Last week, we looked at the top 7 multicloud success tips. Some of the tips discussed included taking advantage of visibility, optimizing predictive analytics capabilities, and preparing for the data center of today and tomorrow.
This week, we will be walking through a 10-point multicloud checklist to ensure you have everything necessary for optimal success aligned and accounted for. Like many IT endeavors, planning is often one of the most important parts. The goal of this blog is to help you decide how prepared you are to make decisions surrounding your multicloud storage strategy.
- Data Durability
- High Availability
- Enterprise-class Performance
- Copy Management
- Strong Data Protection
- Minimal Data Gravity
- No Vendor Lock-in
- Cloud and Data Center Monitoring Capabilities
- Predictive Analytics
1. Data Durability
Native cloud block storage has a 0.1% to 0.2% annual failure rate. Data durability is millions of times more durable with multicloud storage offerings. Ask what the annual failure rate is for any service offering prior to committing.
2. High Availability
Don’t simply hear someone say their multicloud offering is a high availability architecture and buy in. Ask for the specific metrics surrounding the offering. Settling for less than 99.95% availability on your SLA is ill-advised. Also be sure to ask what is and isn’t included in the calculations for those metrics, ensuring no surprises pop up later on. High availability should be guaranteed in any multicloud offering.
3. Enterprise-class Performance
The key for this step is to look for both low latency and exceptional performance. Look for a service that is capable of delivering low latencies and tens of thousands of IOPS, even in the face of widely varying workloads. Once you feel confident at this step of your multicloud storage strategy, verify that the performance it is configured for can be delivered.
4. Copy Management
The ability to create and retain read-only and read/write clones without performance impacts can save both time and money. Look for flash-optimized snapshot capabilities that can provide instant, high-performance copies or clones in large numbers. Mention fast and easy clone creation when talking to multicloud service providers.
5. Strong Data Protection
Strong data protection and security capabilities should never be overlooked, particularly when it involves an organization and any type of cloud strategy. If it integrates with your primary array GUI, you can expect end-to-end protection from the data center to the cloud. In addition, thoroughly evaluate the offering’s malware protection, advanced persistent threat (APT) defenses, policy and permission controls, remote wipe, and 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption capabilities to ensure optimal multicloud security.
Focus on getting native support for the cloud, as well as the ability to move data back and forth between clouds with ease. You should also be able to manage your storage through a simple web portal — just as you do with AWS or Azure. Compression and change block tracking technologies make the on/off-ramp transfer very efficient. Your data is mobile between clouds without the need for data migration.
7. Minimal Data Gravity
Don’t settle for less than optimal flexibility. You’ll need to determine whether the cloud storage service will increase or reduce data gravity. If the service provides mobile attachment and detachment of storage volumes from public cloud compute instances and lets you attach it to another cloud provider, chances are, it will diminish data gravity, which is what you want. Low data gravity makes moving applications much easier and less risky.
8. No Vendor Lock-in
Data is the greatest source of vendor lock-in in the cloud. When data is stored with one public cloud provider, it’s sometimes very difficult and expensive to move it anywhere else. Data becomes trapped because you can only use or access it within the confines of that cloud provider. Make sure there’s no huge effort or expense required to move data between cloud providers or back in-house. Also, check the contract carefully for data egress charges and make sure you understand them clearly — they should be minimal.
9. Cloud and Data Center Monitoring Capabilities
Unless you’re pursuing an all-cloud, all-the-time strategy, you’ll need the ability to monitor and track both your cloud and data center data storage and data movement activities. You need global visibility across the entire infrastructure stack, no matter where that data may be.
10. Predictive Analytics
Analytics can enable cloud security systems to evaluate the significance of critical security information, analyze user behavior and find suspicious activity, and pinpoint other risky behavior before a breach occurs. According to IDC, “cloud-based predictive analytics are not yet considered a requirement in enterprise storage, but there are undeniable benefits to its use: higher performance, better reliability and availability, more efficient management, a vastly improved support experience, and a much better understanding of how your storage is performing on a variety of different metrics that inform daily administration as well as future planning.” So, ask prospective service providers whether — and to what extent — they leverage predictive analytics.
When your organization is planning on moving enterprise applications to the cloud, ask about any fully understand all of that service provider’s enterprise-class capabilities. In order to contend in the highly competitive global economy in which we operate, IT leaders must create a data structure that gives users the ability to access data, process it, and bring it to value as quickly as possible.
Software Defined Storage (SDS) is opening the door for new innovations and is giving IT managers the levels of data management and cost control that up until recently was only imaginable. Talk to a trusted technology partner about the benefits of SDS. Learn more by downloading our white paper, “Managing your Data with Software Defined Storage.”