The pace of moving to cloud are being constantly accelerated, with IDG predicting by the end of this year, 80% of enterprises will be shifting to cloud centric infrastructure and apps twice as fast as pre-pandemic.(1)  Adopting SaaS apps or cloud storage are often the first points of entry to companies’ cloud transformation and, for many companies, a managed storage service can be the easy button to the cloud and the many advantages it brings.

Easing the need for in-house cloud storage expertise, a managed cloud storage service can deliver a reduced reliance on infrastructure and provide simplified management for significant cost savings. Perhaps even more critical, a managed cloud storage service also delivers an air gapped location for both primary and secondary copies of your data to strengthen your defenses against the growing threat of ransomware.

To adequately leverage these important advantages, however, flexibility of choice when it comes to storage tiers is a must. With the introduction of Metallic Cloud Storage Service (MCSS) as a backup target for both Metallic BaaS and Commvault software, we committed to helping customers easily access these benefits, while the recent expansion of storage tiers delivers increased flexibility across storage use cases. In this blog, we’ll explain both of these important benefits, as well as considerations for short-and long-term retention use cases for your data.

Cost savings

Cloud storage is a cost-effective way to keep data secure, off-site, but accessible when needed for recovery.  Customers can collapse costs incurred from hardware, data center operations – plus save on administrative costs, freeing up precious resources to focus on other IT priorities for your organization. In addition, there are no separate egress charges to plan for or manage, with costs all rolled into transparent pricing. In fact, customers can have 35% or more savings for moving primary storage to cloud compared to on-premises, and up to 80% for moving secondary copies to cool storage for long-term retention. (check out our TCO calculator for MCSS with Commvault software here).

Ransomware readiness

The cost of ransomware attacks are often very high with ransomware payouts having grown 171% over the past year. (2) An air gapped solution is one that physically or logically isolates critical data or systems, and a modern air gap is critical for your defense against ransomware. With MCSS, there are no persistent connections to the storage since all data resides in Metallic Cloud and is only accessed via authenticated API calls during backups or restores. Direct access to cloud storage is not possible as credentials are not exposed. The storage is secure, scalable, and accessible. When ransomware infects the environment, it will not spread to the cloud storage since it is virtually air-gapped, reducing lateral threats. MCSS is built into Metallic and Commvault data protection solutions and preconfigured. It is as simple as applying a license and selecting the storage; there is no additional infrastructure required, making this enhancement to your ransomware strategy a simple add.

Flexibility for long-and short-term retention

Once you’ve decided to reap the cost savings and security benefits of a managed cloud storage service, choosing a service with flexible tiering is critically important. Storage tiers optimize costs and recoverability – with hot storage carrying a higher cost and being optimized for fast and frequent recovery, and cool storage carrying a lower cost for longer term storage and less frequent recovery.  Metallic Cloud Storage Service (MCSS) now offers both hot and cool storage, to pair as a backup target for either with Metallic Backup as a Service solutions, or for Commvault software.

Companies would choose hot tier storage for primary backup copies with typically up to a 30-day retention policy, for meeting a requirement to lessen reliance on physical infrastructure. For companies committing to a cloud strategy for their apps, keeping their primary backups in the cloud makes sense, rounding out a cloud strategy.

Cool tier storage, on the other hand, is ideal for customers requiring longer-term retention and compliance use cases. Another use case is for companies protecting large data sets who want to keep primary backups on premises for fast restores, and can leverage MCSS air-gapped copies for long-term retention of more than  30 days.

Lastly, companies can select both tiers to cover their end-to-end needs for a data backup cloud target, sending copies to both hot and cool tier storage, with hot storage policies set to expire after 30 days.

Originally published on the Metallic blog.