Zadara Blog

News, information, opinion and commentary on issues affecting enterprise data storage and management.

Meet Zadara at Google Cloud Next — Booth S1626

Google Cloud Next ’18
Moscone Center, San Francisco
July 24 – 26

Supercharge Your GCP with Enterprise Cloud Storage from Zadara

Meet the Zadara Storage team at Google Cloud Next ’18 to see a LIVE DEMO of the Zadara’s industry-leading enterprise storage delivered as a fully-managed, pay-only-for-what-you-use service.

The Google Cloud Platform Experience with Zadara

100% SLA and 24/7 support
Available On-Premises, In the Cloud, or as a Hybrid configuration (On-Premises + In the Cloud)
Secure – private data transport, user-owned encryption keys
Private – no shared resources
Scalable – change storage capacity and performance at will with no downtime
Cost-effective – no equipment purchase, no maintenance Convenient – eliminate disruptive updates, hot-fixes, and upgrades


Full-featured NAS file and SAN block storage — including AD and HA/DR with dedicated resources — for just $5K per month. Don’t wait. This offer is only available until July 26, 2018.

Book a meeting with Zadara

Ready to learn more? Download this simple comparison chart.

 

 

July 2, 2018

Posted In: Blog, Company News

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Best practices for migrating data to the cloud

Originally published on InfoWorld

Moving petabytes of production data is a trick best done with mirrors. Follow these steps to minimize risk and cost and maximize flexibility

Enterprises that are embracing a cloud deployment need cost-effective and practical ways to migrate their corporate data into the cloud. This is sometimes referred to as “hydrating the cloud.” Given the challenge of moving massive enterprise data sets anywhere non-disruptively and accurately, the task can be a lengthy, complicated, and risky process.

Not every organization has enough dedicated bandwidth to transfer multiple petabytes without causing performance degradation to the core business, or enough spare hardware to migrate to the cloud. In some cases, those organizations in a physically isolated location, or without cost-effective high-speed Internet connections, face an impediment to getting onto a target cloud. Data must be secured, backed-up, and in the case of production environments, migrated without missing a beat.

[ Working with data in the cloud requires new thinking. InfoWorld shows you the way: How Cosmos DB ensures data consistency in the global cloud. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld’s Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]

AWS made hydration cool, so to speak. In fall 2016 AWS branded such offerings as Snowball, a petabyte-scale data transfer service using one or more AWS-supplied appliances, and Snowmobile, an exabyte-scale transport service using an 18-wheeler truck that carries data point to point. These vehicles make it easy to buy and deploy migration services for data that resides in the AWS cloud. It would take 120 days to migrate 100TB of data using a dedicated 100Mbps connection. The same transfer using multiple Snowballs would require about a week.

Yet for the remaining 55 percent of the public cloud market that is not using AWS – or those enterprises with private, hybrid, or multi-cloud deployments that want more flexibility – other cloud migration options may be more appealing than AWS’s native offerings. This may be especially true when moving production data, where uploading static data onto appliances leaves the IT team with a partial copy during the transfer. They need a way to resynchronize the data.

The following is a guide to cloud hydration best practices, which differ depending on whether your data is static, and thus resources are offline, or in production. I will also offer helpful tips for integrating with the new datacenter resources, and accommodating hybrid or multicloud architectures.

Static data

Unless data volumes are under 1TB, you’ll want to leverage physical media such as an appliance to expedite the hydration process for file, block, or object storage. This works elegantly in environments where the data does not need to be continuously online, or the transfer requires the use of a slow, unreliable, or expensive Internet connection.

1. Copy the static data to a local hydration appliance. Use a small, portable, easily shipped NAS appliance, configured with RAID for durability while shipping the between sites. The appliance should include encryption – either 128-bit AES, or preferably 256-bit AES, to protect against unauthorized access after the NAS leaves the client facility.
Using a very fast 10G connection, teams can upload 100MB to 200MB of data per second onto a NAS appliance. The appliance should support the target environment (Windows, Linux, etc.) and file access mechanism (NFS, CIFS, Fibre Channel, etc.). One appliance is usually sufficient to transfer up to 30TB of data. For larger data volumes, teams can use multiple appliances or repeat the process several times to move data in logical chunks or segments.

2. Ship the appliance to the cloud environment. The shipping destination could be a co-location facility near the target cloud or the cloud datacenter itself. Regardless of whether the target is a public cloud or hybrid/multi-cloud setting, two other considerations distinguish the smooth and easy migration from those that can become more protracted.

