Distance learning and collaboration: How to set up a cloud storage strategy for success

With the UK in its third blockade in the past twelve months, enforcement shifting to distance learning is a learning curve for schools, universities and other educational providers, with teachers and students currently required to access course and administrative materials via digital means. It showed how digital solutions are essential to creating a successful online learning environment.

In addition, continued advances in education mean it’s an industry that generates a lot of data. The data generated is vast and varied: from research data to digitalized library assets, student and faculty information, and video assets. As organizations continue to operate remotely, the scale of data is rapidly increasing.

The changing educational landscape requires students and staff to be more data literate. It also means that IT departments need to build a comprehensive data management strategy to plan and implement increasingly data-intensive education systems – an efficient, compliant, and non-compliant system. costly to the earth.

Keep your data safe

As data grows, one of the biggest needs of educational institutions is how to store their data cheaply and in a way that is easily and quickly accessible from anywhere.

Unless tested, organizations can easily lose control of where data is stored and how it is used. This in particular can become an issue for which IT security is concerned, so it is worth implementing system-wide protocols such as two-factor authentication to protect data against potential breaches. Hide from outside threats or insiders.

A backup and disaster recovery solution is also essential. Here I recommend applying ‘rule 3-2-1’ in conjunction with cloud backup: keeping three copies of your data on at least two different formats with an external copy is also the same good strategy. If something happens to the primary copies of your data, your cloud copies won’t be affected and will let you speed up with little business impact. Furthermore, a good hosting provider should provide immutable containers – a storage medium that displays fixed and immutable content to minimum data immutability standards, to preserve guard against random modification or deletion.

Cut the cost

With the growth of digital data, educational institutions are consuming much more storage capacity than they were a few years ago. In addition to student profiles and digital courses, organizations increasingly need to host video lectures and other supplementary materials. Some universities have even created entire digital libraries and archives from online accessible offline resources for students and staff to reinforce their services for students. teachers, teachers and trainers.

When dealing with petabytes of data created by educational institutions, primary, on-premise storage can quickly eat up the IT budget as you continue to need to store more data. Cloud storage takes advantage of economies of scale, offers the ability to dynamically scale resources up or down on demand, and is therefore a more cost effective option for universities Learners want to store and access their data in a way that’s quick and easy to access.

However, that doesn’t mean all cloud storage solutions are equally economical. Many first generation cloud providers, like Amazon or Google, not only charge customers based on the amount of data stored, but also charge additional data access fees. This can quickly prove problem for universities, if the faculty needs regular access to the files. Fortunately, not all hosting providers work on these models – some second generation services that work on all data models can eat without any problems. any surprise in the form of an output charge.

IT decision-makers should act as their own Managed Services Provider (MSP) – providing support for multiple cloud services, rather than being the gatekeeper of one provider. Instead of relying on external MSPs to help them set up the network, provide compute resources, propose and deploy software, etc., education IT departments should play an active role in considering demand. internal staff and students’ needs to help them choose the right solution and avoid incompatible and fragmented services.

Embrace the hybrid cloud

Adopting a hybrid cloud approach can provide you with flexible scalability across existing legacy systems. This approach allows you to keep a larger amount of storage on hand while reducing the stress on IT teams by migrating some applications to the public clouds.

With a hybrid cloud solution, IT decision-makers can optimize their infrastructure to meet a variety of needs and workload requirements. For example, there are applications that require rapid deployment and / or rapidly scaling that are better suited to the public cloud. Other systems such as HR can be migrated to a software as a service (SaaS) model to free up storage space and on premise. With a hybrid cloud, education systems can dynamically change workloads between on-premises and off-premises environments based on specific performance, regulatory needs, or specific time periods.

The hybrid cloud approach is also useful from a security perspective and can help combat the “dark IT” problem. Major systems containing sensitive student and school data may remain indoors and behind educational institution firewalls to protect student privacy and meet compliance regulations, in when employees can be empowered to use the public cloud for different use cases where appropriate.

Undoubtedly, the pandemic has shown the importance of transforming an organization’s infrastructure to a cloud-focused approach, which has been recommended by the UK Department of Education since five. 2019. Today, educators can see enormous benefits from adopting next-generation cloud technologies, and neither expensive nor complicated transitions – and to protect the future of Distance learning and collaboration is no longer a need, but a need.

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