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What is Cloud Repatriation and Why Should You Care?

November 28, 2023

A new debate has emerged in the backup storage space. For years, organizations turned to the cloud for their data management needs. Now it seems sentiments are shifting. Companies are actively – or at least seriously considering – moving their data back to on-premises solutions and hardware, ushering in the term cloud repatriation.

Cloud vendors and products like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud are still exponentially growing in terms of revenue and level of investment, yet on-premises data management is making a resurgence as a growing number of businesses are abandoning the cloud. The question on everyone’s mind is why?

This article uncovers what cloud repatriation is, why organizations are doing it, and why you might want to consider it according to your needs and business objectives so you can make an informed decision.

What is Cloud Repatriation?

Cloud repatriation is the process of moving your data from cloud storage solutions like AWS or Google Cloud to on-premises technology.

As the cloud became a viable and stable option for organizations, there was a mass migration of data to cloud providers. Companies moved their storage to cloud solutions for several real benefits. Cloud storage and data management was priced according to use, delivering pay-as-you-go pricing structures. It was scalable, could be accessed from anywhere, and maintenance was performed by the vendor, so operational headaches and support issues were essentially outsourced. Cloud vendors touted robust security policies and backup storage was also automated and managed by the provider.

With all those compelling benefits however, there is a glaring trend in the marketplace where organizations are repatriating their data back to on-premises storage technology. The next section explains why.

Why are Organizations Considering Cloud Repatriation?

According to a 2022 report by IDC, 71% of respondents planned to move workloads running in the cloud to dedicated in-house IT solutions within two years.

There are several reasons organizations are considering and rapidly choosing cloud repatriation. They include:


The cost of cloud storage is arguably the biggest reason motivating companies to consider repatriating their data back to on-premises solutions.

According to a 2023 Virtana research report, 94% of IT leaders report that cloud storage costs are rising and 54% confirm that storage costs are growing faster than other cloud costs.

The benefits of cloud storage are undeniable, however they have to be weighed against their costs. It would appear – judging by the rising trend of cloud repatriation in the market – that cloud storage costs are outweighing their benefits, driving more and more companies back to in-house data storage methods.


Rising cloud storage costs aside, the common pay-as-you-go pricing model makes sense for organizations that manage a limited amount of data.

For organization with a wealth of data, cloud costs can quickly become out of control and on-premises data storage solutions and backups are simply more cost-effective when stood up against any cost-benefit analysis.

Regulatory Compliance

For industries operating in heavily regulated industries like financial services, pharma, and healthcare, data integrity and protection are heavily scrutinized.

Some regulations and controls demand that certain types of data must remain protected and secure internally, thereby offering another motivating factor to repatriate data from the cloud to on-premises—mitigating the risk of non-compliance.

Control, Security, and Visibility

One of the benefits of cloud storage solutions is that security is managed by someone else, however this can also be a negative in some cases. When your data’s infrastructure is managed externally, the data itself should be opaque to the cloud service provider, however security and control risks increase because your data is managed by multiple users outside your organization.

On-premises storage solutions, on the other hand, consolidate data management in-house according to your internal policies and defined security protocols.

What are the Challenges with Cloud Repatriation?

Cloud repatriation may make a lot more sense for organizations, considering the rising costs and concerns around cloud data management, however that doesn’t mean moving your data back to on-premises solutions isn’t without its challenges.

Skilled IT Personnel

Managing and housing data internally demands the resources to not only implement on-premises solutions but to also manage that data. Naturally, there are third-party options available like service integrators or professional services firms, however the right personnel for the actual cloud repatriation and on-premises data management moving forward need to be defined on the frontend.


Enhanced security is one of the reasons companies are choosing to move back to traditional on-premises data storage and management however robust security protocols and the resources to govern and manage those policies needs to be in place or implemented.

Large enterprises will already have the cybersecurity teams on staff to handle operations when data management moves in-house, however, small- to mid-sized businesses may need to implement these teams or look for outside help.


One of the biggest challenges surrounding cloud repatriation is ensuring your organization has the right infrastructure to support moving your data from the cloud to on-premises solutions. This includes having the right software and hardware to support your storage needs in-house.

In addition, measures must be in place to support scalability in case your data storage needs increase. Hardware that can adapt to your needs is quintessential in this regard.

That’s why Nexsan offers a diverse product line to suit any size of business according to their data storage needs. Unity provides a truly unified solution ideal for mixed workloads, ensuring your data is protected for regulatory compliance while prioritizing security. In terms of scalability, which is a major factor driving cloud repatriation, Unity scales to over 9 PB (petabytes) and fits any organization’s backup storage, disaster recovery, chain of custody, and ransomware protection needs.

E-Series delivers high-density and high-capacity storage so you can shrink your data storage footprint and reduce costs by saving on power. It’s purpose-built for diverse capacity and performance-based applications making it an optimal solution for media & entertainment, surveillance, government institutions, healthcare, financial, and backup storage.

BEAST Elite is the cost-optimized storage solution, purpose-built to offer optimal reliability, availability, and density with 960TB on a standard 4U rack to seamlessly manage high-volume applications like backups, archives, and video surveillance. It’s also the perfect fit for video and content delivery, real-time analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data.

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