Cloud Native Storage vs Third-Party Storage - Part 1


Many organisations already have or are in the process of migrating applications and data to the public cloud. One of the greatest challenges is Storage and Data Management and its associated requirements. “Data Gravity” is also a commonly used term in relation to issues associated with migrating large volumes of data to the cloud. What does this mean and how do we address these challenges?

All businesses that are more than a few years old are used to using some form of Enterprise Storage arrays, whether that is traditional SANs or more modern software defined or Hyperconverged platforms.

The storage industry has benefited from over 30 years of development and experience in safely and securely storing and processing application data using fundamental architectures like RAID, Dual Controllers and Erasure Coding that have been proven to work.

However Native Cloud Storage services in the public cloud mostly do not have these features and there are 100’s of AWS and Azure native storage offerings, it would be natural to think cloud native is the best in the Public Cloud.

This is not always the case.

We need storage that is useful to enterprise applications. Many enterprise applications are not written and designed to use native storage offerings like S3. This means you can’t just lift and shift an enterprise application to the cloud and expect it to use the native storage.

It’s better and easier to use a platform that’s similar to or an extension of what you have on-premises.

This makes migration to the public cloud easier and more secure.

To start let’s discuss what Data Gravity is.

Data Gravity essentially means that most traditional applications need to have their data stored close to them to prevent latency issues.

In addition to this the large quantities of data everyone is generating, is hard to move across long distances whether it is from Data Centre to Data Centre or from Data Centre to the Cloud.

Data has Gravity.

From a Corporate/Enterprise IT view it is important to focus on what’s useful to your applications and how to overcome Data Gravity and what’s useful to you in the public cloud.

Unless your applications are written and architected to take advantage of Cloud Native Storage, it is important to have data in the cloud that is consistent with your enterprise data on-premises and your “real-life” applications that need to access and store data in that way.

This is where third party storage products are extremely useful. 

The data has to be accessible to your application in a way that works. Unless you rewrite your application to take advantage of cloud native storage you need to use a 3rd party solution that is like you’re on-premises one. If you want to burst from on-premises to the cloud this is paramount.

In part 2 of the blog we will discuss some solutions and options to Data Management in the Cloud.

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