Veritas Technologies, a leader in multi-cloud data management, is warning that businesses are facing a cost crisis for collaborative working tools as post-COVID working practices begin to catch up with them.
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. Yet, 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.
As businesses grapple with rising energy costs, supply chain issues, and labour shortages, 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.
Johnny Karam, Managing Director & Vice President of International Emerging Region at Veritas Technologies, explains: “Businesses in the UAE and around the world quickly embraced hybrid working and cloud collaboration tools during the pandemic to keep their employees working productively. As a result, by the end of 2020, the number of SharePoint accounts shot up to over 200 million globally. Today, much of the data created at the outbreak of the pandemic would have been archived if it were stored on an organisation’s own servers, however many cloud collaboration tools, including SharePoint, lack a native archive function, and the data is all stacking up in ‘hot’ expensive 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”.
‘Hot’ storage refers to storage media that offers fast and easy access to data, typically based on premium hardware with highly optimised connectivity. Its counterpart, cold storage, often uses cheaper media which allow data to be stored for compliance purposes, where it is typically kept online or offline, and rarely accessed.
Johnny Karam continues: “Collaboration solutions, like SharePoint and Teams, have helped businesses in the UAE to continue remote working effectively and efficiently. No business, small or large, would want to see costs prevent them from continuing to use these collaboration tools. In order to safeguard themselves against soaring costs due to and inflated amount of unarchived, and unorganised data, businesses must consider using a third-party solution to move unused data to cold storage, whilst keeping it searchable and accessible to the business”.
Cloud data management tools, like Veritas’ NetBackup SaaS Protection, can simply 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.
Johnny said, “We estimate that 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 (AED 561.97) per TB per month for SharePoint overages compared to the quoted cost of $676 (AED 2482.94) for 100TB of Azure Storage 3-year Reserved Capacity in a cool tier.