If you were in the beginning stages of planning your company’s data storage architecture, would you consider the cloud a necessary part of that plan? Of course you would. The cloud can help provide access from anywhere, unlimited capacity and a level of redundancy that’s far out of reach for most organizations. Plus, it moves data storage from a large up-front capital expense to an ongoing operating expense.
But most organizations have already made a big investment in traditional, on-premises data storage. So, can organizations bolt the cloud onto their existing storage infrastructure? Certainly, simply sending archive data or backups to the cloud is one way to leverage this remarkable resource, but it doesn’t scrape the surface of taking full advantage of the cloud’s capabilities. If you want to leverage the cloud for primary storage with legacy storage equipment, you can try, but it’s expensive, complicated, cumbersome, and, ultimately, probably won’t provide the performance your end users and applications require.
First, you’ll need to find a way to eliminate the latency between your on-prem locations and the cloud, and the only way to do that is to ensure the data that people and applications are using is cached at the edge. Then, you’ll need to automate the movement of data between the cloud and the edge so that “hot” data is always close to the end user — doing this manually is not feasible. And don’t forget about data protection and disaster recovery. You’ll need to tie in these systems to your new architecture, and that may not be a simple integration. Finally, you’ll need to consider security. All that data needs to be encrypted, both in transit and at rest in the cloud, and you’ll need to make sure you have the tools and the skills to manage it. It’s not a simple task.
Finally, if you do it yourself, you’re going to face egress fees, which public clouds charge customers when they access their data. Pricing varies according to the provider, but it’s usually less than 10 cents per GB, and the more data you access, the lower the per GB cost. But if you’re moving a lot of data, these egress charges can add up to a massive charge. Even worse, egress charges are difficult to predict and often comes as a big surprise, throwing IT budgets completely out of whack.
Thankfully, you don’t need to do all this work on your own. ClearSky fully manages the service, all the way down to the deployment and maintenance of the 2U appliance deployed on premises. We ensure that hot data is cached locally in the appliance to provide flash performance, and, if an end user requests data not stored in the cache, it’s no more than 120 miles away in a PoP so latency will be undetectable. And ClearSky eliminates the need for replication altogether.
Backup and DR take place automatically, with RPOs (recovery point objectives) and RTOs (recovery time objectives) that are essentially zero, and data is encrypted with no one but the customer controlling the keys. Our service is so safe that organizations in industries that manage extremely sensitive information such as healthcare and law chose our service specifically to ensure their data is secure and compliant.
Even better, you don’t need to uproot your legacy storage infrastructure to experience the benefits of the cloud. Certainly, some customers do transfer everything to our service, which renders their legacy storage arrays largely unnecessary. But it’s easy to start small with just a portion of your data, and expand from there. You’ll only pay for a single copy of your data in the service, and we don’t bill you to access your data. As a result, you can keep costs low and end the mess and spend of replicating to the cloud. What’s more, customers cut their total cost of storage by at least 50 percent with ClearSky.
Interested in learning how you can leverage the cloud for primary storage, DR and backup? Sign up for a free trial!