Victor Wang, Sales Account Manager of Synology
Data&StorageAsean: What are the benefits of cloud storage and how does cloud storage increase the IT capabilities of an enterprise/organisation?
Victor: Overall, cloud storage empowers enterprises/organizations to have better data accessibility, operation agility, and disaster recovery capability to ensure business continuity. But cloud storage can be found in different forms. When people talk about cloud storage, they usually refer to the idea of “public cloud” - leveraging the resources and infrastructure owned and managed by cloud service providers.
When it comes to public cloud, we are familiar with its benefits like flexibility (in storage capacity, leasing period), agility (for service/application adjustment), and zero maintenance cost for the system hardware and infrastructure management it requires. But at the same time, it requires monthly/annual fee that might vary according to time and usage, which makes the budget prediction difficult. Stable connection to the internet and connection speed are also essential in ensuring data and workloads are available all the time; which might also lead to another potential concern of sensitive data leak to the public, as the service is not entirely controlled by the owner of the data.
On the other hand, there’s actually considerably a huge number of businesses adopting on-premise solution as their main storage medium within their organizations. Private cloud might require an extra cost for infrastructure built-up, initial investment and maintenance for hardware equipment, but due to its closed structure, it provides much higher privacy/security level, and availability for data even without internet connection.
Data&StorageAsean: How has cloud storage technology improved over the years?
Victor: The adoption of cloud storage has been transferring from third-party (public) cloud storage and on-premises (private) cloud to hybrid cloud deployment that integrates advantages from both sides. According to TechTarget, hybrid cloud spending is predicted to grow 22.5 percent annually through 2021 to reach almost $92 billion. With different adoption rates on public cloud and on-premises solutions, the hybrid deployment is actually more popular than pure public cloud or on-premises infrastructure adoption. A survey from RightScale in 2016 showed that 71 percent of cloud users have adopted a hybrid structure cloud deployment.
Rather than just providing pure data archiving or storage functions, collaborating on cloud (enabling data to be accessed and co-edited) to boost teamwork efficiency has become a mainstream usage, and a value-added feature to be taken into account when businesses adopt a cloud storage service.
Data&StorageAsean: Is security still a major concern when it comes to cloud storage? Is the concern justified?
Victor: Cloud storage has been challenged with privacy and security concerns over the years. Security issues can actually be addressed by more security mechanisms introduced to cloud services, such as encryption technology, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) infrastructure. Large organizations may also connect to public clouds using VPN over the internet or via private WANs to secure their workloads and data on cloud.
However, the above approaches couldn’t always resolve the concerns of “privacy” when the data a business owns is highly sensitive (e.g. client cases of law firms, patient medical records of hospitals). In these scenarios, on-premises (private) cloud is an ideal approach for data storage due to its closed structure and total data ownership it provides. Businesses don’t need to risk putting those sensitive data onto a 3rd-party-owned server and face potential data breaches.
Data&StorageAsean: Is cloud storage/backup still the top use case or main driver for cloud adoption?
Victor: Storage/backup is only one of the aspects and practices of cloud technology. There’s a number of usages, including test and development, data analytics, operation platform for applications, etc. However, storage/backup is surely the top use case for cloud adoption. Most companies might not need all the functions that cloud can provide for their business, but most of them definitely need data storage and backup as the demand is inelastic for businesses.
For backup, it is highly recommended to have more than 3 copies of data on different storage mediums (2 are local, 1 is offsite). A popular hybrid cloud deployment practice is to deploy and operate a private cloud architecture for local data access, but utilize public cloud services as a disaster recovery site to ensure business continuity, and make sure the data or workloads can be accessed or switched to other operation locations when unexpected accidents occur.
Data&StorageAsean: What is unique about your company's cloud storage offering(s)?
Victor: We all know how easy it is to simply store and access data on public clouds, but we also know cloud services can incur privacy issues for many businesses storing sensitive data. With this in mind, Synology has provided a solution for micro businesses to enjoy the flexibility of cloud while still having peace of mind.
Synology NAS is itself a cloud server on top of which a "hybrid cloud" can be built for small businesses.
On one hand, business data can be backed up automatically from the production computers and stored completely on-premises on the private NAS cloud. This can allow instant recovery in the event of file loss, ensure businesses have total control while being accessible remotely by multiple devices, avoid prying eyes and potential leaks, and eliminate the need to pay annual fees while having the flexibility to scale up storage at any time.
On the other hand, users can leverage our software features to sync between Synology NAS and almost all major public clouds (Amazon Drive, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc). Businesses can then flexibly deploy their storage to meet their different needs.
What especially makes Synology a popular solution among small-scale businesses is its user-friendliness and cost-effectiveness. For businesses with a minimal number of dedicated IT specialists, our operating system is easy to use and configure. What's more, with over 100 software packages, this powerful box can transform into an all-in-one server offering mail service, workplace messaging, scheduling tool, and surveillance management all free to download and running privately on premises!