Expert outlines cloud storage requirements

Cloud computing expert Geoff Barral has outlined a number of factors that he believes businesses should take into account before switching their storage systems over to a cloud platform.

Writing on technology site V3, Mr Barral illustrated some of the challenges facing most modern IT departments, with increasing data volumes compounding the issues of managing the data itself. He suggested that although some businesses have access to sufficient bandwidth and resources to make the most of cloud storage, the rules and definitions of the cloud computing world were yet to mature and become standardised.

It appears that the key challenges at this time are those of regulation within the cloud computing industry, as well as the compliance to and establishment of data security rules for cloud storage. The fragmentary nature of cloud computing in its cottage-industry phase has yet to fully evolve into an identifiable industry with a universal set of standards and values.

There is a fairly widely held belief that many businesses would find inadequate bandwidth to be the major barrier preventing them from adopting a cloud storage strategy, particularly if their volume requirements were to increase over time.

Reliability of any cloud computing storage service is seen to be of the utmost importance, along with more traditional issues including but not limited to data security. Mr Barral showed some support for incremental backup technologies which would allow for only the newest data to be backed up automatically to a cloud service in order to lessen the burden on available bandwidth, an approach adopted in many traditional backup systems.

Mr Barral concluded by urging IT managers to begin studying and involving themselves in the key ideas and technologies behind cloud storage, particularly if they are already working in partnership with a cloud provider. Through detailed understanding of the techniques and processes used by an individual cloud company, which of course will vary significantly across the industry, it is possible for businesses to better prepare themselves for the benefits and potential pitfalls of any cloud backup solution.

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