Is your cloud content strategy a ticking time bomb?

by Sven Larsen, Digital Marketing Intern

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As more and more businesses utilize the cloud as their main or secondary form of data storage, enterprises are also witnessing an unprecedented amount of data growth that is challenging just how practical the cloud can be.

A global data protection index conducted by Dell found that data has exponentially grown from 2016 to 2018, going from 1.45 petabytes to 9.70 petabytes. This 569% growth in just two years has triggered concerns about how enterprises are going to restructure their cloud content strategies to handle the new data boom.

There are some key steps that businesses are already taking to prepare for and navigate the explosive rise of data and costs in the cloud.

The Hidden Costs in the Cloud

Affording to store data in the cloud has become popular considering the varying types of providers, sizes, and costs available, but each of these choices do come with hidden costs that need careful consideration.

Egress fees are charged when someone pulls data from the cloud. Enterprise Storage Forum deems them as “a particularly thorny aspect of budgeting for cloud storage” and rightfully so. While ingress charges, (how much it costs to upload into the cloud), are universally low or nonexistent, data egress charges range per GB drawn from the cloud. It may not cost you much to put your data in the cloud, but you can be sure your costs may rise dramatically if and when you need to take your data back out of the cloud.

For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS),a popular cloud storage service, charges from $0.09 per gigabyte for the first 10TB all the way up to $0.05 per gigabyte for 150-500TB. Egress costs provide higher economies of scale as you utilize more of your repository, but these hidden costs will add up very quickly without adequate tools and policies in place to manage public cloud content storage use.

If your enterprise keeps 500 TB in the cloud and global users in total access only 20% of the repository each month, you would be looking at an additional $93,600 per year in data egress costs alone! This charge would be above and beyond your budgeted cost for straight cloud storage space.

(The math, based on the AWS cloud data egress cost chart here – 20% of 500TB is 100TB $0.09 per GB for the first 10TB ($900 / month), $0.085 per GB for the next 40 TB ($3400 / month), and $0.07 per GB for the next 50 TB ($3500 / month). For 12 months, this amounts to $93,600 annually.)

This wouldn’t even account for users who frequently transfer documents in and out to make small edits or other common practices that can cause more cloud egress fees to add up.

Further, if your business were to find a cheaper cloud service and wish to move their entire repository over, you would have to pay egress fees for all of your data, adding a hefty $28,800 charge on top of the costs from their new provider and becoming a significant hassle for both IT and finance managers.

Is this a bad time to bring up our study from earlier showing 569% data growth every 2 years for enterprises?

The rapid growth in data is another added pressure for IT and finance managers, as only 16% of IT managers believe that their current data protection solutions can meet all future business challenges.

These small cloud costs and fees of a few cents need to be considered in terms of everything from a business’s archiving strategy to employment size to the necessity of the stored data itself.

For a business that needs to archive records to adhere to laws, such as law firms or a business that has a large network of employees that may access shared data at any moment, cloud costs will be a severe stress, something that nearly half of IT respondents in the Druva 2017 AWS Cloud Data Protection Survey said “was the biggest barrier to cloud storage adoption.”

Dismantling Cloud Cost Concerns

Avoiding heavy cloud egress charges requires careful but doable planning

Planning how to store your data is an important step. Differentiate between which data requires quick and often access and which data just needs to be archived. An active archive can hold the daily data that gets used, while a deep archive primarily focuses on rarely accessed data, but with data’s exponential growth this can be difficult to do effectively.

To ensure that your cloud storage remains open to handle the rise of data, assessing what is actually being stored and the space it requires can be a key tool in planning. Certain files- TIFF, JPEG, and scanned PDFs- take up a lot of space and by being aware of how important storing these files is to your business, you can predict how much storage is necessary.

With both cloud costs and data not expected to decrease any time soon, businesses can change how they upload this increase of data into the cloud to take up less space and save from extra cloud egress fees. Even the large files -TIFF, JPEG, and scanned PDFs- can be optimized before entering the cloud to take up less space, leaving room for the rise of data expected to come and saving businesses money by lessening file sizes to decrease cloud egress charges.

Using PDF Compression Software to Cut Cloud Costs

PDF Compression software can help in leveraging certain content and data to take up less storage.

Enterprises that utilize lossless compression on their documents can reduce cloud storage costs by as much as 50% with the right solution.

Organizations whose repositories are comprised primarily of image documents can anticipate even greater savings considering the high compression rates for these types of documents.

Businesses can also use PDF compression software to ensure that both documents in an active or deep archive get securely stored due to a comprehensive use of MRC and lossless compression. Lossless compression helps ensure documents effectively reduce in size by removing redundant information. MRC compression then seals the document and thoroughly compresses each aspect of the content.

These two types of compression can shrink .TIF,.JPG..GIF,.PDF, and much more including PDF/A files, which are ideal for archiving valuable documents and can keep up to date with the compliance laws of certain industries like health insurance and the legal industry.

Taking the initial step of using PDF compression software to shrink documents before being uploaded to the cloud allows IT managers to control their budgets better.

Instead of paying the cloud egress fees for removing multiple larger documents out of the cloud, compression can reduce the size and users only have to pay a lesser fee overall.

This saved money is vital in investing and preparing for future developments in technology, like the expected boom in data. A Seagate study called DataAge 2025 found that businesses can expect to see data rise to 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025.

Although each business is unique and can see different rises in their respective data, the world at large is becoming more interconnected, requiring businesses to accommodate these rushes of new data to stay profitable. On a micro level, data still impacts businesses in stressing IT budgets with egress fees and finding the appropriate provider. These issues require careful consideration, but using PDF compression software can be a successful step to cutting costs and adapting to the growing world.

Enterprises all over the world ranging from law firms in Australia to legal bodies in Germany have witnessed how compression can change their business functions by providing faster, more reliable, compliant, and smaller documents

Get cloud-ready files with a free trial of PDF Compressor.


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