3. Copy the data to a storage target in the cloud. The storage target should be connected to the AWS, Azure, Google, or other target cloud infrastructure using VPN access via high-speed fiber.

For example, law firms routinely need to source all emails from a client site for the e-discovery purposes during litigation. Typically, the email capture spans a static, defined date-range from months or years prior. The law firm will have its cloud hydration vendor ship an appliance to the litigant’s site, direct them to copy all emails as needed, then ship the appliance to the cloud hydration vendor for processing.

While some providers require the purchase of the applianceothers allow for one-time use of the appliance during migration, after which it is returned and the IT team is charged on a per terabyte basis. No capital expenditure or long-term commitment required.

Production data

This process requires some method of moving the data and resynchronizing once the data is moved to the cloud. Mirroring represents an elegant answer to migrating production data.

Cloud hydration using mirroring requires two local on-premises appliances that have the capability to keep track of incremental changes to the production environment while data is being moved to the new cloud target.

1. Production data is mirrored to the first appliance, creating an online copy of the data set. Then a second mirror is created from the first mirror, creating a second online copy.

2. The second mirror is “broken” and the appliance is shipped to the cloud environment.

3. The mirror is then reconnected between the on-premises copy and the remote copy and data synchronization is re-established.

4. An online copy of the data is now in the cloud and the servers can fail over to the cloud.

For example, a federal agency had 2PB of on-premises data that it wanted to deploy in a private cloud. The agency’s IT team set up two on-premises storage resources adjacent to each other in one datacenter, moved production data onto one mirror, then set up a second mirror so that everything was copied. Then the team broke the mirror and shipped the entire rack to a second datacenter several thousand miles away, where its cloud hydration vendor (Zadara Storage) re-established the mirrors.

When reconnected, data were synchronized to represent a full, up-to-date mirror copy. Once the process was complete, the hardware that was used during the data migration process was sent to a remote location to serve as a second disaster recovery copy.

In another example, a global management consulting firm used 10G links to move smaller sets of data from its datacenter to the target storage cloud, and hydration appliances to move petabytes of critical data. Once the 10G link data uploads were copied to the storage resource, the cloud hydration provider used a AWS Direct Connect link to AWS. In this way the resources were isolated from the public cloud, yet made readily available to it. Other static data were copied onto the NAS appliances and shipped to locations that are available to the AWS cloud.

Features for easy integration

Regardless of whether the target is a public cloud or a hybrid or multicloud setting, three other factors distinguish the smooth and easy migrations from the more difficult and protracted ones.

– Format preservation. It’s ideal when the data migration process retains the desired data format, so that IT teams can copy the data into the cloud and instantly make use of it, versus converting copied data into a native format that is used locally but is not accessible from within the cloud itself. IT managers need to be to get at the data right away, without the extra step of having to create volumes to access it. With terabytes of data, the extra few hours of delay may not seem like a big deal, but at petabyte scale, the delay can become insufferable.

– Enterprise format support. Traditional storage device formats such as CIFS and NFS are either minimally supported by public cloud providers or not supported at all. Yet the applications these file systems serve often yield the most savings, in terms of management time and expense, when moved to the cloud. Having the ability to copy CIFS, NFS, or other legacy file types and retain the same format for use in the cloud saves time, potential errors, and hassle from the conversion, and helps assure the hydration timeline.

– Efficient export. No vendor wants to see a customer decommission its cloud, but when needs change, bidirectional data migration or exporting of cloud data for use elsewhere needs to proceed just as efficiently – through the same static and production approaches as described above.

Hybrid cloud or multicloud support

A final consideration with any cloud hydration is making sure it’s seeded to last. With 85 percent of enterprises having a strategy to use multiple clouds, and 20 percent of enterprises planning to use multiple public clouds (RightScale State of the Cloud Report 2017), IT teams are revising their architectures with hybrid or multicloud capabilities in mind. No company wants to be locked into any one cloud provider, with no escape from the impact of the inevitable outage or disruption.

Cloud hydration approaches that allow asynchronous replication between cloud platforms make it a no-brainer for IT teams to optimize their cloud infrastructures for both performance and cost. Organizations can migrate specific workloads to one cloud platform or another (e.g., Windows applications on Azure, open source on AWS) or move them to where they can leverage the best negotiated prices and terms for given requirements. A cloud migration approach that enables concurrent access to other clouds also enables ready transfer and almost instant fail-over between clouds, in the event of an outage on one provider.

