See Why File Servers Are Going the Way of the Floppy Disk. Don’t Follow Them to the Grave.

Can you hear the bells tolling? The grim reaper is coming for on-premises file servers and when he does, will you be ready?

This comes as no surprise since the way in which businesses store their files has constantly advanced over the years, and on-premises file servers are falling in line with many other outdated and irrelevant technologies from the past century. We’ve gone from file cabinets to microfiche to magnetic tape, rotating-platter drives, floppy discs, redundant arrays and then networked attached storage thanks to the NFS protocol. We also evolved from analog to digital and from disc to flash.

The need for greater capacity and more immediate access have been the primary catalysts driving new, less-costly ways to store files. While on-premises file servers won’t become completely extinct, they simply can’t keep up with rapid-fire technology improvements, making it impossible for businesses on a three-year technology refresh cycle to give end users the latest collaboration and mobility capabilities. It’s too costly to keep purchasing new servers every year and to invest in the resources to deploy, secure, backup and maintain.

The Cloud: The Next Step in the Storage Evolution

The next step in the storage evolution is the cloud. The majority of businesses are already used to storing email in the cloud, and many have begun to migrate unstructured content such as Microsoft Office documents. As server and storage technologies improve, cloud-based systems can easily keep pace, offering end users the latest feature set at all times and giving them greater efficiencies in searching, accessing and sharing files.

Migrating systems to the cloud means scalability on demand and reliability. While on-premises servers typically require months from budget approval to deployment, the cloud offers new capacity on-demand. The cloud also lowers your overall total-cost-of-ownership for storage by eliminating the need for IT to go through the relentless routines of system maintenance, file management, and disaster recovery.

To find out more about the benefits of moving your storage systems to the cloud, see how Fox Entertainment Group’s IT team explains how they planned and executed a massive migration to adopt a standardized cloud platform that replaced their global file server infrastructure.

Cloud platform providers take care of all this for you while also ensuring the correct security measures are in place. As a bonus, you also no longer need to allocate physical space for your storage systems—perhaps you can even turn your data center into a game room!

Improved Collaboration and Data Access

By standardizing your storage systems onto a single cloud platform, you greatly improve collaboration and access to data. End users can more easily share large files with co-workers across the globe and gain better search capabilities so they can quickly find information.

To make on-premises file servers function like a standardized cloud platform, you have to configure them for sharing, collaboration and mobility. You also need to apply controls for security, permissions, central administration and reporting. Another task that would be on your plate is the integration of third-party applications—the ones you use today as well as the many modern applications that will continue to emerge in the future. Needless to say, this is quite time-consuming and even after all of these configurations and adjustments are made, the resulting solution is still not able to perform at the level of a cloud-enabled platform.

All these headaches go away when you migrate your file servers to the cloud. You also no longer have to worry about disaster recovery, hardware and software purchases, physical data center security, malware protection, email file storage, VPNs to your file servers, power outages and all the general server management issues that inevitably occur on a day-to-day basis.

While we haven’t called the time-of-death on file servers just yet, they have certainly reached their golden years, and the next-generation storage solutions have been groomed to take their place. So, what are you waiting for? Start your succession plan now. We can help.