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Hybrid cloud has emerged as a flexible alternative to discreet cloud and on-prem storage for rapidly growing unstructured data and data silos. This article looks at the pros and cons of on-site, cloud, and blended hybrid, and points out some surprising benefits when you add global unstructured file management to the mix.

Network Attached Storage

Pros

Offline or on-premises network-attached storage (NAS) offers complete control and privacy because you, not a cloud provider, set access permissions and quotas, create file trees, and establish buckets. It’s a safe solution for sensitive data or personal identifiable information (PII) that needs to be protected from breaches and leaks at all costs.

Cons

Upfront costs are one of the biggest downsides to local storage. You have to fund hardware, maintenance, and infrastructure, and for that reason, scaling can be painful, especially scaling at cloud speed.

Without a remote connection to NAS, if employees can’t get to the office, their ability to collaborate stops, and your overall productivity suffers. And though local storage may be less susceptible to cyberthreats, it’s vulnerable to physical disasters and severe weather. If all your data and backups are held in local storage, one event can severely impact your data and your business.

Cloud Storage

Pros

With remote servers in the cloud, users can store, manage, and access data from any device with an internet connection. That means you get the flexibility of remote work and access to a larger, conceivably global, talent pool that can easily collaborate and keep productivity high.

Infinitely scalable, cloud storage is an excellent solution if your storage requirements fluctuate as they often do.

Cloud storage infrastructure, accessibility, and security is usually more advanced than when implemented for on-premises servers. These advantages, plus the great time- and cost-saving convenience of not having to attract and retain the labor needed to implement and maintain it all is also a big pro.

Cons

The cloud’s greatest strength is also one of its greatest weaknesses. The internet is great when accessible, but if connections are slow or go down, you’re at the mercy of the provider.

At times, it's an advantage that cloud providers are responsible for infrastructure and all that goes with it. At other times, your lack of control will be unnerving. Providers have every right to ban the upload of specific file types and data or to change their policies and fees. They are also prone to hacking attempts. Security measures are usually robust, but when a breach occurs, it could be your data that’s affected.

While the cloud offers great scalability, there may be better options for your terrabytes or petabytes. A vibrant business’s data storage needs can add up quickly. While using multiple clouds is a frequent tactic, doing so creates complexity.

Hybrid Cloud

Pros

Integrating on-prem and cloud storage, the hybrid cloud offers the benefits of both. It leverages the scalability of the cloud, so you avoid paying for a lot of hardware, etc. You’ll also save money with cloud pay-as-you-go pricing, which is especially useful for storing infrequently accessed data. It enables remote access to files stored locally, so you get local-like data control and performance and cloud-like accessibility and cost efficiency.

Hybrid clouds can incorporate data replication and synchronization to ensure data redundancy and facilitate disaster recovery — but these features and lots more come along when you add a global cloud file system for a redefined hybrid environment.

Visibility and Fast Access

When you add Panzura data management to any supported cloud or clouds, users gain clear visibility of all files held within the group. Silos are suddenly gone. No matter how big your organization, users can access their permissioned data in real time from wherever they work. They can collaborate with other users around the globe with near-zero latency. Files and changes are distributed through the global namespace to provide unmatched performance.

Global Consistency and Smaller Footprint

Files pinned to cache provide local-feeling access. Changes are saved as small-space metadata and continually deduplicated, compressed, and protected with cloud-level of security. The result is a highly protected, consistent, single-source of truth, with a slower-growing storage footprint.

Security

One of the most prevalent data concerns is security. The global file system encrypts data in transit and at rest, helping you secure sensitive data and maintain compliance while benefiting from cloud scalability. Administrators have granular control over data access and performance.

Ransomware Resilience

With all versions of all original files stored in a secure object store and elsewhere — and all changes to those files stored as metadata everywhere, an infinite number of file copies are possible. If ransomware infiltrates and encrypts files, they can be simply reassembled.

Shift the balance of power in the fight against ransomware.

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The Refined Hybrid Cloud

Get the benefits of the cloud, local storage, and so much more. A hybrid cloud with the CloudFS global file system provides a single source of truth; secure, global file access throughout the enterprise; and revolutionary levels of data availability, usability, security, and compliance. And with its immutable hybrid cloud data protection, you’ll never have to pay a ransom.