Experts have called 2017 the year of the “great migration.” Projections by Cisco and 451 Research suggest that by 2020, 83 percent of all datacenter traffic and 60 percent of enterprise workloads will be based in the cloud. New data migration options enable IT teams to “hydrate” their clouds in ways that minimize risk, cost, and hassle, and that maximize agility.

Howard Young is a solutions architect at Zadara Storage, an enterprise Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) provider for on-premises, public, hybrid, and multicloud settings that performs cloud hydrations as one of its services. Howard has personally assisted in dozens of cloud hydrations covering billions of bits of data.

New Tech Forum provides a venue to explore and discuss emerging enterprise technology in unprecedented depth and breadth. The selection is subjective, based on our pick of the technologies we believe to be important and of greatest interest to InfoWorld readers. InfoWorld does not accept marketing collateral for publication and reserves the right to edit all contributed content. Send all inquiries to newtechforum@infoworld.com.

 

 

 

 

June 29, 2018

Posted In: Blog, Industry Insights, Tech Corner

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Meet Zadara at AWS Summit New York City on July 17th

AWS Summit New York City
New York City, NY – July 17, 2018
Javits Center, Booth #530

Are you sacrificing enterprise features for the cloud? Well, you shouldn’t have to.

Zadara gives you all the power of industry-leading enterprise storage, without the cost and complexity of owning and operating your own infrastructure. Your business relies on storage with high performance, control, availability, and privacy – and you shouldn’t settle for anything less in your cloud storage solution.

Meet the Zadara team at AWS Summit New York and learn how Zadara takes AWS to a new level, by bringing you the enterprise storage functionality you require.


Full-featured NAS file and SAN block storage — including AD and HA/DR with dedicated resources — for just $5K per month. Don’t wait. This offer is only available until July 17, 2018.

Book a meeting with Zadara

Zadara adds a host of storage related features to any AWS account including security and encryption of data at-rest and in-flight with customer-owned keys, cross-region replication, added redundancy, volumes over 100TB in size, snapshots with built in lifecycle policies, thin provisioned clones, and more.

Download the Supercharge Your AWS Storage infographic to find out which enterprise features you’re missing.

 

June 27, 2018

Posted In: Blog, Company News

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Accounting Gimmicks Don’t Create Enterprise STaaS

Pure Storage recently announced a new Evergreen Storage Service (ES2) claimed to deliver “storage-as-a-service (STaaS) for private and hybrid clouds” for “terms as low as 12 months” with pay-per-use pricing “subject to a minimum commitment.” In other words, Pure Storage now prices and sells the same all-flash arrays (AFAs) using CapEx or OpEx dollars. This makes it seem that ES2 innovation is limited to an accounting “alternative” (read gimmick).

Sorry Pure Storage. ES2 doesn’t even come close to meeting the criteria for Enterprise STaaS.

Zadara
Storage Cloud
Pure Storage
ES2

Multi-protocol Enterprise Storage Access

Yes

No
Entire Storage Environment Yes No
Comprehensive Storage Service Yes No
Rich Enterprise-Grade Data Management Yes Limited
Public Pricing with Monthly Billing Yes No
Unsurpassed Agility and Scaling Yes No
100% Uptime Service Level Agreement Yes No

Only the Zadara Storage Cloud offers a genuine Enterprise STaaS experience, including:

  • – Multi-protocol enterprise storage access that offers block, file, and object access to support mixed database and application workloads in physical, virtualized, and container data center environments.
  • – An entire storage environment installed at customer selected locations including public cloud direct-connected to hyperscalers, private cloud on-premises in local data centers, remote data centers, or colocation data centers, and public-private hybrids.
  • – A comprehensive storage service that is operated, managed, and monitored by Zadara expert staff for health status, data availability, and storage capacity and performance.
  • – Rich enterprise-grade data management supporting database and application high-availability, business continuity, and disaster recovery (including triple-mirroring), plus encryption, snapshots, replication, local/remote mirroring, online volume migration, and more.
  • – Public pricing with monthly billing for customer-defined storage configurations and usage with online configurator and free trials that eliminate the guesswork for block, file, and object storage budgeting and chargebacks.
  • – Unsurpassed agility and scaling that features the agility to create and change configurations whenever needed and the ability to scale capacity and performance up or down to match present and future needs.
  • – 100% uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) including 24x7x365 proactive support and seamless upgrades allowing customer IT staff to focus on strategic business needs rather than ongoing system maintenance.

