it. Try to predict how many times per month or year you will need to access your stored files and budget accordingly, knowing that there will always be unexpected needs along the way. Remember to get estimates on how long your cloud storage service will take to fulfill your order; these estimates can vary widely and take longer than you might think. A good storage supplier will be able to fulfill your order the same day.

# 5: deduplicate data at the source

Deduplication is a process of compressing data that eliminates extra copies of the data. Unique pieces of data, or byte patterns, are identified and used during analysis. When a match occurs, the redundant chunk is replaced with a small reference that points to the stored location. Avamar, acquired by EMC in 2006, pioneered this technique and now provides all deduplication services within Dell EMC.

To reduce storage costs, administrators should deduplicate corporate data before moving it to the cloud. This limits the amount of data stored in the cloud, reduces network traffic, and backup and disaster recovery windows. Commvault, Dell EMC, DQ Global, Druva, ExaGrid, HPE, IBM, Melissa, NetApp, Quantum, and Veritas all offer reliable cloud deduplication services.

# 6: you don’t need to save everything

Make the strategic decision to only back up data that impacts the business of the business. Employees should not save photos and videos taken on their phones, for example, in the corporate cloud. Same thing with different types of business data and files: not all are relevant to the future of the business. Company party and birthday videos should be kept elsewhere. By keeping backup volumes small, you will save money over time.

Source : “ZDNet.com”