I recently met with the technology team of a large enterprise to discuss its strategy; a major focus was the use of public cloud storage. The internal business desire was strong; they saw it as providing flexibility, agility, and the chance to spread risk and free themselves from lockin to any one service provider.

But they also saw significant challenges, and this is not unusual. While cloud storage brings many desirable benefits, almost limitless scale, flexibility, and access to other services, it also raises important questions: how to maintain security and compliance, how to retain ownership, and how to smoothly integrate data stored in public cloud with other business operations.

So, while taking a cloud-first approach can be very sensible, using the cloud and especially cloud storage come with a range of challenges that make choosing cloud as a primary storage location difficult. But the flexibility that public cloud can bring means that the business desire is increasingly strong, so what are the challenges and what can you do to overcome them so that public cloud storage can be an option for your enterprise?

The Challenges

Gravity

Data has bulk, size, and weight. Unlike applications and compute, there is a difficulty in making data flexible and easily move it into the cloud. And equally challenging once there, to move it between providers of back on-premises.