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Breaking the Storage Array Life Cycle with Cloud Storage: Part III

How do you leverage tiers of cloud storage in a manner that integrates seamlessly into your existing storage infrastructure?

While Part I and Part II of this series spelled out some of the economic benefits and deployment models of cloud storage, today’s installment will take a more pragmatic look at how to deploy cloud storage in environments that already have traditional storage infrastructure. While replacing traditional storage with cloud storage will break the traditional storage array life cycle, a complete “forklift” replacement may seem a bit of a stretch.

A more conservative approach might be to identify data suitable for cloud storage such as secondary copies, backups, off-site data and/or archives. Interestingly, archives are often stored on traditional onsite storage to make them easily accessible to meet compliance requirements. However, looking at the chart below, you can see that ESG’s research estimates a very rapid growth rate for archive data, approximately 56% per year.

Archive data growth

With literally hundreds of thousands of Petabytes of archives to store over the next few years, the benefits of offloading archives or infrequently accessed data from traditional storage are numerous.  In fact, transitioning this data to cloud storage can extend the traditional life cycle of storage arrays beyond the typical 3-5 year time frame. Imagine a 6-10 year storage array life cycle instead. That would result in a reduction of capital investment in storage infrastructure by half and introduce a significantly more efficient just-in-time, pay-as-you-go model.

So how do you leverage tiers of cloud storage in a manner that integrates seamlessly into your existing storage infrastructure?  Well, in combination with a cloud storage gateway or appliance like CloudArray, you may want to consider storage tiering software. Auto-tiering software can be found in storage virtualization solutions, data classification solutions, and even in some hypervisor solutions. Once you choose an auto-tiering framework, you can immediately begin to extend the life cycle of existing storage arrays and leverage the benefits of cloud storage by selectively offloading infrequently used data. Look for a more detailed discussion of auto-tiering solutions in a future post.

In the meantime, download CloudArray today to start enjoying all the benefits of cloud storage and discover how easy it is to break the traditional storage array life cycle.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.

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