This is part of Solutions Review’s Premium Content Series, a collection of columns written by industry experts in mature software categories. In this submission, Object First VP of Product Tony Liau offers his perspective on hybrid workspace storage solutions (on-premises) in the post-COVID era.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and everyone started working from home, the immediate response was to move all data to the cloud. After the surge in cloud migration, digital transformation became a buzzword among organizations, with everyone from small businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies accelerating cloud adoption to cope with new workforce and organizational needs to keep up with customers. Although cloud adoption was already growing before the pandemic, the global health crisis has arguably established cloud computing as a necessity to remain competitive in the marketplace – so much so that the slow adopters who continued to rely on legacy systems , were classified as technological laggards. lagging behind the digital transformation curve.
Public and multi-cloud services are great for businesses because they offer flexibility, high scalability, lower costs, and little to no maintenance. So when the pandemic started, rolling out these services quickly made sense. But then reality set in and companies learned that when all the data is in the cloud and an outage occurs, it’s difficult to access that data again. That realization, which came along with the tech industry’s most prominent names announcing new requirements for employees to return to the office (the latest comes from Apple, which says employees must come at least three days a week to “work in person” recover) has prompted organizations to reconsider their cloud strategies.
Now, as more organizations are shaping their return-to-office plans, it’s becoming increasingly important that they also adopt modern tech solutions that reflect their hybrid workspaces. Enterprises must begin to shift from an “all-in” approach to cloud computing and instead implement a hybrid strategy—keeping some workloads in the cloud while others are managed on-premises.
Where public and multi-cloud services fall short
The benefits of public and multi-cloud services are undeniable. It provides instant access to storage, processing power, and other digital resources, allowing businesses to avoid purchasing hardware or software and only pay for the services they need. In addition, cloud service providers handle all maintenance and offer almost unlimited scalability. The ever-expanding nature of data makes these cloud services very attractive.
However, public or multi-cloud services also have disadvantages. For one, an organization cannot control the security and privacy of the platform. This often leaves organizations vulnerable to security risks in the public cloud, especially when users access services from different locations on different devices. Additionally, many companies are unaware that it is the company’s responsibility (not the provider’s) to protect the data stored in the public cloud. This leaves a lot of room for error, opening doors for attackers to attack public cloud environments and compromise an organization’s data. While solutions such as object storage are available in the cloud, if an organization finds itself in a situation where it needs to recover data, it is nearly impossible to retrieve that data with any sense of urgency.
For industries that depend on workloads stored in the cloud (think lawyers, healthcare providers, etc.), problems and delays in data recovery can threaten the success of their business.
Why a hybrid solution is the best method for today’s workforce
The market is experiencing a panic “flip-flop” – first, a panic triggered by the remote work shift that prompted companies to move all data to the cloud; Now those same companies are struggling to urgently restore that data to the public cloud and realize that restoring on-premises is faster and easier. As a result, organizations are reassessing the benefits of the cloud.
Businesses must leverage a combination of cloud and on-premises software to meet the demands of a modern workforce. This allows organizations to ensure information backups are protected from attacks such as ransomware by storing them on immutable storage hardware and using a hardened backup system that keeps bad actors out while remaining powerful enough to quickly recover data should cloud environments fall victim to attacks.
In order to remain in control of data and the recovery of that data, the “3-2-1 rule” is a guideline companies must live by. The rule states that every organization should ensure they have at least three copies of data stored on two different types of media, one external and one offline. Object storage helps organizations comply with this rule by ensuring backups are effortlessly immutable, further secured by a hardened operating system, and have the performance needed to instantly recover any data that becomes inaccessible on the production servers. By implementing these tactics, organizations can develop a hybrid IT strategy that leverages the cloud for data storage while maintaining security and protection to ensure rapid recoverability of that data.
The benefits of on-premises object-based backup storage
So why on-premises object-based backup storage? Simply put, it takes the storage method that has captivated the cloud market and takes it a step further by offering a backup option that is localized, scalable, reliable and immutable. And while IT teams historically didn’t want physical hardware, modern object-based on-premises backup storage doesn’t have to mean unwieldy hardware or a massive data center. Object storage can be optimized to take advantage of the on-premises data center, meaning optimal performance for both ingestion and recovery where the work happens.
Modern object-based backup storage is an effortlessly immutable solution with all the benefits of simplicity and affordability found in public and multi-cloud services, but with advanced features designed and optimized to provide maximum backup and recovery performance . This solution can be installed in minutes instead of days and eliminates the need to sacrifice performance, availability or recoverability to meet budget constraints. Object-based backup storage is just as important as traditional storage: you can’t work without it. It enables organizations to continue using storage the way they always have, with new levels of unlimited scalability, performance, and ransomware resiliency.
As enterprise data grows in volume and value, more protection is required. It is now exponentially more difficult to meet business demands for data protection. To meet the demands of the modern workplace, the market needs a hybrid solution that is extremely easy to deploy and scale, is ransomware-proof out of the box, and can run production environments directly from backup storage for disaster recovery.
Object storage is the future; In the future, increasing acceptance of object storage can be expected in all industries. Cloud has been a significant driver and will continue to play an important role in businesses, but we will see more on-premises adoption as hybrid environments become more mainstream.