Hybrid Cloud Storage Maturity Model
“Though cloud storage is already a vital resource for most organizations, there is no ‘one size fits all’ methodology for maximizing the benefits of a hybrid cloud storage environment. This report presents a hybrid cloud storage model that describes the characteristics of organizations and their use of cloud storage.”
The current era of cloud storage continues to progress, and these services have evolved to become an essential element in the infrastructures of organizations, ranging from the smallest startups to the largest corporations and government entities. The cloud storage journeys of organizations are far from homogenous, with some companies choosing an all-cloud strategy, while others at the opposite extreme are hesitant to use cloud storage services as a replacement for their on-premises infrastructures.
Broadly speaking, enterprises using cloud storage technologies and services fall into three categories along a continuum in terms of their approach to cloud storage and data management, with a fourth category presenting a vision for the future. The four categories are:
– Traditional: These organizations are focused on their on-premises infrastructure and are either not using public cloud storage today or are evaluating these services in proofs of concept (POCs).
– Maturing: Maturing businesses are using cloud storage services for specific use cases, such as long-term backup retention, or to provide persistent storage for applications running in a cloud computing environment. The use cases tend to be siloed with no workload mobility between on-premises and public cloud.
– Modern: These organizations are notable for establishing a true hybrid IT strategy, which gives business stakeholders the ability to move or spread out workloads to various execution venues to optimize performance, reduce cost or improve resiliency.
– Future: A vision for the future of storage and data management, where integrated automation and optimization allow workloads to run in appropriate execution venues, while taking into account the compliance, performance and cost factors and ensuring that resource consumption matches the changing needs of a workload and dataset. Emerging new offerings, such as cloud-to-ground extending the physical reach of hyperscalers, will also be more prevalent in the future state.
Though the use of public cloud storage continues to accelerate at breakneck speeds, many organizations are still having difficulties establishing hybrid cloud storage environments that allow them to move data and workloads between on-premises, edge and public cloud. This hybrid cloud storage maturity model was designed to provide a snapshot of the current state for traditional, maturing and modern organizations, in addition to a look at the future.
In the first update to our Hybrid Cloud Storage Maturity Model report, we add new innovations such as storage
as a service (STaaS) that many companies are evaluating as a means for transitioning capex-heavy storage asset acquisition to flexible opex models that provide flexibility to scale up and scale down in a manner closer in function to public cloud storage.
Though most organizations are already using public cloud, the migration of data between on-premises and
cloud environments remains a major challenge, especially with larger workloads in the hundreds of terabytes
to petabytes range. This is forcing organizations to reevaluate potentially leveraging physical transports when existing network bandwidth is not capable of migrating data in a timely fashion. In this year’s update, we also see more organizations looking to leverage migration services from service providers and outsourcers to help them with these operations.
Cloud-based data protection options, such as online backup, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) and longer- term backup storage, remain popular use cases for traditional organizations to adopt first, especially if they are leery of the resiliency and performance capabilities of public cloud storage for primary workloads. That being said, cloud storage providers continue to release and update high-performance cloud storage services that can potentially replace on-premises storage resources for mission-critical workloads.
The path to implementing true hybrid IT environments that seamlessly blend on-premises and public cloud resources is still a long one, though the future seems within reach thanks to innovative new business models and services.