Leveraging Cloud Object Storage for Cost Savings, Scale and Reliability. Avere Systems Adds Cloud Storage as a NAS Tier

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Leveraging Cloud Object Storage for

Cost Savings, Scale and Reliability

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Summary

Tiered storage gives users and applications different options for storing data while also reducing costs. Factors that differentiate storage tiers include scale, reliability, price, performance, and frequency of use. For example, highly active, mission-critical data is stored on costly, high-performance hardware, whereas less active, lower-priority data is stored using cheaper, sometimes commodity hardware.

Object storage, whether delivered from public or private clouds, offers benefits like improved cost efficiency and greater scalability. But security, compatibility and performance issues have kept cloud storage from being effectively integrated as an additional storage tier. Avere Systems has introduced a solution, Avere Cloud NAS, which overcomes these issues and adds cloud storage as another seamless tier within network attached storage (NAS) environments.

Cloud Storage Challenges

Organizations want to take advantage of cloud storage, but issues with file-system incompatibility, poor performance over wide area networks (WAN), and security concerns have hindered adoption.

Context:

• Object storage systems allocate a unique ID to each new data element, or object, for quick access. Then, when it is time to read the data, they do not require complex file hierarchy traversals. This approach, along with data redundancy, leads to advantages over files systems including scale, performance and reliability.

• Some modern applications are engineered to take advantage of object storage. However, most applications rely on file systems and are unable to use object storage directly. • Storage teams want storage options that seamlessly integrate with existing technologies

and tiers; they don’t want to interact with multiple storage architectures. Yet, since most object storage isn’t directly compatible with file systems, object storage often requires separate management.

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• Users and applications demand immediate access to the data they use most. Since the majority of data is only accessed once or twice, a method is needed to keep active data immediately available, even when it is stored in a public cloud.

• New security vulnerabilities are introduced any time data moves across the WAN, so organizations want options to protect data while it is moving to and from cloud storage. They also want to protect data at rest within cloud environments from being accessed by cloud providers or malicious intruders.

Impact:

• Organizations can’t easily leverage cost efficiency and other benefits made possible by cloud storage services like Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) due to incompatibilities between file and object storage systems.

• Storage administrators face additional management overhead due to architectural and administrative differences between file and object storage systems. They may also lack appropriate options for securing cloud-based data.

• WAN performance can diminish the benefits of using cloud storage as an additional storage tier, particularly when users and applications can’t access data fast enough. • Storage teams see the potential benefits of cloud object storage but have struggled to

overcome the related challenges. Without successful cloud storage adoption, they are forced to overspend on storage hardware instead.

Avere Cloud NAS

Avere Cloud NAS easily enables public and private cloud storage to be used as an additional storage tier, providing scale, cost and reliability benefits. Intelligent caching, automatic storage integration, a global namespace, and data encryption help customers overcome the most prevalent issues associated with using cloud storage.

Capabilities:

• Cloud NAS provides a gateway to Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier storage services. It presents a file-system interface to users and applications, allowing them to interact with object storage the same way they would with any NFS or CIFS file system.

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• Cloud NAS provides immediate access to mission-critical data by intelligently caching and queuing data with respect to user behavior. Latency and throughput speeds over WAN only become a factor when retrieving new data.

• Cloud NAS secures data entering and leaving the LAN with 256-bit encryption, protecting it against potential security threats over the WAN and in the cloud.

Benefits:

• Cloud NAS provides an additional, seamless cloud storage tier for NAS environments, without incompatibilities or management complexities.

• Intelligent caching lets users and applications access their data from cloud storage at speeds comparable to, or faster than, storage hardware on premises. The most often used data is kept on Edge Filers at the edge of the LAN, providing near-immediate access. • Customers can use public cloud storage services such as Amazon S3 and Amazon

Glacier. They can also use object storage from some private cloud systems, including Cleversafe.

• Cloud NAS optimizes spending by reducing direct storage hardware costs as well as indirect costs associated with space, power, cooling and management. Using more cost-effective cloud storage also reduces the average cost per gigabyte stored.

• Customers can rest assured that their data is protected in the cloud. With advanced

encryption, data is unreadable to unapproved users as soon as it leaves the premises. Only users with the right level of access can retrieve and use data from cloud storage.

Solution Assessment

+ Cloud NAS helps customers easily take advantage of the benefits of cloud object storage,

including better price-to-performance ratios, massive scalability and improved reliability.

+ Cloud NAS overcomes latency and throughput issues associated with the WAN, so users

and applications can more easily access their file data from the cloud.

+ Cloud NAS is certified for use with cloud storage from Amazon, so customers can safely

and easily use the most popular public storage.

+ Hardware redundancy and cluster-based high availability make Cloud NAS enterprise ready.

- Avere is in the process of certifying Cloud NAS for a wider range of object storage

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Recommendations:

• Those that want to easily add the benefits of cloud storage to their file systems should consider Cloud NAS because of its NFS/CIFS-to-object gateway functionality and the global namespace it provides.

• Those that want to provide rapid access to file data stored in the cloud should also consider Cloud NAS for its intelligent caching, which makes high-demand data available as if it were stored on premises.

• Those that want a cloud storage tier seamlessly integrated with their NAS architecture, along with robust encryption, should strongly consider Cloud NAS.

Summary:

Cloud object storage offers unmatched scale, reliability and cost benefits over other storage architectures. Unfortunately, latency and performance issues over the WAN, incompatibility between object and file systems, and security concerns have kept many organizations from using public cloud storage. To successfully adopt cloud storage, and gain the associated benefits, organizations need a solution that helps them overcome these challenges.

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About Neovise

Based on independent research and analysis, Neovise delivers essential knowledge and guidance to cloud-related technology vendors, service providers and systems integrators, as well as business and IT organizations that purchase and use cloud-related services and technology. Our offerings include research, advisory and collateral development services that help our customers— and their customers—make optimal decisions and formulate winning strategies. Research. Analyze. Neovise.

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