Too much data that’s too difficult to manage? There’s a cloud for that and its name is “hybrid.”
Virtualization has transformed the data center. It continues its expansion and makes private clouds possible. Cost savings aside, though, it’s not enough. IT needs to expand beyond the private cloud to store and access voluminous amounts of data and associated workloads at remote service-provider locations. IT needs to create a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Features, functions and capabilities are developing quickly on this front. In a true hybrid cloud of the future, users will be able to easily and quickly replicate their data and workloads between hypervisors within their private cloud, then move them to public cloud providers and back again just as easily and quickly, while managing the whole thing from a single interface.
It’s the role of the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, such as Peak 10, to provide a pool of resources that can be quickly deployed to deliver a new service or application, directed by an orchestration engine that automatically configures the underlying infrastructure required for the new service.
That brings us to converged storage. Storage convergence is being driven by growing demand for IT resources in the physical, virtual and cloud environments. Storage convergence can remove the physical, logical and management barriers that have historically encumbered data storage and retrieval.
In a converged storage system, standardized platforms employ widely available x86-based hardware to streamline operations and control costs. Virtualization enables scale-out storage that can support data growth and mobility with a minimum of disruption. The result is an increase of computer power, bandwidth and storage capacity that can exceed that of a single traditional scale-up storage array or high performance computer. Scale-out storage also helps provide timely IT provisioning and better resource management, as well as improved system availability. It transfers management from the device to storage, server and networking simultaneously.
Converged storage supports the multi-tenant architecture of public cloud computing. Multiple machines or users access the virtual and physical resources – storage, processors and networks – at the same time, but without sacrificing security or data privacy. Converged storage does this by moving application workloads between disk systems.
Peak 10 technology partners EMC and Zerto are right in the middle of these new developments. For example, Zerto recently announced plans for its own Cloud Fabric™ initiative. The intention is to provide a new infrastructure layer between cloud providers and hypervisors. Movement of VMs and data between local hypervisors and public and private clouds will be easier, requiring no application reconfiguration or retooling. This is an important step toward knocking down the barriers between different private and public clouds, and enabling a true hybrid cloud.
Cloud Fabric™ has the potential to free IT from lock-in to a particular cloud service or hypervisor, allowing users and IT to choose the service that makes the most sense at a particular time, and to move between services as conditions change. This model will permit IT to select the right platform for each project, based on SLA, cost, performance, features or other criteria without having to worry.
The result will be a federation of services all available interchangeably, which will lead to freedom of choice for users and IT, increased savings in both capital and operating expenses, and the agility that everyone wants.