The Architectures behind Cloud Storage

Each of the major cloud providers deliver at least three different types of cloud storage; high performance, archive and cold storage. Each of these storage types share the pay-as-you-go cloud expectation but each differ in terms of cost and performance. The providers also differ in how they architecturally deliver each of these storage types.

Production Cloud Storage

Most people think of cloud storage as a data repository and not as a high performance storage environment. Cloud native applications like databases and artificial intelligence need high performance storage. Providers offer this by using block based flash storage and in some cases RAM. The cloud provider high performance tier compares with on-premises high performance storage.

The storage architecture behind the high performance tier for some providers consists of a separate standalone system. Other providers use object storage throughout their environment. For the high performance tier the vendor’s object storage system emulates a block store, and the provider typically associates flash storage with it. A single standalone system, purpose built for block storage should provide better performance. The emulated system means that the provider has only one storage operating environment to manage.

The key differentiator is when the customer wants to change the service level for a dataset. The provider using the single standalone system needs to move data physically from one tier to another. Typically, the provider automates the process making it transparent to the user. The provider with the single system just needs to change the service level of the data set.

Lessons for the Data Center

The data center needs to initially focus more on the storage operating environment, more so than the actual hardware components. Ideally, the IT planners select a single storage software solution that supports all the needed protocols (Block, NFS, SMB, and Object) and storage use cases (performance, capacity, and retention). With the software in place, organizations select storage hardware based on the use case (flash for performance, hard disk for capacity and object storage for retention).

In our on demand webinar, Storage Switzerland and StorOne compare cloud storage to on-premises storage to determine how IT needs to evolve their storage architecture so it provides a better service to the organization than the cloud.

Watch On Demand

George Crump is the Chief Marketing Officer at VergeIO, the leader in Ultraconverged Infrastructure. Prior to VergeIO he was Chief Product Strategist at StorONE. Before assuming roles with innovative technology vendors, George spent almost 14 years as the founder and lead analyst at Storage Switzerland. In his spare time, he continues to write blogs on Storage Switzerland to educate IT professionals on all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought-after public speaker. With over 30 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS, SAN, Virtualization, Cloud, and Enterprise Flash. Before 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.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blog

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 25,553 other subscribers
Blog Stats
%d bloggers like this: