These days, storage is taking up an ever-increasing portion of on-premise budgets, prompting users and IT departments to search for new ways to rationalize costs while maintaining their operational capabilities. The advent of public cloud computing has made it possible for IT to forgo expensive capital investments in computer hardware and convert storage costs into operational instead of capital expenses.
These developments have brought hybrid cloud storage architecture to the forefront. Utilizing both on-premise and off-premise cloud storage has resulted in a cost-effective solution for most enterprise needs, with public cloud providers offering a broad range of storage options augmenting that hybrid cloud storage architecture.
For instance, object stores and file and block services provide unstructured storage capacity, with object storage platforms offering local access within the cloud and remote access from the on-premise data center. Meanwhile, block and file services rely on public compute instances and are normally restricted to access in the public cloud. Cloud suppliers are also offering structured products that rely on a range of proprietary and SQL/NoSQL database platforms.
Accessing the Hybrid Cloud
Users normally have access to public cloud storage through public cloud computing services or the cloud provider via Internet or private WAN. Remotely accessing on-premise applications and public cloud storage often leads to increased latency, which could have a negative impact on application performance, thus making direct connectivity to file and block storage undesirable. However, these issues are not as prominent when dealing with object storage, due to its greater reliance on bandwidth in terms of performance.
There are other aspects of the hybrid cloud that organizations should be aware of:
- Public cloud object stores offer unlimited capacity scalability, reasonable access times, and excellent durability, making them ideal for backups and archives. Some suppliers have even integrated “cloud connectors” into their existing offerings to take advantage of this.
- Object stores can also be used for primary data, including files, images, media, and other unstructured data. This allows the IT organization to reduce its reliance on storage hardware by hosting customer-facing websites and other applications using media procured directly from the cloud.
- Cloud suppliers may charge for storage on a terabyte-per-month basis, in addition to network access charges. While adding data to object stores won’t incur networking charges, accessing it outside of the cloud provider may be a different story.
- Suppliers may also charge per terabyte of logical data stored, even if it’s highly compressed. Using deduplicating software prior to migrating data into an object store can help reduce costs.
Hybrid Cloud: A Tactical Decision
There is a wide variety of options for public cloud storage access, from the Amazon Web Services S3 platform to VMware’s Cross Cloud Architecture. However, most of these options are supplier-specific and utilize proprietary formats for data storage. In the meantime, there’s no universal data standard between on-premise and public cloud solutions just yet. This may lead organizations to consider the use of hybrid cloud storage as a tactical rather than strategic decision. Contact us at eXemplify today and learn how our expertise can benefit your organization when it comes to cloud computing solutions.