Archiving in the cloud: Asking all the right questions

Are you considering archiving in the cloud? Learn the crucial questions to ask a cloud storage provider and how USC has implemented a massive cloud archive.

Organizations of all sizes are eager to try out cloud services, yet are still hesitant to place their primary data off site. As a result, many are archiving in the cloud to test out the cloud services available to them. Cloud archiving is different than cloud backup because it lets organizations selectively store data that's used infrequently, but may still need to be accessed for regulatory or compliance regulations.

The benefits of cloud archiving are many: it allows for outsourcing infrastructure and an improved pricing model, and the cloud allows an IT organization to pay just for what it uses instead of making a massive financial investment upfront. Of course, the benefits don't come without risks -- storing data off site means less control and there are often hidden, or underestimated, costs associated with retrieving archived data.

Whether you're just beginning to look into cloud storage as an option for your archiving needs, are searching for the right cloud archiving provider or want to read about a successful instance of archiving in the cloud, we've compiled our strongest SearchCloudStorage.com content to guide you.

Picking the best cloud storage provider when sending archive data to the cloud

Once an organization has committed to switching to the cloud, picking the right cloud provider can be a serious challenge for IT professionals. Jumping to a provider without asking the right questions and having all the facts can be detrimental to any company. Jerome Wendt outlines five important questions -- ranging from API compatibility to response time regarding changes in service demands -- and the answers you need from any cloud storage service provider when discussing your cloud archive requirements.

Protecting regulatory data when archiving to the cloud

Many organizations placing archive data in the cloud are held to compliance auditing standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). If your company is governed by these regulations, you need to make sure your data is properly secured with any third-party cloud storage services provider. Read about cloud security, the importance of service-level agreements (SLAs) and the time constraints on retrieving data stored in the cloud as they relate to compliance data.

University chooses cloud archiving for video storage

Nirvanix Inc. and the University of Southern California's (USC's) Digital Repository have paired up to create an 8.5 petabyte cloud, the largest private cloud currently in existence. Although several groups at the university will utilize the cloud for archive and storage, its primary use will be for the Shoah Foundation Institute, which records video testimonies of holocaust witnesses and survivors. In this in-depth case study, learn details about the private cloud and why Sam Gustman, chief technology officer at the Shoah Foundation Institute and associate dean at the USC Libraries, chose Nirvanix as the university's service provider.

The top five tips for cloud-based archiving with e-discovery and compliance data

To avoid disastrous situations down the road, data storage administrators need to develop a strategy for dealing with compliance regulations as they relate to their cloud archive plan. In building that strategy, admins should ask key questions of their cloud archiving provider. Obtaining the answers to these questions before trouble hits -- most likely during a compliance audit -- is crucial. Information you have to have ranges from knowing who holds custody and control of data handled by a third party, to understanding whether a third party has dealt with, or is prepared to deal with, litigation response.

This was first published in January 2012
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