How 5 Legacy Vendors Are Redefining Cloud Storage: Analysis
Joseph F. Kovar
Cloud storage is not so simple as just storing data on a cloud, but in practice means businesses keeping data on premises in multiple clouds. Moving data between the different components of a hybrid multi-cloud world is increasingly a job best handled by companies that were managing data before the cloud was born.
“Cloud Storage” Redefined
What images does the term “cloud storage” conjure up? The unlimited storage capacity of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure? The behind the scenes capacity from companies like Wasabi? Someplace to put personal or business files like Dropbox or Box? Server vendors like Dell Technologies or Hewlett Packard Enterprise or IBM?
Dell? HPE? IBM? Cloud storage?
Actually, those vendors, along with legacy on-premises storage vendors like NetApp and Pure Storage, are actually playing a key role in cloud storage. Yes, they, like maybe hundreds of other companies, provide capacity for storing data on a cloud. Yet they are critical in making data available to users whether that data is needed on-premises, on the cloud, or moving back and forth between the two and between multiple clouds.
And a lot of data has yet to make it to the cloud. Global data and business intelligence firm Statista in July estimated that 57 percent of data in the U.S. and the U.K. is stored on the cloud, while 43 percent is stored in on-premises infrastructure.
And for many if not most users, it’s not using THE cloud. It’s actually a case of using many clouds. Businesses are living in an increasingly hybrid multi-cloud world, one where data moves between the cloud and on-premises infrastructures. Analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group in February estimated 86 percent of organizations regularly migrate applications and/or data from on premises to the cloud, while 81 percent of organizations find application and data portability to be complex. About 88 percent of organizations agree that multi-cloud operations provides strategic benefits for them.
Cloud storage providers like Google, AWS, and Azure are really good at letting data in, but don’t make it easy to take it out. Yet businesses may want to have data moving between clouds and on-prem depending on cost, performance requirements, and access of applications.
And that’s where the legacy storage vendors come in. Starting with NetApp, the major storage vendors have gradually realized their customers live in a hybrid multi-cloud world. The vendors all now provide ways to tie their on-prem arrays to the cloud for easy migration, not only from the arrays to the cloud and back, but also between clouds. And their storage software is increasingly a part of the cloud itself where an AWS or Google user may be using NetApp or Pure Storage software to manage their cloud data.
The term “cloud storage” is being re-defined. Read on to see how the top five legacy storage vendors (alphabetically below) are on the cutting edge of cloud storage, along with a look at their latest offerings.