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The Value of Cloud Storage Solutions for Addressing Explosive Data Growth

Andrew Smith is the Research Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IDC.

Enterprises IDC talks with indicate that, on average, they expect to see 30% data growth annually – and much of this growth comes in the form of unstructured data. In other words, an organization managing 10PB of data today will likely manage nearly 13PB of data the following year.

This data growth trajectory may seem straightforward, but for many organizations this rate of data growth can cause severe consternation when it comes to their IT budgets and planning. Couple this with an uncertain business and economic climate due to the ongoing pandemic, and things begin to look a lot more complicated.

In many cases enterprise infrastructure spending is not keeping up with the pace of data growth. Spending on IT infrastructure is expected to grow in the single digits annually (in both 2020 and 2021) and may even remain flat or decline for many enterprises due to macroeconomic conditions.

The Infrastructure Resource Dilemma

It is this juxtaposition – enterprise data growth significantly outpacing IT infrastructure spending – that puts many organizations in a tough spot. How can enterprises effectively store and protect growing volumes of data without adequate resources? How can organizations better forecast their storage needs to align with budget requirements? This dilemma forces enterprises to make difficult decisions in order to deliver on the promise of “generating business value from data,” while also dealing with the reality of running their business applications cost-effectively and securely.

For years, organizations have used cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions to help manage the scale, cost, and complexity of their growing storage needs. Cloud storage services can eliminate capital expenditures associated with hardware purchases, while also providing options for flexible billing on a consumption-basis to help organizations manage operating costs over time.

Cloud storage services also automate much of the underlying storage management and provisioning tasks required of administrators, helping free up time which might be reallocated to those “higher value” IT tasks, like analyzing stored data and producing reports which business units can monetize/productize.

As a more diverse set of enterprise workloads move to cloud, the storage requirements associated with them have rapidly changed. Object-based storage architecture lent itself well to initial cloud storage use cases, which often supported “secondary” storage workloads like data backup or long-term retention. In contrast, file-based shared storage did not have a major presence in the early growth period of public cloud storage services. However, we have seen this change quickly over the past two-to-three years.

Buyer demands for highly performant workloads and storage features delivered by cloud IaaS, coupled with an expansion in types of applications and workloads being architected or refactored to leverage cloud storage has changed the status quo, resulting in demand for performant, shared file storage in the cloud that has propelled the cloud file storage segment from 6% of the total public cloud IaaS storage market in 2018, to 14% of the market in 2020.

Nasuni and Google Partnership

Enter Nasuni’s recent partnership announcement with Google Cloud, which is positioned to address this exact market dynamic. The partnership brings Nasuni’s cloud file storage and file data protection and management capabilities to Google Cloud. The partnership is designed to help enterprises achieve a “best of both worlds” scenario, allowing them to leverage the performance and reliability of shared file storage, with the scalability and economics of cloud IaaS storage. The partnership represents an important step forward to help enterprises address their data growth dilemma, adding critical file storage services to their toolkit.

For more on how enterprises can successfully address the challenges of explosive data growth through cloud services, download the IDC paper, “Cloud Storage Services Redefine How Organizations Manage File and Unstructured Data Growth and Complexity,” sponsored by Nasuni and check out our on-demand webinar “A Radical New Approach to Enterprise File Storage with Google Cloud and Nasuni.”

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