Until today, deploying storage into the cloud required compromise.
Cloud computing, public and private, is now a critical part of the infrastructure of nearly every IT architecture, no matter the size. There has been an explosion of innovation focused on providing IT the tools required to seamless migrate and manage workloads across on-premise and cloud boundaries. This is critical for the adoption of cloud technologies.
What is often lost when talking about cloud computing is the thundering reality of data gravity. Workloads are light-weight, right up to the point when you attempt to provide those workloads with data. There remains a gross disparity between the ability to store and serve data to on-premise infrastructure, and providing that same function to cloud-based infrastructure.
At the same time that workloads are being enabled to move freely between the data center and the cloud, the nature of data itself is changing. The growing fields of AI-enabled analytics and edge computing are working from opposite ends to make data active and alive. No longer is data simply warehoused—now it provides the very fuel that propels modern business forward.
This challenge doesn’t just impact traditional IT. We are experiencing the “born in the cloud” era—new companies are founded every day who will never have significant on-premise infrastructure, and will suffer from this disparity
I recently wrote about the significant difference between how data can be managed within a data center, and how it can be managed within the various cloud offerings. This is a disparity that can really only be addressed by innovation that flows from the storage industry.
Today Pure Storage stepped up to close that gap. Its new Pure Storage Cloud Block Storage offering promises to enable an unprecedented level of storage capability in the cloud.
Arrays in the cloud
The Pure Storage Cloud Block Storage brings the same industrial-strength block storage that defines its physical on-site offerings to the virtual world of Amazon’s AWS cloud. Pure’s new offering is a 100% software virtual array deployed onto Amazon’s EC2 infrastructure, leveraging Amazon’s underlying EBS block storage technology.
While other storage vendors are taking a more cautious approach, utilizing cloud as a snapshot or backup target, Pure’s Cloud Block Storage solution delivers the capabilities of a full enterprise storage array.
Data management is often about maximizing the ratio between the amount of data there is to process and the amount of data that is written to storage media. While this is impactful in physical arrays, the economics of cloud computing can amplify the costs of storing and transmitting physical bits of information—making it even more critical.
This makes Pure’s data management capabilities very exciting. The same deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning will give IT the tools they need to deploy an efficient and economical solution.
Leveraging the same technology in the cloud as it does on its physical storage products gives Pure the ability to deliver a truly bi-directional solution, with a common set of interfaces (through both GUI and API) to manage data in a hybrid cloud environment. A virtual array hosted in the cloud becomes just another array in your infrastructure.
It’s not enough to simply offer the value proposition of a physical array in the cloud. Maximizing the benefit of a cloud deployment requires leveraging the intrinsic capabilities provided by that cloud. Pure Storage leverages the reliable infrastructure provided by Amazon to deliver on a number of benefits.
Pure’s Cloud Block Storage can leverage native cloud block storage services to aggregate performance and reliability across multiple cloud stores. The solution can be deployed across multiple Amazon availability zones, providing intrinsic protection against even Amazon regional cloud outages. The unified interface between Pure’s on-site and cloud offerings allows disaster recovery, migration, and backup both in the cloud, between clouds, and on-site. That is extremely powerful.
The offering arrives with a long list of benefits and features, which you can find detailed on the Pure Storage website. What is important to take away is that Pure Storage is closing the capability gap between what is achievable on-premise and in the cloud.
CloudSnap data protection
Alongside the Cloud Block Storage solution, Pure Storage announced the availability of CloudSnap for AWS. CloudSnap provides a data protection solution that complements Pure’s storage offerings.
CloudSnap integrates with Pure1 to deliver cloud data management functions like protection policies, snapshot cataloging, and protection reporting. Pure Storage CloudSnap enables portable snapshots that are incremental, deduplicated, and self-describing.
Pure Storage CloudSnap allows for rapid recovery on-premise, while allowing for retention and recovery in the cloud. In this era of increasing compliance and governance, coupled with almost daily reports of enterprise-wide ransomware attacks, this is a nice capability.
Pure Storage has always been an innovator. It grew to prominence by recognizing the promise of flash technology to provide a better experience to the IT practitioner. Pure leveraged this insight and brought the industry a new breed of storage array—one without spinning disks. It seems obvious today, but Pure Storage disrupted the entire storage industry with its All Flash Array. It reset the bar for storage capabilities.
Pure made waves earlier this year when it publicly talked about how the storage industry was under-serving data consumers. Pure Storage proposed that a new Data Hub architecture is required to address the needs of the modern enterprise. My colleague Patrick Moorhead provided great perspective on Pure’s Data Hub announcement.
It’s all about the data. That’s how Pure Storage looks at things. Pure Storage brought the legacy storage vendors kicking and screaming into the All-Flash Storage world, and helped enable the high-speed data-driven analytics world that we live in today in the process. Its new cloud offerings promise to do the same for cloud storage.
The storage industry will inevitably follow, but, in the meantime, it’s fun to just watch a leader lead.