Hybrid Cloud Storage - Two Different Approaches

Hybrid Cloud Advantages

Hybrid cloud solutions offer several advantages over pure-play cloud or pure-play on-premises approaches:

  • Cost control: having the flexibility to move workloads to the cloud or back into your datacentre allows you to track and control costs. For example, if you find a situation where cloud costs have spun out of control, moving the application in-house may be a good solution.

  • Elasticity: By having the option of moving workloads around, dealing with temporary peaks in demand can be as easy as spinning up additional containers in the cloud and adding capacity for your application, even if the application normally resides in-house.

  • Development Agility: Hybrid cloud allows you to develop applications rapidly in the public cloud and shift to an in-house hosting model for production. This is useful when production costs are prohibitive in the public cloud and when data security concerns prevent use of the public cloud for production

Storage Is a Major Constraint

When Amazon pioneered the public cloud with the introduction of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006, it took a modern web services approach to storage with the introduction of AWS. One of the strengths of AWS is the decoupling of hardware from other layers via APIs. However, that means that your applications must be storage API aware in order to use Amazon Web Services. This is not true for the vast majority of applications created to-date.

The flip side is also true. If you create an application that is designed to run on AWS and use the storage APIs in the cloud, it will not run on conventional storage in your datacentre because of the absence of the AWS API.

Two Approaches for Solving the Storage Problem

In the past couple of months, I’ve made videos on two products that attack the hybrid storage problem from two different points of view:

  • Pure Storage attacks the first problem, enabling legacy applications to easily migrate into AWS. In Pure’s approach a layer of software emulates standard disk hardware and sits in between the application and the AWS storage API. This enables you to migrate legacy applications into the Amazon cloud (for more details, see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIaDIj9ND38&t=2s).

  • Cloudian attacks the second problem, enabling modern cloud-centric applications to migrate from AWS into the datacentre (or to other cloud platforms) by using a layer of software that emulates the AWS storage API and maps it to standard datacentre storage. (for more details, see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VjQw8A3kLQ&t=461s)

If you find yourself in a situation where you’d like to have the flexibility of moving an application from the datacentre to the cloud or vice versa, there are now good solutions that make this possible without extensive re-engineering of your application. Please let me know if we can help by dropping me a line at hmorgan@quickintel.com

Huw Morgan