Jeff Byrne, Senior Analyst & Consultant
Though public cloud adoption has been growing by leaps and bounds, many companies we speak with have hesitated to make a serious and formal public cloud investment. Sure, the public cloud offers compelling advantages of scalability, agility and pay-as-you-go economics, but is often lacking when it comes to traditional enterprise features such as availability and security. This has made customers reluctant to entrust their critical data and workloads to public cloud infrastructure. In fact, nearly 40% of firms we recently surveyed are not housing any business-critical assets in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or any other public cloud.
Leading vendors are out to change that, as they gradually adapt existing enterprise-caliber data center technologies for use in the public cloud. One recent example is IBM’s announcement of its IBM Cloud Object Storage service, which extends the benefits of the company’s secure, information dispersal technology (acquired last year from Cleversafe) into the IBM Cloud. Using SecureSlice technology, the offering encrypts and slices (via erasure coding) each incoming segment of data before dispersing it, either in a single availability region or across multiple regions.
What does this mean for customers? The most exciting impact is to provide unstructured data in the cloud with an inherent level of security and availability, overcoming two of the primary concerns companies have about moving their data to the cloud. Customers do not need to explicitly encrypt their data (or copies of that data), nor do they need to worry about replicating data across regions to increase availability, since these advantages are built into the IBM Cloud Object Storage solution. For example, IBM customers can continue to access their data even during a regional outage, unlike AWS single-region S3 customers, who will have to wait until their region comes back online. The IBM Cloud Object Storage service also eliminates the need for customers to have to pay for cross-region replication, which other public cloud providers nearly always charge for. The bottom line: reduced OPEX costs and greater peace of mind.
IBM suggests that customers employ the Standard IBM Cloud Object Storage service for use cases such as enterprise analytics, collaboration, and mobile data stores, in addition to app development and testing. A lower-cost Vault service is also available for less active workloads.
Beyond the benefits of more resilient and secure public cloud storage, this service will enable existing IBM/Cleversafe object storage customers to extend their on-premises data and workloads into the public cloud. This will give customers greater choice in where they deploy cloud-architected workloads, and a migration option for legacy workloads over time. We are excited about the accelerating march towards the hybrid cloud, which a growing number of leading vendors are both enabling and inspiring.