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InfiniteIO 2019 Predictions: Hybrid Clouds Will Finally Solve Performance and Data Mobility Challenges

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Mark Cree, CEO of InfiniteIO

Hybrid Clouds Will Finally Solve Performance and Data Mobility Challenges in 2019

The transition to public cloud has been more complicated and costlier than everyone expected. In response, we're seeing IT teams implementing hybrid approaches that make the most sense for the business, from on-premises and public cloud to private cloud and the enterprise edge. However, the more data that is accumulated across an enterprise-growing into billions of files and petabytes of capacity-the harder it is to move, manage and protect due to administrative, latency and performance issues. In 2019, look for hybrid cloud strategies to transform in two significant ways and for IT practitioners to adopt true hybrid cloud storage designs to solve these data gravity challenges.

The performance of public clouds will finally equalize on-site storage

An effective hybrid cloud strategy requires information to flow freely between on-premises and cloud storage. However, most of the interactions with public cloud-based data are a look-up or reference, up to 90 percent of the time, rather than an actual data transfer. Users and applications constantly make requests for this metadata, or attributes about the data, such as last file accessed or modified. The metadata requests are very small in terms of size and are very sensitive to latency; taken together, the time it takes for the public cloud to respond to each of these requests across the enterprise is significant.

In the months ahead, hybrid clouds will get smarter about understanding how massive amounts of files are created, used and shared. By applying deep network intelligence on metadata, IT can automate the response to metadata requests more efficiently: directly from the network instead of retrieving the information from the cloud or through the file system itself. Think of it as making a dash to the corner store versus the mega mart when you only need a carton of milk. This network intelligence keeps up with changes to the files and eliminates unnecessary steps or layers that can get in the way of the free-flow of information promised by the cloud. The performance improvement can slash the time to fulfill these requests from milliseconds to microseconds, which means in many cases the storage in the cloud will run just as fast as flash storage on-site.

True hybrid clouds will provide data mobility without compromise

Data migration and tiering techniques have existed for decades to help organizations make decisions about where to put their actual data. Most cloud data management approaches, which rely on stubs or symbolic links and third-party file systems struggle with ensuring the timeliness of the data availability and the consistency of that data across locations. Instead, by putting a copy of metadata in system memory, you can automatically move the inactive data to public or private clouds without making any tradeoffs. Files appear as though they're on local storage even though the vast majority are actually in the cloud. They remain available to the application and business users that need them, even if the content has been inactive for decades.

The major drawbacks to hybrid cloud approaches today is that performance is unpredictable and major workflow changes disrupt IT operations regardless of whether the data required is on a cloud or on-premises storage. As hybrid clouds evolve to offload metadata requests from primary storage and cloud, you'll be able to manage files and content regardless of location while avoiding changes to existing workflows, cloud repatriation costs and unnecessary management fees. By reducing the amount of data stored onsite you'll also cut the capacity and time required for data backup and protection to ensure enterprise-class resiliency and fault tolerance. You'll finally access applications and data that can move between different on-premises and multi-cloud environments without limitations. This is what a true hybrid cloud will look like in 2019.


About the Author

Mark Cree 

Mark Cree is CEO and co-founder of InfiniteIO, which enables true hybrid storage without compromise. Installed in as little as 30 minutes, InfiniteIO solutions deliver consistent storage performance on-premises and in the cloud to help customers overcome the cost, latency and mobility challenges of managing enterprise data at scale. Before founding InfiniteIO in 2014, Mark held various senior executive and advisory roles, including as the founding CEO of StorSpeed and the general manager of Cisco's Storage Router business unit. Mark joined Cisco through its acquisition of iSCSI storage pioneer NuSpeed, which Mark founded and served as CEO and chairman. Mark holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and a bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Minnesota. Mark has several patents related to storage caching.

Published Friday, January 11, 2019 7:25 AM by David Marshall
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