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What if my storage cloud turns stormy?

Stephen Lawson | Jan. 30, 2009
Saving work and expense is a key reason why cloud services are expected to grow in the next few years.

IDC's Woo thinks serious conflicts between a cloud storage provider and a customer are unlikely because the service is so simple.

"The most optimal relationship to have in a backup scenario ... is a non-existing one," Woo said.

Tips for safe cloud storage

Entrusting enterprise data to a storage provider's online cloud may be no more risky than putting it in a proprietary storage platform in your own data center, according to some analysts and users. But there are specific steps you should take to prevent problems.

Rebecca Wettemann, Nucleus Research
-- "Before you sign on, do a clear assessment of how difficult it is to get your data out."
-- Find out if there are proprietary tools required to move your data.
-- Make sure you know about any fees for data migration.
-- Look for specific terms in the contract covering migration.

Henry Baltazar, The 451 Group
-- Ask for a provision that says you can get your data put on a removable hard drive and sent to you at the end of the contract.

Ben Woo, IDC
-- Don't outsource primary storage. Use a hybrid strategy so primary storage is rapidly available from in-house infrastructure.
-- Ask the same questions about your cloud provider's data center as you would about your own: Backup routine? Generator?

Greg McGovern, CTO, Adventist Health
-- Make sure the service fits your organization's data management strategy.
-- Try to use open file formats if possible.
-- Go through regular exercises to make sure you can retrieve your data.
-- Make sure you get a service level agreement that suits how you'll need to use the data.
-- "You should never outsource something until you are confident that they can actually take better care of your stuff than you can."



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