The future of data is in the cloud. This development has long been on the cards − from simple sharing platforms such as Dropbox, through subscriptions for computer programs, to complex data center solutions − whereas the in-house server in the basement will soon be a thing of the past. “Those who are still managing their data locally will outsource it within the next five years,” says Hanspeter Gehrig, Product Manager at Green.
Maintenance, security and setup are extremely time-consuming and involve a great deal of expense, that is hardly worth it anymore for individual companies. The cloud can help. Gehrig has been involved with the cloud as a solution for data management in a professional capacity for a good while now. “Just ten years ago streaming services such as Netflix were still unthinkable.” The potential had always been there, he added, but the increase in processing power, the improvements in the networks and the associated leap forwards in terms of innovation were still astonishing.
What does our data need?
Switching from the server to the cloud is a step-by-step process that varies from company to company. Many companies began their journey to the cloud a long time ago, sometimes unconsciously. “There is probably no one who is not yet in the cloud,” says Gehrig, referring to various products that have been used via the servers of providers such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services or Apple’s iCloud for many years now. A thorough situation analysis helps to find the best solution for a company’s own data management system. The following questions are among those that are asked at the outset of every good cloud solution:
- Current situation: What servers is our data currently stored on? In what contexts do we already use cloud offerings? What can we still do ourselves? What are the needs of our staff?
- Core business: What data is key to our everyday work? What services do we want to buy in? Is there already a tried-and-tested industry solution? Do our workloads fluctuate significantly?
- Storage geography: What data must be covered by local data legislation and what data can we store securely on a server abroad? What data is time critical and needs to be available in real time?
- Workloads: Which applications need the most processing power and which offering can provide it reliably?
Unfold the full potential
Once these questions have been answered in detail it is much easier to find the most suitable solution. “In many cases the answer is a hybrid solution”, Gehrig sums up. The potential of the cloud lies in its ability to be customized, thus facilitating the ideal mix of private and public clouds.
In a hybrid solution cloud data is stored on several servers at different locations, yet ideally it is managed and accessed via one platform. Green, for example, offers a user-friendly solution such as Google Anthos that frees up capacity and makes work easier for the staff. A key factor is thus user-friendliness, as it is one of the latest achievements of cloud technology.