Today’s world is multi-cloud, as IT uses a range of cloud service providers to address varying compliance, cost, feature and performance requirements. This results in a highly complex environment for IT to provision, manage and monitor. File storage environments are becoming especially cumbersome, as a growing number of smaller files are distributed across a larger number of locations globally. Dr. Allon Cohen, Vice President of Cloud Solutions and Business Development for Elastifile, recently joined George Crump, Lead Analyst for Storage Switzerland, to discuss how Elastifile is addressing this challenge with its new managed cloud-native scale-out file storage services.
With Elastifile’s new service, users select their cloud storage service provider (including Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft), the region or zone in which they want to store their data, and the capacity and performance levels they need. Elastifile handles all other service configurations, such as deploying clusters. Users are billed according to their usage levels, with the Elastifile service rolled into the customer’s bill from the cloud provider. The user then accesses their file service natively through the protocol (including NFS and SMB) with which they are used to working. Resources can be flexed up or down in real time as requirements fluctuate.
Elastifile faces a number of competitors including Dell EMC and NetApp when it comes to delivering public cloud-based scale-out file services through a managed, consumption-based model. Elastifile’s biggest differentiator lies in the fact that its architecture was designed to be cloud native. This means that it does not require hardware to be to be colocated, or deployed near the public cloud service provider’s physical data center. Elastifile deploys a virtual controller across all participating server nodes, which pools storage resources and presents them to the application. For the user, this cloud native approach means that files can be accessed directly regardless of where they are stored, and that services can be spun up wherever they are needed with no downtime. Data can be migrated seamlessly across cloud providers and regions depending on pricing, data privacy requirements, and other factors. Elastifile manages which files are migrated, which files cannot be migrated from a certain region, and it also facilitates replication and common exposure of resources across clouds and regions. This stands to facilitate flexibility in choice of cloud provider, better optimization of cloud resources, and data availability.
Complementing these capabilities, Elastifile also wrote proprietary metadata management and data distribution algorithms to enable billions of files to be accessed from thousands of nodes, and to mitigate performance bottlenecks and access latency as the environment scales (a key cloud requirement). Furthermore, Elastifile blends support of file access protocols that most traditional mission critical applications require, as well as the object protocols on which most cloud storage services are based, for workload consolidation and tiering of data according to cost and performance requirements. Its architecture delivered through a managed, self-serve model is worth a look for enterprises struggling to efficiently keep up with file data sprawl across multi-cloud environments.