The introduction of cloud storage services in the tech world has completely changed the definition of data storage. But, unfortunately cloud storage proved significant only for storing the data you don’t use. It isn’t useful when it comes to store the data which you use frequently, i.e. local storage. This means that undoubtedly, Cloud storage is cheap but failed to offer the performance of local storage till yet.
For cloud storage to be useful for as a local storage, equivalent flexibility, performance and productivity as enterprise storage systems are among the prime requirements. Hence, in order to use the cloud for both the active and inactive data, it has to be better than the local filers that are already being used today.
For this to happen, the following key requirements should be fulfilled:
- Cache locally: Methods like machine learning or “pinned folders,” or a combination of both should be used to make sure the right files are cached locally while less used files recede back into the cloud.
- Global de-duplication: The commonality of blocks across files demands the need of global de-duplication to reduce the amount of data that is stored in the cloud and sent between the cloud and the local caches with only the storage and transmission of the changes made and not the complete data.
- Support for “chatty” applications: Applications must work across sites in the same way as they work on a single site. Technical applications like CAD, PLM, etc. are extremely talkative that usually raises the time to open, save, or sync a file from less than 30 seconds on a local NAS to over 20 minutes in the cloud.
- Data integrity and cross-site locking: When you store any data on cloud, it is accessed from many other sites, unlike the local file servers. This requires a need to maintain data integrity and cross-site locking to avoid data loss or duplicacy.
- Better than local security: In Cloud storage, higher security capabilities are required that includes encryption across the file system; secure key management (keys should never be sent to or stored in the cloud), lock management integration with other security tools, and compliance with relevant security standards.
- Flexibility to change: Make sure the global file system you use should be flexible enough to support changes like changing the cloud providers or using two cloud providers (using one as a secondary site).
If these requirements are fulfilled successfully, cloud storage can be significantly used as a local storage too.