Are You in Control of Your Cloud Data? Expanded options for keeping your enterprise in the driver s seat

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1 Are You in Control of Your Cloud Data? Expanded options for keeping your enterprise in the driver s seat

2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Hybrid IT is a fact of life in companies today. Increasingly, the way to deploy new applications and meet changing IT services demands is to use a mix of private cloud and public cloud services, each offering tradeoffs between flexibility and control. Unfortunately, there is no Goldilocks solution that is just right. On-premise private clouds offer full control over data, but are hard and costly to scale. Private cloud services let companies retain control, but do not offer low cost commodity compute power and scalability of public cloud services. And public cloud services, while providing great flexibility and scalability, require giving up control and putting your data into the hands of external providers. However, new architectures have emerged that offer new ways to blend private and public resources to optimize service delivery and rein in costs. These new architectures allow companies to maintain full control of their data by connecting private storage resources to a variety of cloud services through high-performance interconnections. As a result, IT organizations can now receive many of the benefits of public cloud while retaining the data control they currently enjoy with their private clouds. 2

3 THE MULTI-CLOUD DILEMMA To meet business demands to lower costs and increase agility, IT organizations have typically taken one of three approaches: build a private cloud, buy private cloud as a service, or deploy applications in a public cloud. Although each of the three cloud types brings its own strengths, no single cloud type provides everything an organization needs. On-premise private clouds: Many organizations start with a private cloud approach because it allows them to control all aspects of IT operations. Furthermore, private clouds retain complete control over company data. Data remains on-premise and is fully managed by the IT staff. In this way, data privacy and protection requirements are satisfied. But soon, companies find that their private clouds require new skills and resources to build and are therefore difficult to operationalize. New equipment and software must be acquired and managed. New skill sets must be attained either through training existing IT staff or hiring new members with the required skills. At the same time, both IT and the business must adopt a new mindset and move from a projectoriented approach to a services-oriented model for delivering IT. Moving from a small proof-of-concept deployment to a production cloud can be difficult, and many companies have simply been unable to operationalize their internal clouds at scale. Private cloud services: Internal or external private cloud services from service providers solve some of the staffing and resource issues from a build-your-own approach because they offer access to the service provider s expertise, efficiencies, and economies of scale. They offer a highly efficient use of IT resources as pools of compute and storage capacity can be aggregated, driving up utilization rates. Additionally, most private clouds employ a high degree of automation, greatly reducing provisioning and management chores. And many support self-service capabilities so developers and business units can quickly select and use services without having to wait for IT to get involved. Many traditional IT solutions and service providers now offer fully managed private clouds. Such offerings bring the benefits of private cloud, but offload 3

4 equipment costs and all of the management chores to the provider. Of course, the companies using these services must mandate what SLAs, data protections, and safeguards are to be in place. The data is then maintained by the provider and safeguarded by the provider s staff. Public cloud services: The flexible and seemingly infinite compute resources available from leading public clouds are difficult to ignore. Yet, there are obstacles to public cloud adoption. Regrettably, data is often hard to protect since it can fall under the domain of multiple providers. New architectures have emerged that offer new ways to blend private and public resources to optimize service delivery and rein in costs. Although it requires relinquishing a degree of control that IT has typically enjoyed, private cloud services are a very good option for many organizations. Some examples of robust enterprise private cloud services that are available today include: AT&T Private Cloud provides a fully dedicated server environment, based on isolated hardware for added security. A virtualization layer allows a company s applications to share the same set of physical assets. CenturyLink Private Cloud solutions provide a fast, easy, and highly-secure way to support application and IT infrastructure needs. Companies get scalable and cost-effective cloud resources from servers to storage that can be controlled using a simple, drag-and-drop interface. Verizon Terremark s Enterprise Cloud Private Edition combines the power and flexibility of infrastructure-as-a-service with the added isolation, control, and security required by businesses with mission-critical computing workloads. With Enterprise Cloud Private Edition, companies control a dedicated, cloud-based pool of compute, storage, and network resources through an easy-to-use Web-based management interface. While private cloud services eliminate some of the obstacles to moving production applications to a cloud infrastructure, in many cases companies want more capabilities. Requirements and wish lists often include a desire for more flexibility, better cost efficiency, and the ability to leverage commodity compute from leading public clouds. Consider a typical scenario. A company might use a private cloud to run critical applications such as an inventory database, CRM, or ERP system. Additionally, it might use one public cloud service to host its ecommerce web site and another to run a Softwareas-a-Service (SaaS) call center application. And it might also make use of a hyperscale provider, such as Amazon or Microsoft, for real-time marketing analytics or real-time fraud detection. Many of these applications would use personal information (address, data of birth, Social Security Number, etc.) about customers, as well as credit card information. There would also be order histories and other information about each customer s interaction with the company. Much of that data needs to be controlled. Some of the data must be protected to meet data privacy rules and managed in a way that is compliant with regulations. In some countries, data sovereignty is an issue and companies are required to make sure their data adheres to laws of a given country. How will a public cloud provider manage the sensitive data in the example above? Will it be located within or outside of your country? What is needed is a solution that allows organizations a way to retain control of their data, while providing the flexibility to combine these public and private resources as best fits their needs... 4

