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If your organization is moving from on-prem to cloud storage in a gradual manner, you are among the majority of NOREX members, according to a recent WebForum.

The session began with a brief overview from Kevin F., who worked for a cloud provider in between stints as a NOREX member at two different organizations. He provided details on how his organization has adopted a “cloud-first” approach, not just for storage but for much of the operation.  He encouraged the others to seriously consider cloud usage, although he recognizes it might not work as well for them as it does for his company. 

A poll was taken which showed that the majority of participants are using an “insignificant amount” of cloud-based storage and are increasing this amount very slowly.  The primary reasons include:

·         Questionable ROI

·         Concerns about reliability compared to on-prem storage

·         Compliance issues

·         Potential problems exiting cloud contract

·         FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt)

Kevin now uses the firm he worked for, Zumasys, a much smaller player than Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Several of the participants were impressed by what Zumasys seems to be able to provide while at the same time being less rigid than those larger cloud providers.

Scott C.:  “My understanding from previous NOREX discussions is some vendors are easy, and others, such as Azure (Microsoft), are very difficult/expensive.”

Kevin F.: “The entire Zumasys platform is managed with the same VCloud tools that run VCloud Air.  Zumasys can also replicate over into VCloud Air or Azure for DR. Zumasys also supports SAN to SAN replication.  Some of their customers put their own SAN into the data center with Zumasys assisting with managing it.”

Doug M.: “So this smaller vendor has migration capabilities to larger cloud providers. Impressive!  That is totally cool!!!”

Another poll asked which cloud storage vendors are being used:

·         AWS                                          8 participants

·         Azure                                        8 participants

·         Box.com                                   3 participants

·         Box                                           2 participants

·         CenturyLink                               1 participant

·         CloudBerry                               1 participant

·         Office 365                                5 participants

·         OneDrive                                 2 participants

·         VMware vCloud Air                 1 participant

·         Virtustream                             1 participant

·         Zumasys                                 1 participant

 

Even though many members are moving to Microsoft Office 365 there seems to be a continued reluctance to switch from Box and Box.com to Microsoft’s storage product, OneDrive. 

Jean Y.: “We use OneDrive, but we often have sync issues.”

Ryan S.: “We are using Office 365 for email only + Box.com for storage.I recommend Box.com for end user file storage and sharing, but it does not fit the bill for bulk storage for use in server infrastructure.”

Ray F.: “We have OneDrive and Drive for staff. Students use Google. We stay away from from installing the desktop sync component.”

Ben C.: “We use Box to share files externally with vendors and customers. I believe we are using Office 365 for internal use, mainly a couple Access DBs and so multiple people can edit files at the same time.”

Marc H.: “We like Box because we have a direct contact and they have great non-profit pricing.”

Scott C.:  “We are actively looking at the VMware vCloud Air solution for general storage and VM management.”

Kevin F.:  “Veeam is an awesome backup solution for local and to the Cloud backups.  I can actually use it in my current Cloud environment to back up my Cloud to a Veeam target, or even back to my corporate location.”

Another topic involved the concern about potential problems when attempting to get out of a contract with a cloud provider.  Several participants said that’s where working with a smaller firm can be a good choice.

Kevin F.: “If you go with smaller providers, like Zumasys, then ask them to put a clause in there about exiting at any time.  I had that in my first contract with them and the same clause in my current contract.  The language allows me to exit at any time for any reason at my choosing.  It frees me from the long term contract and freedom to leave when I want, with a 60 day notification.”

Members may download the Cloud-based Storage notes any time. For more information, please contact NOREX.