How to Go All-In with the Cloud as Primary Storage

In our on demand webinar, “Eliminate Backups and Simplify DR with Hybrid Cloud Storage“, we discuss how IT can use the cloud as primary storage to improve their data protection process while dramatically reducing their investments in secondary storage. Since the cloud as primary storage is accessible as block or file storage, all IT has to do is point backups at the volume or mount points presented. Data is then automatically written to a regional point of presence and a large cloud provider backend, at no cost to the customer. Using the cloud as primary storage with built-in protection for backups is just the beginning, as success is achieved users will expand its scope and use the solution to include primary storage.

In our last blog we discussed how modern cloud as primary storage solutions leverage a regional point of presence to significantly reduce latency if the on-premises cache can service the read request. The three-layer design also makes it safer for the on-premises appliance not have to cache writes since the point of presence storage is updated almost instantly with the new data.

The three-tier architecture of modern cloud as primary storage enables the technology to replace on-premises primary storage while continuing to improve data protection and disaster recovery. The service architecture, thanks to its on-premises all-flash appliance, delivers unprecedented performance to data center applications, as reads are serviced instantly and writes safely written through to the middle tier, only milliseconds away.

The value of the three-tier architecture is that applications require no code changes. After initially using the cloud as primary storage service as a backup target, IT only needs to restore the data from its backup to a new volume. Since the transfer is from flash to flash the new volume is ready for the applications quickly. Once ready, applications are pointed at the new volume and then proceed as usual.

The ROI of the cloud as primary storage becomes evident as the application uses it more widely to support a variety of data-intensive workloads. First, IT does not have to purchase additional storage capacity, new storage systems nor do they have to implement and maintain them. Second, built-in data protection improves beyond what we describe in our first blog. Data is automatically stored off-site, in multiple locations, as it is written or changed. Third, because protected data is in its native form, it is available for test/dev, DR, reporting, and analysis without complex transformation.

In this design, most of the computing continues to occur inside the data center. Cloud as primary storage gets IT out of the storage buying and configuration business and allows it to focus more on applications and services. The hybrid cloud service assumes over the storage infrastructure responsibilities.

The next step is to leverage the cloud computing but instead of forcing applications into the cloud, leverage the cloud for new applications and use cases against existing data sets. The third blog in this series “Leverage Cloud Compute with the Cloud as Primary Storage” we will discusses how to take advantage of cloud computing while still having data center applications. In other words, how to create a true hybrid cloud solution.

In the meantime, check out our on demand webinar, “Eliminate Backups and Simplify DR with Hybrid Cloud Storage,” to learn the first step to a true hybrid cloud data center, leveraging cloud as primary storage for data protection.

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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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