<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/86554.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

Protecting cloud enabled data

With data in many locations today, we must ensure its protection wherever it resides...

Written on: Feb 1, 2021 2:53:19 PM

Written by: Alex Raben


[Data Management, COOLSPIRiT]

Over previous decades, organisations have developed and transitioned their approach to  IT hosting operations from single site, to multi-site and then to outsourced options with third party hosting providers.

However, more recently organisations now have a significant drive to include operations between one or more public cloud providers also with their on-premise(s) infrastructure - OK, the early pioneering adopters of Amazon AWS have been around since 2007, but for the mainstream, it has predominantly been the last ten years or so where we have seen the broad adoption of public cloud services. 

When we discuss data location in terms of IT operations, we generally have to consider on-premise operations along with cloud services within the hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud models that many organisations operate within. The world, however, is not a simple shape and one size does not fit all. Organisations choose their IT deployments according to their business needs - some will move all of their operations to the cloud, some will focus on deployments only within their premises, and others will utilise a mixture of locations for flexibility and agility. According to a recent cloud usage study from IDC, approximately 51% of organisations data will be in data centres, while 49% will be in the public cloud. It's also reported that on average, organisations utilise 1.9 public clouds while they are testing one or two other public cloud options.

If we look at more recent developments in the cloud space, we need to consider Edge and Core cloud operations too. Each approach will suit certain business models, but these options are all intended to better align with organisations' needs. For example, the needs of an Oil & Gas business are likely to be very different from those of a Healthcare or local Government organisation.

Nonetheless, the focus on data and its protection is paramount, irrespective of where applications run from. Organisations need to think about how their existing, and often data centre centric view of the world can easily be transferred to the distributed operating model that is in use or planned for the future. Some example questions to consider include:

  • Can we extend our current Backup and Recovery processes easily into the cloud space(s)?
  • Does our current Backup and Recovery platform support our cloud provider of choice? 
  • Does our current Backup and Recovery platform support our cloud-based applications? 
  • Will these cloud providers have our data protected? 
    • If so, do they offer a comparable SLA to which we currently have?
  • Do we need a different approach? 

Over the past few years, we have seen a huge increase in Microsoft Office 365 usage, which was highlighted in Microsoft’s earnings report from 2020. As many organisations embrace O365 and its applications - there is one key question to consider: Are we sure that all our data is being protected, at least as well as it was previously with our on-premise infrastructure? There is quite often a misconception that once you store data in the cloud, then it's the cloud provider’s responsibility to backup and protect this data. This assumption is incorrect and could really be quite dangerous. All cloud providers operate a shared responsibility model, where the owner of the data (ie. you) has the responsibility to protect your data when stored in the cloud. The cloud provider’s responsibility is with its cloud infrastructure – not with your data. If in doubt, always check with your cloud provider...

In the current coronavirus pandemic world which we all live in, the growth of online networking and collaboration has been immense. We are using more tools to help share content, ideas, projects, initiatives and pull people together… in short, this means we are creating and storing data in so many new ways than previously. For those using Microsoft Teams, or any other collaborative tool, this means that data content is once again being stored in the cloud - we need to seriously consider if this is being protected adequately. Remember the shared responsibility model? We must not assume that our cloud provider is backing up and protecting our data.

As mentioned above, we are now starting to see a rise in edge computing, which again is driven by an organisation and its needs to deliver better services which it offers to its employees and customers - with this comes additional considerations on how we need to protect our data. The world is continuing to evolve, and along with it, so are the IT services that we all deploy, use and support.

With every significant change in business operating models, we need to ensure that our IT operational services also develop to maintain at least the same level of data protection as before, if not higher - wherever data resides...


COOLSPIRiT would like to thank Paul Brunyee of Arcserve for his invaluable expert thoughts and insight - helping to create this blog.

If you would like to talk simply call our expert team on 01246 454 222 or email hello@coolspirit.co.uk


Discover our latest insights

Enhance your knowledge by browsing our extensive library of case studies, brief sheets, data sheets, ebooks and white papers. If you have any immediate queries or requests, why not reach out to our team?