How to Save Money on Cloud Storage

We’ve got a lot in common, you and us. You love cloud data hosting. We love cloud data hosting. You love saving money, and – wouldn’t you know it? – we love saving money too. OK, so almost everybody loves saving a bit of coinage here and there. That’s true. Here’s the thing, though: everybody talks about saving money, but does anyone ever actually help you to save any of it? It’s a pretty rare occurrence, we’re sure. The good news is that today’s your lucky day. We’re about to tell you how you can get your company’s data up in the cloud for less money than you might think.

Cloud servers allow you to easily take advantage of virtualization and failover benefits of modern, high-tech data centers. You can scale up and down the amount of space you have in the cloud when your needs dictate as much, and you can set up a plan allowing you to only pay for what you use. You can get a dedicated cloud server that’s completely your own, allowing for 100 percent core utilization. You can get your data stored in a state-of-the-art facility that’s full of modern HVAC controls, uninterruptible power sources and a crack squad of cloud tech specialists.

Cloud computing is increasingly being used for data storage due to the sheer amount of data organizations are accumulating these days. It’s mighty costly to buy, store, cool, power, monitor and manage a host of in-house servers full of your data – and it’s only going to get more expensive as time goes on. Why? Because you, like most everyone else, is going to continue building up larger and larger pools of diverse and complex data. This is the “Big Data” trend you’ve probably heard about. Big Data is a great tool for businesses, helping them to better understand their customers and prospects and fine tune their products, services and marketing to give them more of what they want and to further monetize services.

Turning to the cloud for your data storage, management, monitoring and retrieval needs is a great way to get costs under control and keep your data safe and sound. But you can save even more by being smart with your data management. Don’t just throw your data up into the cloud and assume it’ll take care of itself. Sure, it will do that, but it could be taken care of for less if you take a few cost-saving steps on your own.

Categorize Your Data

As mentioned, you probably have a ton of data, and that data is probably extremely varied. One of the biggest challenges faced by businesses today is extracting meaning from their huge swaths of data. Transforming unstructured content into structured data isn’t easy, but it’s worth doing. Start by creating a broad set of categories that describe each data type you have depending on either their importance (business vital, mid-level, optional, etc.) or by their functionality (marketing, social media, financial, market research, human resources, etc.)Doing so will establish policies that meet the unique needs of each kind of data you have while filtering out unnecessary information that could otherwise lead to storage costs that aren’t worth having.

The more storage professionals you ask about how to classify your data, the more answers you’re going to get. Most will agree that you need to begin by defining what it is you’re classifying and how it is best represented through metrics, though. This will help you to organize your data in a way that will successfully integrate business apps with storage infrastructure, saving you money.

Create Storage Characteristics

When it comes to storing your data in the cloud, you have many, many, many options… and then you have many more options on top of that. Consider, for example, how much redundancy you need. Every data center (DC) is going to have redundancies in place, but some have different amounts of them than others. Other customization options include retrieval times and availability and duration requirements for different data types. Think long and hard about what’s most important for your business and settle on what you need to have rather than splurging on something that sounds like it would be cool to have.

Make a Data Retention Policy

As mentioned, you’re not likely to ever have less data than you have now. No, you’re going to keep on collecting more and more data as the days and weeks and months and years go by, just like everyone else. Ask yourself: “Do I really need to keep all of my data for all of time?” The answer is probably no. While there is surely some data that you do need to hold onto forever, it’s extremely doubtful that all of your data falls into that category.

Much of the data you own is probably only truly useful to you for a limited amount of time. Furthermore, some of the meaningful historical data you have may be useful, but you might not necessarily need to hold onto the entirety of it in its raw, uncategorized form. Consider holding onto summarizations of old data rather than all of the actual data.

Determine Access Control Policies

You’re probably already familiar with the importance of protecting your data. There are endless individuals and entities out there looking to gain unauthorized access to others’ data and do any number of terrible things once they get it. That means it’s extremely important to consider who has access to your cloud and how they get it – if you don’t, you could end up with an extremely costly data exposure problem on your hands. When your data is stored in the cloud, you need to organize it to allow for streamlined access controls.

In most cases, you’re going to want to group members according to their access requirements. Almost everyone on your financial team needs to have access to historical budget data, but not everyone needs to be able to make changes to it. Only give write access to those who absolutely need it, while giving everyone else read-only access controls. So the former gets lumped into the Finance Write group while the latter gets placed into the Finance Read group. No one should have permissions they don’t need to have to do their jobs.

The other benefit of groups is that it makes granting update access easier. If everyone in marketing is in the same group, they can all be given access to new marketing data with one stroke, rather than granting permission person by person.

Image Source: NEC

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