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Cloud SANs: What the Data Storage Vendors Forgot

Storage area networks (SANs) have become the ubiquitous deployment model for block data storage systems

Storage area networks (SANs) have become the ubiquitous deployment model for block data storage systems, interconnecting formerly siloed storage arrays with a common high-speed network running standardized protocols such as Fibre Channel or iSCSI. It was over a decade ago that the ability to connect multi-vendor storage arrays into a common network proved revolutionary and changed the way storage arrays were configured and consumed by businesses. However, with continuing advancements in cloud storage solutions, IT administrators are now rethinking the traditional SAN.

As with many mature technologies, SANs have forced IT administrators to accept a number of limitations. The most notable are

  • The traditional 3-5 year lifecycle of storage arrays, resulting in costly upgrades, frequent migrations and the introduction of considerable business risk
  • The inability to scale performance across geographical distances without storage arrays at each site
  • The inability to easily allocate and re-allocate storage capacity across sites
  • Replication and disaster recovery that require double the number of storage arrays and infrastructure

A combined cloud storage and enterprise cloud storage gateway solution, such as CloudArray, easily overcomes all of these limitations. Pay-as-you-go cloud storage breaks the traditional storage lifecycle offering an unlimited tier of data storage without a need for hardware upgrades, while enterprise storage gateway technology enables secure local-speed performance and iSCSI access from virtually any geographic location with the ability to dynamically allocate/reallocate storage across sites as needed.

TwinStrata’s recent launch of CloudArray 3.0 extends these cloud benefits beyond just public and private clouds — to existing data storage. With CloudArray 3.0, it is easier than ever to build a Cloud SAN that transcends the limitations of existing SANs. Companies can enjoy the attributes of cloud storage immediately using their existing storage as the starting point and, when ready, seamlessly expand their existing storage pool with public and/or private cloud storage.

CloudArray Cloud SAN

Cloud SANs eclipse the limitations of traditional SANs by offering high-performance, optimized data access from virtually anywhere, with a very small local footprint. This makes them ideal for remote offices or other distributed environments. Cloud SANs also offer centralized capacity management and centralized disaster recovery for flexible and robust multi-site deployments.

Key benefits of Cloud SANs include

  • Ability to work with public clouds, private clouds and/or existing storage using software or hardware caching appliances, each with access to virtually unlimited capacity
  • Ability to scale local speed performance across sites without distance limitations
  • Ability to allocate/reallocate storage capacity between sites dynamically, simplifying movement of capacity resources to locations that need them most
  • Built-in consolidated replication and disaster recovery for each caching appliance

As ground-breaking as SANs were when they launched over a decade ago, Cloud SANs represent the next revolutionary step in simplifying deployment of data storage for businesses. Whereas traditional SANs are limited in terms of multi-site scale, capacity utilization and cost, Cloud SANs offer robust, cost-effective solutions that scale geographically and optimize data storage utilization.

Find out just how simple it is to get started with a CloudArray Cloud SAN.

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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