The Challenges and Rewards of Making Cloud-First Storage a Reality

Recently I was part of an expert panel, Making Cloud-First Storage a Reality: Challenges and Rewards, hosted by the IT Infrastructure group at BrightTalk. I was joined by Robin Smith of Gospel Technology, a Salesforce-funded platform for sharing sensitive data, and although Robin and I failed to disagree on much, the webinar was a great opportunity to step back and reflect on some of the larger patterns we’re seeing as more and more large enterprises shift their files to the cloud.

There are the obvious benefits, including the desire to share, synchronize, and collaborate on valuable file data, or shrink local infrastructure at offices around the world. We dig into each of those in the webinar, and how the Nasuni cloud-native file services platform allows organizations to modernize their infrastructure. But here at Nasuni we are also seeing two distinct patterns in terms of the particular approach large global enterprises adopt.

The first is the wholesale shift to the cloud. Companies in this category are looking to move all the files across their entire global organization off local hardware and into the object store. Traditional legacy storage can’t keep pace with modern business. These companies push a complete overhaul and modernization of their global infrastructure.

The second approach is to focus on a particular workload or business unit instead of a wholesale modernization. Some of our larger brand name clients, including Electronic Arts (EA), deploy our cloud file services platform with a specific business case or application-based workload in mind. The files associated with particular game builds are stored and protected in the cloud and synchronized globally so that multiple locations around the world can work on the builds. This leads to a follow-the-sun collaboration model in which talent around the world is constantly working and moving projects forward, since one group’s work day can begin as another team’s day ends. This just isn’t possible with traditional storage.

In the webinar, Robin and I also talk about a number of cloud-related topics, including:

  • The unexpected challenges of migrating to the cloud
  • Moving multiple locations to the cloud at once
  • Whether you need to rewrite applications for the cloud
  • The security challenges of a cloud-first storage strategy
  • Trusting the major cloud vendors with your data
  • Adopting a multi-cloud approach to storage
  • The challenge of ransomware

This was a good opportunity for me to review some of the more basic and essential benefits of Nasuni, including the most obvious one of all: that our file system, UniFS®, is actually built to run natively in the cloud. We also talked about how latency is one of the unexpected challenges of migrating to the cloud,and how Nasuni maintains performance for end users by caching files locally.

Finally, the webinar was a great chance to discuss why so many enterprises are eager to move to the cloud in the first place. Companies aren’t just moderninzing their infrastructure because cloud is cool. They’re not rushing ahead because everyone else is doing it. They are moving their files to the cloud because the traditional approach to file storage and data protection is unsustainable. Legacy file storage isn’t built to support today’s global enterprises. Companies are forced to maintain too many solutions, hardware and software, in too many locations. A service like Nasuni allows them to consolidate all of this into a single, powerful cloud-native file services platform.

If you have a few minutes, take a look at the webinar today, and let us know if there are any questions we can answer as you start exploring your company’s shift to the cloud.

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