The paradox of cloud data: it saves money, but can be costly, too

Survey shows IT managers no longer worry about cloud security, cost is now the big concern.

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Let's face it. The cloud has the potential for creating many new silos, some which may prove to be more costly and insidious than the on-premises systems they replace. Enterprises may end up paying endless subscription fees for data and applications hardly anybody uses, as well as getting occasional jolts of sticker shock as monthly cloud bills roll in. Escalating costs now pose the greatest risk with moving large volumes of data assets to cloud providers.

Think of the irony. Not too long ago, the cloud was seen as a risky place to store and manage enterprise data. Now, with cloud increasingly seen as the safest place to move data, too much data may be getting moved offsite. A recent survey bears this out, with solid majority of IT managers seeing the cloud as the best way to safely store data. At the same time, they still worry about the associated costs and loss of control that may come with it.

These are some of the takeaways of a survey of 140 IT managers conducted by Druva, which reveals a disconnect between the perceptions of cloud data protection and its reality. The survey focused on the use of Amazon Web Services as a secondary data storage, data protection and archiving environment.

Overall, 54 percent of respondents said their organizations are leveraging the cloud for data protection. Close to two-thirds, 63 percent, plan to ultimately leverage the AWS cloud for secondary storage.Confidence in cloud-based data storage is close to the levels seen for on-premises storage: 82 percent felt confident in restoring data from on-premises systems, but the gap is closing, with 72 percent expressing confidence in the cloud. The paradox of cloud is that it promises significant cost savings up front, but these savings may wash out as time - - and monthly or per-megabyte subscription fees -- go on.

Cost savings as the primary expectation for moving to the cloud, the Druva survey finds. Fifty-nine percent of respondents listed cost savings as the most anticipated benefit of moving to AWS, with simplicity and improved security as the second and third primary drivers. At the same time, the same percentage were concerned about the growing cost attributed to duplicate and growing data. Even more, 62 percent, expressed concern about the compounding data protection costs that they may incur as a result of having multiple sites.

"Despite efforts to maintain lean data sets, organizations still struggle with the fact that large amounts of duplicate data exist," the survey's authors state. "Companies want the data flexibility, scalability and mobility that the cloud provides but they only want to pay for what they need."

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