Designing a Cloud Strategy for the Real World – SoftNAS Briefing Note

The path to Hybrid IT is messy. The on-premises data footprint continues to grow at an alarming rate. On-premises applications also continue to sprawl, and the number of critical workloads only increases. Moving an application to the cloud often requires significant recoding and over the course, migrating that application’s data to the cloud. At the same time, cloud providers are developing specific expertise in specific areas, so there is a need to move data between clouds to take advantage of those capabilities, as well as to take advantage of fluctuations in prices. The result is many organizations are suffering paralysis by analysis, not knowing where to start.

The primary difficulty in implementing a cloud strategy is not a lack of tools. There are dozens of tools to migrate data, create legacy file systems, protect data and transform data. The problem is there is no or limited integration between these tools. They don’t work seamlessly with each other and the underlying file system. What IT needs is a single data fabric that can provide protocols that existing applications understand like NFS, SMB and iSCSI. That fabric needs to run on-premises and in multiple clouds, and it needs to optimize the movement of data between on-premises and the cloud as well as across cloud.

SoftNAS 4 – A Cloud Fabric for the Real-World

SoftNAS® Inc. has been in business for six years. The company’s primary focus during that time has been providing customers the ability to move legacy applications to the cloud without having to rewrite those applications. SoftNAS Cloud® delivers traditional protocols (AFP, CIFS, NFS, SMB and iSCSI) to cloud-hosted applications.

SoftNAS recently announced version 4 of its solution, and it moves the product from a cloud NAS solution to a cloud fabric. Version 4 provides organizations a connective tissue for their data that enables seamless movement between on-premises and multiple clouds. The latest release improves WAN transfer times to enable IT to move massive amounts of data to the cloud more efficiently than ever by optimizing the transfer protocol. The result is a high-speed data onramp to move enterprise data into the cloud. The solution also integrates live data migration between on-premises and between clouds. Organizations no longer have to endure downtime while transferring an application to the cloud. Once the data and application are in the cloud, SoftNAS enables applications to run unchanged from their on-premises version, and it accelerates the performance of cloud storage while at the same time optimizing cloud storage spend.

The other challenge most organizations struggle with is where to start on their cloud journey. SoftNAS has identified four ideal starting points when using their solution; Cloud enabling primary and secondary cloud storage, migrating workloads and apps to the cloud, harnessing the power of hybrid cloud, and storing Veeam backups in the cloud. Each of these represents ideal cloud journey starting points. By using SoftNAS instead of a point solution, the organization can move to the other use cases, using the same solution. By the time they’ve implemented all of the use cases, the organization has leveraged the cloud to truly modernize its data center.

StorageSwiss Take

As organizations look to chart a path to the cloud, they encounter plenty of point solutions, but these solutions can only take them part of the way. IT needs a single foundational solution that enables the organization to embrace and leverage the cloud fully, and take advantage of multiple clouds while still addressing the genuine needs of the on-premises data center. SoftNAS is an excellent example of a foundational solution that not only gets the organization started on its cloud journey but can be with them every step of the way.

Twelve 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 a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 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 of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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