5 A NEW ALTERNATIVE: HYBRID CLOUD Many IT organizations are seeking a new approach to the data management challenges presented by multiple clouds, one that allows them to leverage public cloud economics while maintaining control of their data. In fact, a new approach to hybrid cloud has achieved this goal by using dedicated, secure, private storage with low-latency access to public cloud compute services. This approach requires private storage to be placed in close proximity to the cloud provider s data center with a dedicated high-speed link between the two. This is accomplished by co-locating the storage in a facility that is physically near or shared with the cloud provider s own facilities. This new model can address a variety of use cases, including: Development and test Big data analytics Disaster recovery Multi-tier backup High-performance computing For example, a company might use a hybrid cloud to run development and test (dev/test) operations. The critical data accessed by the new application would be retained by the company, but the compute infrastructure needed to develop the application and test it would be provided through the public cloud service. Similarly, production applications, such as a payroll application, might leverage a public cloud service to ride out workload variability ensuring compute capacity flexes to accommodate workload needs, while at the same time keeping the data associated with those applications on privately managed storage. The hybrid model opens up many new possibilities allowing a business to be more creative and IT to be responsive without requiring large investments of time and money. One prime example is to enhance the resiliency of a key production application such as Oracle, SQL Server, or SAP by using a public cloud service for disaster recovery purposes. Rather than maintaining hot spares or a complete redun- 5

6 dant infrastructure stack in a remote, secondary data center, a company can spin up a public cloud provider s compute instances to run operations only in the event of equipment failure or during testing. The data would still be retained on private storage, and the new instances of the application would again leverage low-latency access to that data. clouds in Equinix data centers. Companies can take advantage of the cost and elasticity benefits of public cloud compute while leveraging the performance, availability, and control of their data on privately owned NetApp storage. The NPS for Cloud Solution Family currently includes: Companies need a solution that lets them retain control of their data, while providing the flexibility to combine public and private resources. Such a hybrid cloud environment enables an onpremise solution to be married to the public cloud, thereby allowing a company to scale its private cloud by using a provider s compute resources. This approach is possible by locating the storage next to rather than placing it into the cloud. In this way, companies have the freedom to connect to hyperscale clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Although this capability is still relatively new, cloud innovators are already deploying this type of solution today to optimize costs, seize opportunities, and mitigate risks. Some examples of this approach include: NetApp Private Storage for Cloud: NetApp offers companies the option to maintain complete control of their data on private storage while using industry leading public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for Cloud solutions use secure, dedicated, high-speed connections between a customer s NetApp storage and compute resources from industry leading NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services: NPS for AWS combines Amazon EC2 compute with dedicated, enterprise storage from NetApp in select colocation facilities worldwide. The storage is directly connected to the compute using AWS Direct Connect, a secure, private, high-speed network connectivition from AWS. Connectivity options start at a single 1Gbit or 10Gbit private link. Companies can add additional links as required, with no limit to the number of connections. NPS for AWS is available in all 11 AWS Direct Connect regions, in multiple colocation data centers, such as Equinix, worldwide. NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure: Similarly, NPS for Microsoft Azure takes advantage of Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, a dedicated low latency, high bandwidth network connection that does not go over the internet. NPS for Microsoft for Azure is available in select colocation data centers, such as Equinix, worldwide. The hybrid model solves some of the issues that arise when using a private cloud alone. Even more value can be realized if the model can be extended. 6

