Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Larry Alton, Shelly Palmer

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Storage Use Models

There were two main camps of IT

I was on the road last week, doing my bit for a roadshow with VMWare and NetApp sponsored by CDW. My team has spread these trips out amongst us, and I drew Nashville as my city to visit. I’ve been through and around Nashville, but never stayed there. This trip was no exception to that rule, I saw the airport, the hotel, and the venue where the event was held. But that’s okay, I was there to do business, not sight-see, so I was in one morning and out the next. The attendance was okay, and the attendees were as focused and engaged as you can expect at 4:30 on a Thursday afternoon in a dark room, and we had some good conversations about what people are doing and how they’re doing it. Now Nashville might not have been the best place for me to go to talk with IT folks about what they’re doing, it shares a lot with Green Bay, and many of the IT folks I talk to on a regular basis are in Green Bay enterprises. But it was good in the sense that no one there was familiar to me, so I was getting a completely different view than the one I get on a regular basis. Except it wasn’t. There were two main camps of IT there – those who were plowing ahead with cloud and out on the edge of the curve, and those who aren’t really looking into it too closely yet.

The one bit that drew a lot of interest out of all the cloud discussion was F5’s ARX and ARX Cloud Extender, along with the models in which people were thinking of using them. With any new technology, there is always some amount of groping to discover the best-fit use cases and then iron out the kinks. With that said, I thought I’d cover some of the areas people were, or are thinking of, using cloud storage, and what that might look like. This is a blog, so it is going to be a bit short on implementation details, but drop me a line if you want to hear more about any of it. Or let me know if you’ve pursued one of these and I’m missing a major gotcha.

It is no mistake that none of these options includes “we’re using it for web app short-term storage”. That’s a use, but I see it as an incidental use. The volume of storage you’re going to use in this scenario is minimal and doesn’t really impact the way you do business today – if you move a web app to the cloud, cloud storage is one way to give it access to space via Web Service APIs. But you won’t be storing War and Peace out there or anything in this scenario, so I’m skipping by it.

It’s Just Another Disk…
Lots of Cloud Storage Gateways present a block-level disk for you to utilize within your organization. This is perhaps the easiest way to get up to speed, since you can treat it like a SAN, mount the disk from where ever, and utilize your existing AAA scheme to control access. If the Cloud Storage Gateway also encrypts on the way out (it had better), then you’re protected on the back end, and internal AAA protects you on the front end.

It has its issues. For one, not every system out there is designed to take advantage of raw disk. The couple of Cloud Storage Gateways I’ve looked closely at present as iSCSI disks, which is fine if you’re already running iSCSI drivers on your servers, but you might have to modify any machine that requires access if not. Not a terribly big deal, the iSCSI client software out there (for Windows and *NIX) has been around long enough that the most heinous issues have been worked out, but it is one more bit of software running on every server that needs access to the disk. One way around this issue is to install iSCSI client software on one server, install the Cloud Storage Gateway disk onto that server, and then share the root directory. So you would be making one server the “gateway” to the “cloud storage gateway” disk, in effect translating from iSCSI to NAS protocols for you.

It’s Just Another Share…
Alternatively, you can get a cloud storage gateway that presents as a NAS device – CIFS and/or NFS – and then the disks will show up as mountable/mappable shares on the network. This has the advantage of not needing any modification to your servers other than that which any NAS would require. Assuming again that the gateway encrypts on the way out, you can still use AAA to control who has access to what on the disk, but it has been my experience that such lock-down of shares is rarely done except when necessary. Personal information (perhaps a section of HR), sales information (projections, for example), legal information (acquisitions, etc), and customer information are about all that gets a serious lock-down effort in a NAS environment, but whatever you’re doing, this option lets you cover it.

It’s a Tier…
I wrote at length about this for a publication, I’ll circle back and link it in when the article is published. But that means I’ll keep it short here. If you are actively tiering your storage utilizing any of the available tools from ARX for NAS to the SAN tiering of HP StorageWorks, then the obvious solution is to throw your cloud storage whether it comes through a gateway or not into the pool as a tier. Then you can say “send all the little-used stuff out there” safely, it will be encrypted, the system will determine what gets moved based upon information/rules you supply, and you’ll have more storage space on tiers one and two.

It’s a Backup Target…
Yes indeed, what a wonderful never-ending backup target you can make of the cloud. Put in a cloud storage gateway, then point your disk-to-disk backups at it, go home and sleep at night. Well maybe. First up is that it is not unlimited. You’re paying for it every month, so don’t go crazy with unlimited retention policies. More important is restore testing. Yes, most cloud storage gateways compress the data headed out, but remember these are not compression companies. That means they compress “good enough”, but there’s still going to be a lot out on your cloud space. And in the case of a catastrophe, how long is it going to take to get that information squeezed back in through your WAN link? Test, retest, time the restores, and time them again. There is a variable in here that isn’t present in many restore situations – the WAN. So make certain you know how long it will take you to restore service given a worst-case scenario, and make sure the business has a tolerance for the time it will take.

It has been a while since George Crump from Storage Switzerland and I traded head-nods in blogs, but his InformationWeek blog is ahead of me on this point, and is worth a read.

It’s Our Primary Storage…
You’re way ahead of me. Maybe one day this will be true for many enterprises, but external storage as primary storage is fraught with peril. If your WAN connection goes down or gets spotty, there’s a world of things that happen – from failed storage to outright inability to work. I know some seriously small businesses are doing this, but when a company I deal with from one of my hobbies asks me about it, I tell them it’s not yet time and they should keep doing whatever they were doing before the word Cloud came about – but do point them at easy disk-to-disk backups as described above.

We’re Not Using It At All…
Well, that’s a valid answer, only you know your systems, your organization's appetite for change and risk, and the technical expertise available, but I’m certain you could find use for slow(er) storage that grows as you need it without thin provisioning, and you pay for as you grow, rather than up-front? I know I can, without betting the entire organization on it. There is a lot of low-priority noise out there that could be dumped to the cloud, particularly six months or a year after it was useful, and no one would notice. I’ll even go so far as to be blatantly biased. If that interests you, call your F5 sales geek and ask them about ARX with ARX cloud extender. It can shuffle things out to the cloud, and the user will still go to the same place in the directory structure to access it. In my opinion, that’s huge.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
Elon Musk is among the notable industry figures who worries about the power of AI to destroy rather than help society. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, embraces all that is going on. AI is most powerful when deployed across the vast networks being built for Internets of Things in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, healthcare, government and other sectors. Is AI transforming IoT for the good or the bad? Do we need to worry about its potential destructive power? Or will we...
Cloud-based disaster recovery is critical to any production environment and is a high priority for many enterprise organizations today. Nearly 40% of organizations have had to execute their BCDR plan due to a service disruption in the past two years. Zerto on IBM Cloud offer VMware and Microsoft customers simple, automated recovery of on-premise VMware and Microsoft workloads to IBM Cloud data centers.
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
Your clients expect transactions to never fail, cloud access to be fast and always on, and their data to be protected - no exceptions. Hear about how Secure Service Container (SSC), an IBM-exclusive open technology, enables secure building and hosting of next-generation applications, both cloud and on-premises. SSC protects the full stack from external and insider threats, allows automatic encryption of data in-flight and at-rest, and is tamper-resistant during installation and runtime – with no...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...