Cloud and Virtualization

Tim Laplante, Vision Solutions‘ Director of Product Strategy, says:

“Get your head out of the clouds” is a well-worn phrase that’s often delivered to kids who are daydreaming in the classroom.

But these days, it’s important to get your head—and your data—into the cloud to improve your company’s performance and ultimately help you dream bigger with your business.

Data migration is constant in today’s dynamic environments, whether cloud, physical or virtual. It’s never been more important to have the flexibility to manage your virtual environments anytime, from anywhere.

Sixty-four percent of IT professionals say their companies already use cloud services, according to Vision Solutions’ 2013 State of Resilience Report. The No. 1 driver of data migration is improved performance, followed by replacing outdated or unsupported hardware, the report said.

Whether you’re looking for more efficient data management tools or need to update your data storage infrastructure, here are three things you need to know about getting your head in the clouds.

  1. It’s a scalable, cost-efficient solution for your shifting business priorities.

Though migrating to the cloud doesn’t guarantee cost savings, most companies experience benefits because it’s like having a data center without all the associated costs. The primary financial benefit is the cloud’s effortless, inexpensive scalability.

Businesses that need a temporary processing boost without a long-term investment can expand within the cloud and then just as simply return to the status quo once the project is complete.

One company had a massive, one-time calculation to complete. In the cloud, it scaled up to 700 servers to finish the job in just a few days rather than a few months, and then scaled back down to its normal operating levels. (The same process works great when companies are in the testing phase for a project.) It’s the cloud provider’s job to manage those ebbs and flows, so such rapid shifts don’t burden the company’s IT staff with extra work.

It’s worth noting that companies that start their transition to the cloud off on the right foot will want to use a migration solution that works across diverse environments—something that can be leveraged just as effectively in physical, virtual or cloud environments. An ideal solution will save time and money by making the migration simple and intuitive, with near-zero downtime.

  1. High availability and disaster recovery becomes stress-free.

For companies thinking about poking their heads into the clouds, high availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR) is a great way to make the first move. It’s a relatively low-risk, low-cost solution that comes with great benefits.

Virtualized HA/DR solutions based on real-time replication strategies ensure that every bit of data is backed up to the most recent transaction or addition. The solution’s monitoring capabilities help it know exactly when a failure occurred, so in the event of a crisis, companies can get up and running quickly with all of their data intact.

The ideal HA/DR to the cloud solution will provide organizations with the ability to recover to any environment. Leveraging the data center in the sky will let you recover to the ground or continue running your workload in the cloud—whatever suits your operations.

  1. Different clouds meet different needs.

Three basic types of clouds deliver varying levels of security and service, which allows companies to find a match that’s tailored to their requirements.

A public cloud is hosted externally and is a great match for organizations that are looking for a low cost entry into the cloud.   The public cloud may not be a good fit for organizations bound by data sovereignty and compliance regulations.

A private cloud, on the other hand, can be hosted by a provider or exist within a company’s own data center. It’s completely isolated from other servers and workloads, so it delivers a higher level of security (at a higher price point) and control of where information resides.

Many companies choose a third option: a hybrid cloud, which offers a mix of public and private clouds. They’ll use the public cloud for less sensitive data and lock away their most classified information in the private cloud. The hybrid cloud lets companies tailor their infrastructure to maximize their cloud usage and still maintain their compliance and service levels.

Once a company has a simple, affordable and scalable solution for managing its data, it has more time, money and space for doing what will really propel its business forward: innovate.

So, it’s time to get your head in the clouds—and turn your dream for a bigger, better business into a reality.