Can Cloud Seeding Really Be as Easy as 1-2-3?

John Sharpe


Before hyperscale cloud providers such as Google started to store enterprise data for a reasonable price, many organizations thought the topic of cloud seeding was best left to rain-hungry scientists and meteorologists. Today, however, cloud seeding includes the unwieldy task of migrating or uploading large amounts of corporate data into a cloud storage service. The process is called different things, such as seeding to the cloud, on-ramp to the cloud, upload, migration, ingest or import. Whatever its name, though, the challenge remains the same — getting a little data into the cloud is easy, but getting a lot of data into the cloud can be problematic.

When organizations have to upload or import a few files into the cloud, there are generally tools they can use within the cloud provider’s management interface. For instance, in the case of Google Cloud Storage Nearline, there is a designated Web page to transfer files into a specific project bucket. For uploading or ingesting hundreds of terabytes of files, however, it is not always so easy to get files uploaded into a cloud service, regardless of whether the cloud service relates to cloud backup and disaster recovery or straight cloud storage.

In a poll by Docurated, one respondent said the top cloud-related mistake companies make is “underestimating the time and bandwidth required to move large data sets.” Company bandwidth costs money, and it can take hours or days to complete this type of project. This is especially true when there is a lot of data to move from Point A (the company’s data center) to Point B (a cloud storage provider).

With these considerations in mind, the question becomes whether there are ways to make large-scale data migration less painful, costly and time-consuming. If there are, can the methods be trusted with sensitive data? The answer is yes. With established cloud seeding and migration services, the process can be done in three easy steps.

First, data should be saved to hard drives or LTO tapes (encrypted or not), and then shipped to the service provider through a preferred courier service. Next, data migration experts will upload the data to the cloud using secure, high-speed infrastructure. Every step follows trusted chain-of-custody procedures. Finally, organizations can choose to have the service provider send back the original storage media, store it within an offsite vault or securely destroy it.

Outsourcing cloud seeding is an increasingly attractive option for organizations that have limited IT bandwidth but still need to bulk-upload files. With this easy three-step process, companies can get their files into the cloud quickly and efficiently.


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