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The Benefits of Multi-Cloud in a Storage Environment

June 22, 2017 No Comments

Data storage is evolving. And while enterprises are seeing the value in maintaining on-premises storage for best performance, control, and cost-efficiency, most CIOs are pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy that includes the use of private and public-cloud storage services. Vice President of Product Management at Scality, Paul Speciale offers insights on multi-cloud – from how multi-cloud harnesses the power of thousands of cloud compute instances to what’s in store for the future of multi-cloud.

  • Q. How is multi-cloud playing a role in data storage today?

While most enterprise data today still originates and is stored in on-premises storage solutions, use cases for Hybrid cloud storage are emerging in many industries. For example, in media & entertainment companies – the creation of content in on-premises private clouds leveraging object storage is prevalent, but the use of public cloud services for content distribution (CDN) or compute bursting for transcoding is growing. In Financial Services, the need for on-premises storage still provides the best security, control and performance – but public clouds offer compelling solutions for off-site compliance and long-term archival purposes such as AWS Glacier and Microsoft’s Azure Blobstore cool tier. In addition, cloud services for analytics such as AWS Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) provide another value-added service for use of public clouds.

  • Q. What are the biggest benefits from utilizing a multi-cloud data storage environment? 

The biggest values of utilizing a multi-cloud storage strategy are in leveraging the business services provided in the cloud, such as native analytics, in content distribution or computing services, enabling greater levels of security and data availability than that provided by a single cloud, and in using the efficiencies of each cloud service to get the best efficiency for a given feature, for example Glacier from AWS, but lower nearline storage.

  • Q. How will multi-cloud adoption impact data compliance and regulations, such as GDPR?

Multi-cloud can help achieve compliance due to compliance certifications being achieved by certain cloud vendors, such as for HIPAA and SEC in the AWS cloud. In addition, compliance can be achieved through, multi-location (regional) data placement control to ensure data sovereignty (maintaining certain data “in country”) to achieve locality requirements for GDPR.

  • Q. Any examples of customers who have successfully deployed multi-cloud?

Yes, we have large customers in media content distribution using the Scality RING for on-premises storage of media assets, and then using the AWS and MS Azure Clouds for Content Distribution.

  • Q. What are some challenges that businesses need to be aware of when deploying multi-cloud storage? 

True Hybrid cloud storage has not been achieved by today’s gateway and cloud-backup solutions, due to the lock-in of proprietary storage formats across public clouds and gateway products. While current solutions can enable the movement and tiering of data from on-premise to clouds, they do not truly leverage the power of the cloud by allowing cloud services to access data stored therein. Instead, these products are “one way” solutions, forcing applications to use the gateway for all access to data whether on-premises or in the clouds. This loses nearly all of the value of the public clouds, by eliminating the ability to use native cloud services on this data. The industry therefore requires a solution that fundamentally changes hybrid-cloud storage and data management to provide customers with the full power and flexibility of on-premises storage and public clouds.

  • Q. How does Scality’s technology leverage multi-cloud to solve issues surrounding data storage?

Scality solutions will enable the full power of hybrid-clouds through total data transparency, and by providing a policy-based storage controller for the multiple public clouds. By doing so, this enables a broad range of use-cases including federated storage and security management for on-premise and public clouds, policy-based lifecycle management and replication. This will totally open up the value of data by enabling full compatibility of on-premises applications, cloud applications and cloud services from AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Furthermore, our solutions will provide a key set of advanced functions for federated multi-cloud security, multi-cloud location control, policy-based data management and federated search. Applications access will be provided through the S3 object interface, and through file protocols (NFS, SMB) that are both namespace and data compatible with S3 data, for full data interoperability.

  • Q. Where do you see multi-cloud heading in the next 5-10 years?

In the next five to 10 years, there will be more intelligence in metadata-driven data management, for data mobility across clouds. In addition, there will be federated search based on user-defined metadata as well as data search across multi-cloud namespaces. This will make it easy to find data independent of where it is stored. Lastly, a federation of security models across cloud will be available to make user identity management and cross-cloud multi-tenancy possible.

paul speciale 300x250 The Benefits of Multi Cloud in a Storage Environment

Paul Speciale, VP Product Management, Scality

Paul leads Product Management for Scality, where he is responsible for defining RING functionality, solutions and roadmaps. Before Scality, he was fortunate to have been part of several exciting cloud computing and early-stage storage companies, including Appcara, where he was focused on cloud application automation solutions; Q-layer, one of the first cloud orchestration companies (the last company acquired by Sun Microsystems); and Savvis, where he led the launch of the Savvis VPDC cloud service. In the storage space, Paul was VP of Products for Amplidata focused on object storage, and Agami Systems, building scalable, high-performance NAS solutions. Paul has over 20 years of industry experience that spans both Fortune 500 companies such as IBM (twice) and Oracle, as well as venture-funded startups, and has been a speaker and panelist at many industry conferences.

Paul lives in Southern California, with his wife Jen and two kids Christiana and Paolo. He loves backpacking, cars, and is a long-standing UCLA Bruin football and basketball fan, from which he holds Masters & Bachelors degrees in Applied Mathematics and Computing.



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