Cloud Integration Is Here, And That’s a Good Thing

It’s been mentioned on this blog before that unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, there’s no avoiding that cloud is coming. Cloud storage, cloud compute, cloud services and the word cloud is fast becoming a part of every IT solution on the market and will come to revolutionize the way organizations do business over the next 5-10 years.  EMC is preparing for these technology changes by integrating the cloud as a new tier of its more traditional enterprise storage solutions.CloudArrayBlog

Perhaps at the forefront of these technologies is the ever-growing cloud storage market. Object-based cloud storage solutions are gaining traction across organizations both large and small by providing scalable, affordable data storage. While this may seem like a worrisome trend to some, we see it as an opportunity and here’s why:

Cloud storage is filling a gap in the data storage market to meet growing demand for lower cost online storage options. As data volumes explode and regulatory requirements extend retention requirements, organizations are holding onto more information than ever before. In many cases, this data ends up filling up storage arrays or getting shipped offsite on magnetic tapes, but these options are inefficient and costly.

Cloud storage provides an alternative way to store this inactive or archived data more affordably and efficiently. Sure, latencies will not match the speed of high-performance primary storage, but for a lower tier of data, this is more than acceptable.

So we embrace cloud storage, not as a replacement for storage arrays, but as a complementary and soon ubiquitous low cost tier. Here is where EMC brings unique value: cloud storage no longer has to be its own silo. While cloud storage gateway products like our own CloudArray have made huge strides toward addressing security, bandwidth and integration concerns, imagine instead leveraging your storage arrays, with robust interfaces and enterprise-proven reliability to seamlessly manage cloud storage tiers.

It’s this vision that has prompted EMC to begin integrating cloud storage capability across the portfolio as evidenced by the recent integration between VMAX3 and CloudArray.  Part of the FAST.X announcement at EMC World, CloudArray integration with VMAX3 provides an easy means for tiering archive and inactive data off of VMAX3 and into the cloud.

VMAX3 sophisticated data tiering software is the element that makes cloud storage integration seamless and transforms the face of cloud storage to look like the industry’s leading enterprise storage array. For those who know CloudArray, one element that doesn’t change is enterprise encryption capability enabling multi-layer security and local management of keys. What also doesn’t change is an open cloud ecosystem, whether you choose to write to a private cloud installation like Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS), our cloud service provider partners like AT&T or Vodafone, or public clouds providers like Microsoft Azure, Google or Amazon.

CloudArray’s integration with VMAX3 represents a pivotal step in the inevitable combination of cloud and traditional enterprise storage. By providing a seamless tier of cloud storage for VMAX3, we see the beginning of a future in which cloud will serve as a complementary piece to of any primary storage solution.

About the Author: Nicos Vekiarides