This post is something of an exercise in opening my mind. The value and benefits of cloud storage are so clear and compelling that I have found it difficult to understand why a business would choose not to embrace the cloud as a means of solving file sprawl. In the past, cloud fear was a major obstacle, but this is no longer the case. So I tried to put myself in the shoes of a change-averse enterprise to better understand their thinking. The result is a list of the top five reasons you should not move files to the cloud.
1. You love running big hardware datacenters.
We are all still kids at heart and a massive datacenter is essentially a giant playroom filled with very expensive and complex toys. One of the best parts? These toys, otherwise known as servers, do not take care of themselves. You get to oversee the maintenance of both the datacenter as a whole and the actual hardware. Heating, cooling, electricity, disaster planning – that’s all yours.
As time goes by and your employees and applications generate more and larger files, this hardware will start to run out of capacity. But don’t worry about consolidating your data center. You can always buy a whole new set of big, shiny, expensive servers when you need more space. This makes your storage environment more complex, which only adds to the fun. And of course don’t forget the budget planning that goes along with it – what’s not to love about complex financial spreadsheets?
2. Migrations are a joy!
Speaking of fun, there are so many enjoyable ways to spend your nights and weekends. A family trip, a movie, an outing with some friends. But nothing is more restorative than sitting at your workstation late into the night, or through the weekend, managing the movement of files from one storage volume to another. No matter which solution you have in place, migrations can be very complex affairs. And IT professionals love nothing more than performing challenging, pull-out-your-hair tasks on nights or weekends when all their friends and families are engaged in more traditional pastimes. You won’t receive any credit for the work. Of course not. Everyone else expects this kind of effort from you, since it is part of your job.
The work isn’t all solitary, either. You do get to interact with your peers when they call you about the inevitable permissions problems that keep them from their data. Then you can be a hero and solve the problem they blamed you for in the first place. But you don’t need the credit. For you, the joy lies in managing the minutiae of migrations.
3. You never need your backups.
Your users may have lost access to their files before. Maybe they deleted a document they needed, or suddenly wanted an old project back. But you know that files are files. Your users can always create new ones. In fact, you and your colleagues have been wondering whether it’s necessary to protect company files at all. Sure, you may have heard about how the cloud can eliminate the need for backup, generating significant cost savings and improving protection, but why not just leave everything to chance instead? Writing to tape is the Russian roulette of the IT world, and you love that process. So go ahead, scrap protection, and inject a little do-or-die drama into your work life.
4. Your users stay in one place.
In most modern enterprises, employees are constantly on the go, demanding access to their files from any device or location. The right enterprise cloud storage solution makes this possible, but your users never actually leave their desks. Sure, they go home at night, but they never want to access their files from their home offices, or any other location. They never travel for business. They never meet with clients. So I can see why cloud storage might seem like an unnecessary option for your business. You may even want to shut down your servers at night.
5. No one shares files or collaborates.
Again, many modern businesses rely on employees who work out of different locations, but still need to collaborate on projects. Users in one city often need to access the same files as their colleagues in a completely different region. But in your company, cloud file sharing isn’t necessary, because no one ever works together across locations, or even within the office. Most of the time they don’t even speak to each other. On those rare occasions when a project requires the input of an employee who works in a different region, the standard operating procedure is to charter a jet, fly that person into the office for a few hours, then whisk them back again. If something comes up the next day, and that employee’s input is needed again, there are always more jets.
Personally, I still think cloud storage makes more sense, and Cloud NAS in particular, but this has been a helpful exercise for me. I am starting to understand why companies choose to avoid moving files to the cloud. That said, if you are the sort who would rather avoid migrations, reduce your dependence on expensive hardware, enhance protection and extend file access, you might want to take a minute to watch this quick video.