Move inactive data to the cloud with EMC CloudArray

Most organisations are seeing massive growth in their storage requirements, but a significant proportion of the data is old and inactive so for years IT departments have looked to reduce costs by moving inactive data to low cost storage – sometimes even optical drives and tape. As we are now in the era of public cloud computing we have another option – create a storage array that is essentially a cache to cloud storage, that way active data will be served from local storage and infrequently accessed data will be pulled from the cloud (i.e. Amazon, Microsoft Azure or Google).

EMC CloudArray is one such product and it has the following capabilities:

  • Looks, feels and performs like local storage
    • Supports FC, iSCSI, CIFS & NFS protocols
  • Data de-duplication and compression
    • Reduce cloud footprint by up to 10x
  • Local cache to improve performance and minimise bandwidth requirements
    • Multiple caches and disk types
    • Move volumes across caches
    • Resizable caches and data volumes
  • Bandwidth controls
    • Scheduling and throttling of limits
  • Space-efficient cloud-based snapshots
    • Scheduler with retention policies
  • Encryption
    • AES-256 at-rest, SSL in-flight with local key management
  • Set and forget simplicity
    • Centralised online portal for license management
    • One-click installation for updates & new deployments
    • Automatic storage of configuration files to enable rapid recovery
  • Cloud storage support
    • All major clouds and APIs with up to 10x local capacity
  • Deployment options:
    • Virtual Machines – 3, 6, 12 TB cache (vSphere and Hyper-V)
    • Physical appliances – 6, 12, 18, 20, 40, or 60 TB cache
    • Bulk licensing – Distributes capacity from a single pool (50, 100 & 500 TB total cache)

Who will benefit from CloudArray?
Organisations that have one or more of the following requirements:

  1. Need a more efficient way to manage large amounts of inactive data rather than storing it on expensive primary storage systems
  2. Require an offsite storage solution for secondary, archive, or backup data
  3. Have remote offices that require a complete storage solution, but have a limited budget

Summary
There is no doubt that the cloud is adding an extra tool to most IT department’s toolbox and products like CloudArray can be used to more cost-effectively manage substantial amounts of inactive SAN and NAS data.

It’s not just the era of cloud computing, but also the era of flash storage, so it is quite easy to see that moving forward many organisations will standardise on cloud gateways for their relatively inactive data (i.e. file shares, archives and long term retention of backups) and all-flash arrays for applications.

Mark Burgess has worked in IT since 1984, starting as a programmer on DEC VAX systems, then moving into PC software development using Clipper and FoxPro. From here he moved into network administration using Novell NetWare, which kicked-off his interest in storage. In 1999 he co-founded SNS, a consultancy firm initially focused on Novell technologies, but overtime Virtualisation and Storage. Mark writes a popular blog and is a frequent contributor to Twitter and other popular Virtualisation and Storage blog sites.
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About Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess has worked in IT since 1984, starting as a programmer on DEC VAX systems, then moving into PC software development using Clipper and FoxPro. From here he moved into network administration using Novell NetWare, which kicked-off his interest in storage. In 1999 he co-founded SNS, a consultancy firm initially focused on Novell technologies, but overtime Virtualisation and Storage. Mark writes a popular blog and is a frequent contributor to Twitter and other popular Virtualisation and Storage blog sites.

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