When discussing data cloud storage with business owners, one of the most common questions we are asked is how secure is my data in the cloud. While most who ask this question are thinking about possible data breaches from cybercriminals, they also should be asking 1) is this a turn-key solution that has been developed by your IT services partner and 2) if they are utilizing cloud services provider partners, what type of due diligence is in place when choosing their cloud partners? All cloud providers are not created equal and business owners should ask if their IT provider has thoroughly vetted their partner’s business model and verified the soundness and viability of the company. Even more important, before agreeing to store your business’s data in the cloud, ask your IT service provider about the strategies they have in place if their cloud partner goes out of business.
For Nirvanix cloud customers, this is no longer a hypothetical situation. Last September, Nirvanix notified their customers that they were closing down their data centers and all data needed to be moved to another solution by the end of the month. Hundreds of businesses, ranging from Managed Service Providers to enterprises including Fortune 500 companies such as National Geographic, Fox News Group, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and General Electric were scrambling to retrieve their data before the company closed it’s doors. Migrating data between clouds can be a big challenge and in an ideal situation, it would take months of preplanning. Migrating huge amounts of data, in some cases multiple petabytes of data, is contingent on finding cloud providers with wide enough “pipes” to push that amount of data from one cloud to another. Business owers and solutions providers were tasked with making difficult decisions on the fly regarding what data absolutely had to be migrated, regardless of cost, and what data could be retrieved from other sources. Providers had to work together to strategize on staggering the migrations so that one company didn’t hog all of the bandwidth, transferring less-important data at the expense of another company’s mission-critical data.
The costs related to this debacle aren’t just relegated to possible data loss. Migrating data under extremely tight deadlines isn’t easy. This would require someone, or many someones at a high pay grade to drop virtually everything else they are doing to work on the project. Many companies might not have the tools in place to manage the migration and would have to not only purchase the tools on short notice but potentially have to spend time learning how to use them before deploying them. Even if the data migration is successful, consider the image cost to the provider. Data is the life-blood of any business and if there is even the possibility of a problem getting access to that data, a provider’s position as a trusted adviser would be compromised.
There are a number of really important lessons learned from the demise of Nirvanix. The wrong decision about which cloud services provider to use can carry a huge potential risk to a company’s data. In addition to verifying contingency plans if your provider’s cloud partner were to suddenly close it’s doors, companies should verify that their data is being backed up to a second source just in case it becomes unavailable. Unfortunately, a number of companies learned these lessons the hard way.
For more information on solutions for running your businesses’ technology more efficiently, visit our website or contact Megan Meisner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813 448-7100 x210.