Our CTO Aron talked about the ‘stateless enterprise’ in a previous post that examined where file services are heading: organizations implementing a platform that can ‘suck up’ all files from all remote file servers and endpoints, and creating a ‘golden copy’ of files that can be accessed anywhere at anytime, from edge to cloud.
Most enterprises are not there yet. But for organizations just getting started on their digital transformation journeys and how they implement cloud in their file services strategies, there are several nuances that should be considered. Bob Gill from Gartner has outlined these cloud limitations at the edge, and below we’ve tailored some of the messaging to file services delivery to help inform customers’ views of edge to cloud challenges.
These considerations include:
Latency. There are two ways to consider how your organization may be impacted by latency.
- Is your organization dependent on local file access to files? If so, a direct-to-cloud service may not be the right fit. By ‘direct-to-cloud,’ we mean a service that does not offer a local file access delivery model via file caching or syncing to edge devices like a laptop or file server.
- Are your users collaborating across sites? File changes made locally may experience delays in synchronizing to the cloud based on the inherent performance limitations of your network or cloud service. Ideally your solution will minimize any network latency by optimizing WAN connectivity through data deduplication and compression.
Bandwidth. Direct-to-cloud services also face challenges related to bandwidth. Consider a 1,000 person office trying to access files over a single WAN connection at the same time – the experience is going to be rather clunky. And as the explosion of unstructured data continues, network congestion won’t be clearing up anytime soon.
Autonomy. How reliant is your organization on files? Could your users remain productive if your office suffered downtime due to a network outage? Do you have a backup plan for file access if your cloud services are disrupted? Consider these questions as your evaluate your organization’s needs, and remember that none of the leading cloud infrastructure providers guarantees 100 percent uptime.
Security. Does your organization have strict requirements for where files are stored? Many enterprises are now focused on complying with regional data privacy laws like GDPR, but many also cannot have their file data co-mingled with outside parties’ data within public cloud infrastructure. If data security is paramount to your organization, consider file services solutions that enable in-firewall management of file data, metadata, encryption, and authentication.
Any one of these edge to cloud challenges can be a showstopper for an enterprise or government organization. But don’t let these hurdles dissuade you from cloud modernization initiatives that enable you to reduce reliance on legacy IT infrastructure and better manage unstructured data. Download our free enterprise file services expert kit to learn more about how to navigate edge-to-cloud challenges.