Cloud object storage services stand to alleviate many of the challenges associated with on-premises file storage. The storage manager no longer needs to worry about capacity planning, storage systems do not need to be purchased and deployed every three to five years, data no longer needs to be migrated across those systems, and valuable data center floorspace does not need to be procured. Meanwhile, cloud object storage service providers such as Microsoft, provide high availability and disaster recovery, because they store copies of data across multiple data center sites across the globe. They are also building data integrity capabilities such as alert monitoring, automated testing of backup and restore integrity, and detection of lost write input/output (I/O) operations.
Cloud object storage is maturing into the ideal storage target for file workloads, but it does require some help. Firstly, the file system cannot simply just be lifted and shifted to the cloud. Eradicating the hardware-related limitations of legacy scale-up network-attached storage (NAS) architectures and obtaining the necessary degrees of massive scalability, requires rearchitecting the file system so that the data structure, including metadata, may live natively in the S3 object storage protocol.
Additionally, the cloud does require some additional data protection capabilities, on top of those that the cloud provider offers. For example, continuous versioning that can capture delta changes to files in an immutable, write once read many (WORM) format, is helpful to being able to address eDiscovery requests and to be able to quickly recover in the event of a malware attack.
Finally, but far from least importantly, the cloud is notorious for its latency. Storage managers should consider deploying edge devices that can serve as a tier for fast access to the organization’s hottest data, and that can automatically archive data to the lower-cost cloud object storage archive on a policy-driven basis, as the data ages. Being able to centrally manage these appliances is important to controlling management overhead, and also facilitating data consistency, while ensuring the right data is being funneled to where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
Nasuni recently joined Storage Switzerland for a webinar that dives more into the shortcomings of legacy NAS infrastructures when it comes to serving modern file workload demands, and also how a cloud-native file system can complement public cloud services to overcome these headaches. Access the webinar on demand to learn more.
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