The use of cloud collaboration services, such as Microsoft SharePoint (the storage and sharing platform used by Office 365 and Microsoft Teams), rapidly accelerated at the start of the pandemic.
That is the good news. The bad news is that with very few providers of collaboration tools offering options to archive files, many businesses are finding that their data volumes and cost overruns are now ballooning out of control.
If left unaddressed, those businesses will find themselves paying the high price of ‘storage overages’ for data that they’re no longer using and should have archived.
What it means for Singaporean businesses
As businesses in Singapore grapple with rising inflation, supply chain issues, labour shortages and cyber threats, a sudden step up in cloud storage costs is the last thing they need. Businesses can get ahead of the issue by adopting third-party solutions to automatically archive legacy data from cloud services, but few are aware of this.
Veritas’ vice president and managing director for Asia South and the Pacific region, Andy Ng explains that at the start of the pandemic many companies embraced cloud collaboration tools to empower employees with mobility solutions and minimise work disruptions.
By the end of 2020, the number of SharePoint accounts shot up to over 200 million. However, with many cloud collaboration tools, including SharePoint, lacking a native archive function, much of the data created since the advent of the pandemic is all stacking up in ‘hot’ storage.
“This means that some companies are paying to keep every Teams chat from every employee from two years ago on the most expensive tier of storage,” he added.
Hot vs cold storage
Hot storage refers to storage media that offers fast and easy access to data, typically based on premium hardware with highly optimised connectivity. Cold storage often uses tape or other cheaper media which allow data to be stored for compliance purposes, where it is typically kept offline and rarely accessed.
“Collaboration solutions have helped businesses to weather the COVID storm and accelerate the shift to the new hybrid working model. No one wants to see costs getting in the way of businesses for the ongoing use of these collaboration tools.”Andy Ng
He concludes that it makes sense to keep them affordable and practical by bringing in third-party archiving to move unused data to cold storage while keeping it searchable and accessible to the business.
Cloud data management tools can move archive-ready data to more cost-effective storage tiers, often on the same cloud platform that businesses are already using for their hot data, and without compromising data privacy and sovereignty requirements.
According to Veritas, storage could be as much as 22 times cheaper for businesses that move from paying for extra capacity in SharePoint, to archiving their data to more affordable storage tiers*.”
*Based on a typical price of $153 per TB per month for SharePoint overages compared to the quoted cost of $676 for 100TB of Azure Storage 3-year Reserved Capacity in a cool tier.