Cloud, data, Storage

Offload Inactive Data to the Cloud and Drive Down Storage Costs

Most files have a similar lifecycle: They’re created, revised several times, and then seldom used again. Unfortunately, files can rarely just be deleted. They may need to be kept for legal reasons, or an application may require them to exist in order to function. So even though they’re rarely used, old files must be kept and organized.

Ideally, files should be moved to inexpensive storage once they’re no longer active. Cloud-based object storage can be a cheaper alternative to on-premises storage on expensive NAS devices, so it’s no surprise that organizations are increasingly looking at the public cloud as a place to store their inactive data.

This is part of the general trend toward increased adoption of cloud computing. According to ESG’s 2019 Data Storage Trends, 56% of IT organizations now store more than a petabyte of data across their on- and off-premises environments. 25% expect to see their on-premises data increase by 50% or more annually, while 23% expect the same of their off-premises data.

What’s Involved in Offloading Inactive Data to the Cloud?

If your organization intends to store inactive data (infrequently accessed data; backup and archival files; redundant copies of data; etc.) in the cloud, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • There’s no need to pay extra for high-performance storage. Lower-cost cloud storage (usually object storage) is well-suited for this use case. Data archived in the cloud will be accessed only rarely, and it’s unlikely that multiple users will need simultaneous access, so files can be retrieved reasonably quickly even when connectivity to the cloud provider is constrained by available internet throughput.
  • To maximize savings, make your data footprint as small as possible. Inactive data must be deduplicated and compressed so you pay for fewer terabytes of storage space.
  • Not only moving data from on-premises to the cloud, but you also need to be able to easily move data between cloud environments to address cost, location, and compliance requirements.
  • Data still needs to be findable and retrievable, both by humans and applications.

That last point can be tricky, because moving data from file storage to object storage can break the hierarchy of directories and folders that’s used to organize files. However, DataCore vFilO can solve this, and make your transition to cloud storage easy to manage. vFilO displays all files to users as if the files were still in their original directory location, even if they’ve actually been migrated to the cloud. This keeps data from being misplaced, and ensures that any applications that depend on those files will still work.

Intent-Based Data Placement

vFilO allows you to perform intent-based data placement. You can designate different policies for different files, based on a variety of different file characteristics, and policies will be executed automatically. vFilO will check regularly to make sure files are still in their correct location and, if necessary, move files to a different storage device or to the public cloud.

You can specify that certain data requires more resiliency, so extra copies are kept in multiple locations. You can instruct vFilO to move files created a long time ago, or files that haven’t been accessed recently, to inexpensive cloud storage.

vFilO compresses and deduplicates data that will be stored in the cloud to keep the cost of storage as low as possible. Finally, vFilO can seamlessly move data between different public cloud environments.

There are many different cloud storage solutions to choose from, but we’d like to highlight Wasabi cloud object storage as an economical alternative to expensive on-premises storage. DataCore has worked closely with Wasabi to ensure the smooth interoperability of vFilO with Wasabi’s hot cloud storage service.

DataCore vFilO migrates inactive data from costly on-premises NAS devices to affordable cloud storage. Automate your data placement based on policy-driven business objectives and keep costs under control. Register for a free test-drive and try vFilO in your environment today.