When we flip a light switch, we just assume that that a light will turn on. In the rare event of a long power outage, most businesses tell their employees to just go home, because there’s very little they can do to be productive.
Thankfully, electricity is a regulated utility that must meet high standards of reliability and uptime. But back before electricity was a utility, many businesses had to generate their own power. Here in Massachusetts, many cities still have large mill buildings sitting next to canals that once ran river water through gears and turbines to power their manufacturing machinery. Today, about the only time a business generates its own power on-prem is when the utility fails.
Why should it be any different for data?
The startling global economic growth of the 20th century was due in no small part to the increasing availability of reliable electricity on demand. Similarly, in the 21st century, it is nearly impossible to imagine a business of significant size that does not depend on constant access to vital business data. It’s the fuel that’s driving innovation, efficiency and growth.
Like electricity, data should simply be there when you need it, ready to drive decision making, business operations and technical tasks in the same way electricity powers the lights, climate control and computing equipment.
Additionally, just as you don’t worry about where the electricity you use comes from, you also shouldn’t have to think about where your data is stored or how to move it to where it needs to go. The electricity you use likely comes from a variety of sources — coal, gas, hydro, and maybe even wind or solar — and it’s rare that we even think about where our power originated or the path it takes to get to our lights, computers and appliances.
Data should follow the same model. Just as power companies take ownership of the equipment and highly skilled people required to deliver electricity over the grid to customers, cloud data storage providers handle the infrastructure and personnel responsibilities that once belonged to each individual company. Imagine if each business had to hire power specialists, who maintained and operated on-site generators to supply electricity. But that’s exactly how most IT organizations handle data. Each business operates and maintains SANs, NAS, backup software, remote DR sites, replication systems — it’s complex, expensive and time-consuming. And today, it’s completely unnecessary.
In a modern data storage service like ClearSky’s, data is ultimately stored in a backing cloud, and provisions hot and warm data to the edge and to the data center, close to users and apps both on-prem and in the cloud. End-users never need to think or worry about where the data itself is ultimately stored; it’s simply available when they need it, where they need it. Plus, it’s automatically backed up and fully encrypted, both in transit and at rest.
Whatever your personal opinion on whether data should act like a utility, your business needs already require it. If critical apps or end-users can’t access the data they need, business operations slow down significantly. In today’s fast-paced, data-centric business world, organizations should choose a data storage service provider that comes closest to the kind of simplicity and reliability of a utility. With our patented Smart Tiered Caching™ technology and use of metro edge PoPs to create a dedicated network that runs from your data center to the cloud, ClearSky delivers high-performance, consumption-based and cost-effective data storage and access.
Data should be automatically available when you flip the switch on your computer, just like the electricity that powers it, without regard as to where it comes from. See for yourself by signing up for a demo!