Businesses have been migrating their data to the cloud in earnest for over a decade now. Even in its infancy, it was simple enough to track the migration process and to keep up with expenses. However, in the early days, most businesses only had a single cloud provider and their cost would be based on total storage capacity and network egress fees.
It’s a lot more complicated now because it’s becoming more common for businesses to utilize either a multiple-cloud or a hybrid-cloud setup. Let’s take a look at the storage trends that were most significant over the last decade; in particular, the ways that businesses can reduce their cloud storage costs.
Make use of quality software asset management tools
One way to control your business’s cloud storage costs is to decide exactly which applications and data that you’ll store in the cloud. To do this, it’s beneficial to conduct a company-wide audit. This will identify all of the cloud accounts your business has active.
After you choose an asset management tool (i.e. Symantec, ServiceNow and ManageEngine), your IT division can chip away at the price you’re paying for cloud storage.
Understand your actual storage needs
Before deciding on a storage provider and blindly choosing a performance tier, take an audit of your company’s actual storage needs. If your business doesn’t need to store top tier amounts of data, you may be able to save some money by going with some of the lower priced providers.
Be aware that it’s possible for your business to see its requirements change as time goes on. While you’ll have opportunities to change your cloud provider, it gets harder to do as time goes on. This is because processes become enmeshed within your systems and your staff will become familiar with the protocols.
There are many providers—choose yours wisely
Currently, the top cloud providers include AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Each of these providers will offer different performance tiers for your company’s data storage needs. Often, you can reduce costs by paying attention to the actual read-write access for each volume.
If your throughput numbers are low, you’re probably good to downgrade to a lower (cheaper) tier. You could potentially see 25 to 30 percent cost savings.
Before banking on this strategy, you should confer with your provider to ensure that there are no penalties for downgrading. Moreover, if your provider doesn’t have performance tiers, it may be a sign that you need a new provider.
Utilize data access and egress smartly
Your employees should understand that each time they go to extract data, files or logs from your cloud service, it comes with a monetary price. While it may be your data, you still have to pay them to download it. To keep costs down, you should plan monthly for what data you’ll need to download and budget accordingly.
You should also take the time to get estimates on the turnover time for your cloud provider to return your data as it can take longer than you’d think. Granted, good providers should have a same-day turn around.
Perform deduplication before migration
In order to get rid of duplicate data, most companies use a process of data compression called deduplication. This process works by identifying unique bits of data (or byte patterns) and placing any matching data with a reference point, which is stored in the location.
Businesses can reduce the price of their cloud storage by performing this practice before migrating data to the cloud. Doing so will reduce the data stored in the cloud as well as reduce the amount of network traffic and disaster recovery windows.
Everything doesn’t need backed up
A good policy to adopt is that you should only back up the critical data that actually has a bearing on your company. Photos and/or videos taken by employees on their phones shouldn’t be backed up to the company cloud.
Moreover, not every business file or document will need to be backed up. Records of company parties or anniversaries should be stored somewhere other than the cloud.