Primary Storage’s Missing Cloud Link

Panzura Delivers Panzura Inside

As the time comes to upgrade the storage infrastructure, organizations typically consider two options; an all-flash array or a hyperconverged architecture. While both designs solve many of the challenges data centers face, both are missing a seamless cloud connectivity. IT planners look for ways to migrate data, especially unstructured data to the cloud. But most solutions require a whole new stack of storage instead of leveraging what is already in-place on-prem. Panzura, with its Panzura Inside solution, looks to solve this problem by integrating hybrid cloud software with modern day storage arrays.

Developing a Practical Cloud Strategy

There are plenty of solutions that help organizations get to the cloud. The challenge for an established data center with on-prem practices and policies have to answer the question, “where to start?” They purchased either an all-flash array or a hyperconverged architecture because they need or want to have applications still running on-prem. But these applications typically run on block based volumes and tend to be a disproportionately small part of an organization’s total storage capacity.

The big problem is unstructured data. It is growing at an unprecedented rate and it can benefit from the performance of an all-flash array. But this data is typically active only a very short time (often less than a few days). Obviously once it is not active anymore, having it stay on flash media is a waste of resources.

Many organizations would like to move this old data to a cloud storage repository. And there are solutions to make that connection called cloud gateways. But often the movement of data from the current primary storage solution to the cloud gateway is a manual one, or the customer has to use the cloud gateway as their primary storage device for unstructured data.

Panzura Inside

Panzura Inside removes the requirement of creating a second silo of storage for unstructured data. The solution is a virtual version of the Panzura Cloud Controller, and it leverages the storage of the flash array or hyperconverged SSD to act as a cache for the cloud. All active unstructured data is stored locally with a copy in the cloud and all inactive data is stored in the cloud only freeing up valuable flash resources. The movement and access to data is seamless to the users thanks to Panzura’s global file system technology which essentially converges the on-prem flash and cloud mount points.

There are other use cases for Panzura Inside beyond just freeing up on-prem flash storage. For example, it can be a data distribution tool, making sure that all of an organization’s data is accessible from any branch. Each branch has its own unique cache, so only the data that is important to that branch is cached locally, but again all data is accessible.

StorageSwiss Take

A long standing complaint on flash arrays is that while flash pricing came down considerably over the past few years, the systems are still an expensive place to store inactive data, especially when compared to the cloud. We’ve asked for years for all-flash array and hyperconverged vendors to create software that would automatically move data to a less expensive tier of storage. Now, thanks to Panzura, the work is done.

Eight years ago George Crump, founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal. To educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is and a heavily sought after public speaker. With 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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