Data storage has changed drastically since the introduction, and wide acceptance, of the cloud environment. But the cloud is not an instant turnkey solution to all of your storage questions. As cloud adoption diversifies, finding new uses for the cloud environment to transform your company can move you one step ahead of the competition.
A change in storage capabilities that wasn’t previously available is what I call “seasonality usage” of a cloud environment. This takes advantage of the ability to easily deploy and shut down cloud workloads, meaning organizations no longer have to plan three to six months in advance for the busy times of the year. With the agility and flexibility of a cloud environment, workloads can be up and running in as little as 15 minutes and can be functional for more work, less work, and anything in between.
But why is this helpful? Why isn’t the traditional way working? For many retail companies – as shopping trends swell in the holiday season of October, November, and December – more information is coming in that needs to be stored and protected.
Traditionally, this would require a long planning and ramp-up period to have a successful storage and IT season, and an equally long tear-down process to save the money being spent on the workloads. But the cloud provides for this ramp-up and tear-down in no time at all – in just days, you’ll have the same capacity that you would have had to wait weeks for. It also gives you the ability to scale down at the end without massive planning, long wait time and heavy IT expertise.
But with the seasonality, the type of management of workload storage changes to a different environment.
But what if I don’t have any experience with the cloud?
That is okay! You can work with a trusted service provider to handle the management of the cloud and to do all of the heavy lifting and responsibility – this means you can refocus your internal IT team on new business initiatives.
Many companies have yet to realize that they don’t have to migrate all of their workloads to the cloud. Beyond that, the workloads they do migrate over don’t have to be permanent. The cloud was created to be a scalable workload and storage option. This means companies can put virtually any number and type of workloads on the cloud and can unload and dispose of them nearly instantly.
But why is this important?
A company can leverage the versatility and flexibility of cloud platforms for the ebb and flow of seasonal workloads. Previously, companies would have a long ramp-up time to prepare their data centers for the increase, plan the capital expense budget for the change (and by the right amount), as well as understand the time, expenses and expertise needed to be successful. To tackle some of these challenges, many companies would previously function with more-than-needed power, which is expensive and wasteful.
So why the cloud?
The flexibility of the cloud provides the convenience to expand and decrease the workloads being stored as needed. Not only can you more accurately predict your storage and workload needs, but also nearly every cloud platform payment is set up as a monthly operating expense, meaning you can change your cloud storage to react to demand.
How do I manage this?
Unfortunately, managing your utilized cloud platform is different than managing in-house servers, and many organizations have found it takes a different set of skills that don’t necessarily translate from in-house server management to cloud management. While some find this to be a deterrent, there is a convenient solution. It’s no surprise that 56 percent of companies with 100 or more employees are using a managed service provider to manage their operations.
The new utilization of the cloud – beyond a permanent, static workload – means that your workloads need to be as elastic as your business. The requirement for weeks of ramp-up and tear-down is in the past. The cost-effective, time-efficient option is no longer a new adoption by the industry, but a widely accepted necessity that has proved its use over and over again.
Has cloud seasonality affected your company? Let us know in the comments.