Cloud Control to Major Tom: Page 2

Cloud computing offers significant advantages, yet how does your business stay in control as it heads for the cloud?
Posted April 28, 2011

Drew Robb

Drew Robb

(Page 2 of 2)

“Whether an organization is looking to design a private cloud environment to better serve its internal business users or a service provider looking to build an infrastructure to sell their own cloud services,” Sandorfi said, “they need the ability to segregate data securely and manage varying data sets and workloads according to their individual requirements, all while capturing and measuring consumption and feature use at a granular level for reporting and/or chargeback.”

He added that the HDS cloud products work with any disk arrays such as those from rivals such as NetApp and EMC.


Planet Earth is Blue and There’s Nothing I Can Do

One big problem with the cloud is that once you are tempted to dump a ton of data into it, you can be in trouble if you need to get the data back again in a hurry.

That is one of the issues that concerned Jeff Rountree, Global Network Manager for Pump Solutions Group (PSG). He has implemented the cloud in his company using AT&T as the cloud service provider, backed up by a Whitewater Cloud Storage Accelerator by Riverbed.

With a company network that spans the USA, China, France, Germany and India, Rountree explained that there was a need for more and more storage. Before data is sent up to the cloud, it is encrypted within the Riverbed appliance.

“Whitewater Accelerators optimize and deduplicate data so that keeps my costs down in a pay-as-you-go cloud model,” said Rountree. “I end up paying for 10 GB instead of a 100 GB.”

Client devices send data to a backup data, which forwards it to the Accelerator and from there to the cloud. This has resulted in backups being cut in half and the elimination of having to stage backups on disk before sending them to tape. A copy of all data is retained onsite within the Riverbed appliance. As an additional safeguard, the cloud provider supplies both local and remote replication.

“The basics still matter though, such as making sure your backups are correct,” said Rountree. “If you put a bad backup up in the cloud, you end up with multiple copies of bad data.”

Cloud storage management is provided by the Whitewater Accelerator. Rountree said he plugged it in, gave it an IP address and then mapped the storage devices to the backup target. Sending tapes offsite in trucks to an outside archive provider is no longer required.

“The benefits have been no more tape restores, a lot more flexibility in disaster recovery and about two hours a day less of administrative overhead,” said Rountree.


Commencing Countdown Engines On

Deduplicating the data before sending data to the cloud keeps the volume down. But what about speeding up transfer rate so you can get it in and out with rapidity?

That challenge is addressed by StorSimple. Its StorSimple 5000 hybrid cloud appliance utilizes solid state disk (SSD) to add speed. It also comes with built-in deduplication to reduce disk consumption and an interface to manage the connection to online storage providers such as Amazon, AT&T and Zetta.

This setup enables vital data to be retained in the appliance while everything else is moved off to the cloud. The system architecture enables high throughput for data sent onto and pulled out of the cloud.

“The StorSimple 5000 eliminates the nightmare of having to archive aging data to tape,” said Ian Howells, chief marketing officer of StorSimple. “90 percent of active data can be read from within an SSD.”

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Tags: cloud computing, cloud services, data storage management, HP, solid state disk drives

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