Thursday 6 October 2011

The Boss Just Asked Me – “Why aren't we using Cloud Storage?”

The US government (the big boss) has enacted a 'Cloud First' policy, which is easy to state but has proven more difficult to do. Likewise CIOs (IT bosses) and businesses of all types are dealing with the challenge of how to effectively use “pay to go” Cloud capabilities to save money and improve productivity.

One especially critical pain point in IT is the growth of storing data and its cost (upfront capital expenditures, space, power, cooling, maintenance, etc.). IT managers who have too much work and too little time are being forced to look for new ways to get the most out of their on-premise storage assets while exploring ways to integrate new Cloud models. The bosses want more...

What to do? Recently, Gartner Group’s Gene Ruth, Research Director and Senior Storage Analyst, published a set of key findings and recommendations on Cloud storage in a recent report titled: Use heterogeneous storage virtualization as a bridge to the cloud. The opening page to the report makes an interesting statement: “Moving a storage infrastructure into a cloud paradigm can be a struggle for data center operators. The use of a heterogeneous storage virtualization solution provides a transition path that preserves investments and adds cloud operating semantics."

Storage virtualization and bridges all sound good, but how can we do it practically is the real question?

The simple answer to the question being asked is…it has to be easy, non-disruptive to operations and cost-effective. DataCore just announced it has extended its storage hypervisor tiering to Cloud storage and of course we believe the combination of storage virtualization and a Cloud gateway makes for a practical and compelling answer. The solution empowers users to manage, offload and augment on-premise storage environments with space and power saving storage located in the cloud.

For more background on the issue, the article in Cloud Computing by Nicos Vekiarides, a real Cloud expert, is a good read and does a good job of outlining how storage virtualization software, smart management to tier storage, and a seamless Cloud gateway can let companies gain the advantages of Cloud storage. You can read the full article here –

Cloud Computing: Combining Storage Virtualization with Unprecedented Cloud Storage Flexibility

The business case for storage virtualization software isn’t new. System administrators have always sought best-of-breed data storage from a choice of storage vendors and a centralized management framework. However, the business case for storage virtualization is currently even more profound for several key reasons.
  1. Now, with a variety of data storage devices available today, ranging from high-performance SSD and Flash cards to low-cost SATA arrays, a seamless way to automatically tier data across the diversity of storage devices and purpose-built arrays can maximize utilization and cost-efficiency.
  2. Moreover, hardware interchangeability and auto-tiering empower consumers with greater cost controls and buying power.
  3. In addition, there are numerous benefits to an enterprise-class software stack that includes data replication and disaster recovery in a footprint that persists across storage system upgrades – with no need to ever change data management interfaces and policies.

Read the full article.

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