7 THE FUTURE: HYBRID AND MULTI-CLOUD In many cases, companies can benefit from using cloud services from multiple providers. Each cloud has a unique set of features with different costs. For example, a company might choose a hyperscale provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), for dev/test and another, such as Microsoft Azure, for collaborative applications and yet another for running analytics or modeling applications. A hybrid multi-cloud solution lets companies use cloud services from multiple providers. In such a scenario, the data could reside on private storage and be directly connected to the compute resources of multiple providers. This would let a company leverage the economies of scale across multiple public cloud services, leveraging each provider s strength to best match the application and compute needs of an organization. This approach also avoids provider lock-in and the need for data migrations should a company want to switch cloud vendors. However, building discrete links to multiple services in order to retain control over data would be arduous and complex. What is needed to support this hybrid multi-cloud model is a type of hub and spoke architecture where the data used by any application running on any public cloud service is retained in one place. Equinix is an example of a company that already offers such a service. 7

8 EQUINIX CLOUD EXCHANGE AND MULTI-CLOUD ACCESS A hybrid cloud environment enables an onpremise solution to be married to the public cloud. NetApp Private Storage used with the Equinix Cloud Exchange provides control over data, while providing maximum cloud flexibility. The world s largest global data center provider offers broad interconnection options to multiple major networks, public clouds, and service providers. Direct connections within these data centers are more secure and reliable and have lower latency than public Internet connections. A company hosting its data in an Equinix center can place it in close proximity to multiple cloud services and cloud resources. Access to these services is via direct connections within Equnix. In this way, storage from one company can be directly connected to compute from another, meeting low latency demands of high-performance applications. In addition, the Equinix Cloud Exchange offers seamless, on-demand and direct access to the major clouds and networks. A big advantage of the Equinix Cloud Exchange is that adding new cloud connections, or switching between clouds can be done via a simple web portal or API s. Equinix data centers and the Equinix Cloud Exchange alleviate the security, performance, reliability, and vendor lock-in concerns holding many organizations back from fully adopting and reaping the benefits of cloud services. The NPS approach offers an additional benefit in a multi-cloud scenario. Using a NetApp Private Storage for Cloud solution in colocated data centers together with the Equinix Cloud Exchange, a company could use multiple clouds or even switch between them without moving data or having to go over the internet. It would then be possible to choose the best cloud approach for every particular need while keeping data on a single storage system. NetApp Private Storage used with public cloud services and the Equinix Cloud Exchange provide control over data, while affording maximum cloud flexibility. A company using this approach can take advantage of the best cloud solution for every application, prevent cloud provider lock-in, and be certain their data is safe and managed to meet regulations and legal requirements. The use of Equinix Cloud Exchange with private storage resources is likely to attract additional cloud service providers who are seeking to replicate the success of the existing AWS and Microsoft solutions. When they do, NetApp and Equinix will offer opportunity to connect to and switch between even more clouds, giving the customer that much more cloud buying power. 8

9 Today, companies have the potential to transform their operations by taking advantage of a variety of private and public cloud services. SUMMARY Today, companies have the potential to transform their operations by taking advantage of a variety of private and public cloud services. These services offer many benefits including rapid scalability to meet demands as new business opportunities emerge or compute workloads fluctuate, flexibility to grow without expanding data centers, predictable costs and cost containment, and the offloading of day-to-day management chores so IT can work on projects more valuable to the company. All legacy cloud approaches have strengths, however choosing among them often requires trading off flexibility vs. control. NetApp Private Storage for Cloud solutions offer a new hybrid cloud architecture that blends the flexibility of public cloud compute with the control of private dedicated storage. Furthermore, the solution brings added benefits including the ability to satisfy the performance requirements of the most demanding applications. With data control plus the opportunity to leverage cloud compute flexibility, companies can transform the way they deliver IT services. They are no longer constrained by hard to scale data center infrastructures. They can pick the best cloud platform for each application, assured that their data is protected. For more information about NetApp solutions for cloud, NetApp Private Storage for Public Clouds, and to find out how to move to a hybrid multi-cloud environment, visit: 9 CUSTOM PUBLISHING Copyright 2014 Tabor Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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