 

The Zadara Enterprise STaaS Solution

Zadara delivers Enterprise STaaS to business and service provider clients using a portfolio of products running the same Zadara software and using the same industry-standard hardware. The essential difference in products relates to where the hardware is physically located (on-premise or in the cloud, for example) and how the storage is provisioned (block, file, or object).

A Zadara Storage Cloud can include some or all of the following:

In every scenario, Zadara clients provision storage wherever it is needed without concerns about available performance or capacity. The Zadara solution universally delivers storage that meets all business use-cases for enterprises and service providers using a pay-per-use model supported by operating expense (OpEx) budgets.

 

June 22, 2018

Posted In: Blog, Industry Insights

3 Reasons Why Partnering with a Good Service Provider Matters

What’s your role as a Managed Services Provider (MSP)?

It’s to assist your clients in obtaining the IT services. Services that are essential if they are to survive and prosper in today’s technology-saturated business environment.

Accomplishing that goal requires more than just fulfilling client requests for specific services. The best MSPs stay on top of developing trends in the IT marketplace, and use that expertise to proactively guide customers toward an IT infrastructure that can take them where they need to go, both now and in the future.

And in today’s world, where they mostly need to go is the cloud.

Not only large enterprises, but also small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are moving their IT operations into the cloud in ever greater numbers. In fact, according to the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017, 95 percent of the IT professionals surveyed indicated that they had “migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year.” And nowhere is that movement to the cloud more strategic than in the area of data storage.

Sign up for our webinar on June 7th “Why Service Providers Love Zadara Enterprise Cloud Storage” to learn more.  

Data Storage Is a Primary Concern For Both MSPs and Their Clients

In a recent survey involving more than 1,200 senior IT decision makers, a majority of respondents name storage as their #1 worry. With the amount of data companies handle growing at exponential rates, meeting increased capacity demands by simply adding more storage hardware has become prohibitively expensive. Companies that have entrusted management of their IT infrastructure to an MSP will rightly look to that partner for help in finding ways to meet this continually increasing demand for storage in a cost effective way.

 

MSPs Face Even Greater Storage Pressures Than Their Clients

Many MSPs use their own data centers in providing IT services to clients, and the requirements they face are even more stringent. The MSP becomes legally liable for meeting the uptime standard guaranteed in a SLA (Service Level Agreement). Failure to do so can result not only in financial penalties, but also in the loss of a customer. As a result, MSPs that provide storage services through their in-house data centers are often forced to over-provision to ensure they’ll never be caught with inadequate capacity to meet customer demand. MSPs may also be required to provide staff on a 24/7 basis to monitor the customer’s storage infrastructure and fix problems as they arise.

Because of issues such as these, many MSPs are finding it increasingly difficult to provide cost-effective enterprise-level storage services on their own.

 

How Partnering With a Good Cloud Storage Provider Changes the Game

partnering-with-good-service-provider

The good news for MSPs is that expert help in meeting storage challenges is available. By joining forces with a cloud-based storage-as-a-service (STaaS) provider, the issues that have made data storage such a point of pain for both MSPs and their customers can be dealt with effectively.

MSPs that partner with a top-notch STaaS vendor, like Zadara Storage, can offer their clients enterprise class storage services for a monthly fee. Storage can be based in the public cloud, in an on-site private cloud, or both. There’s no need for either the MSP or the customer to ever purchase storage hardware, or to devote operating funds and staff to monitoring, maintaining, and upgrading storage units. The STaaS provider performs all those functions as an integral part of its service.

One of the most important features of STaaS solutions is elastic scaling. Whenever a client’s capacity needs grow or diminish, a solution like Zadara’s can automatically and almost instantaneously scale up or down to accommodate demand. In either case, the customer pays only for the amount of storage they actually use.

With a good STaaS vendor, MSPs avoid the necessity of having storage experts on staff and available 24/7 to support their clients. A provider like Zadara will remotely monitor the client’s storage infrastructure, often catching and correcting problems before the client, or the MSP, becomes aware of them. And a first class STaaS provider will also take the responsibility to meet stringent SLA commitments. Zadara’s service, for example, comes with a 100 percent uptime SLA guarantee.

 

Having the Right Partner Can Make All the Difference

partnering-with-service-provider

By partnering with a top notch STaaS provider like Zadara, MSPs can offer their customers the highest level of storage services at an affordable cost.

Zadara is committed to working with (and not around) its MSP partners to supply first-class storage services to customers. The MSP remains the point of contact with their clients, and need never worry that Zadara will attempt to supplant them in that relationship. That kind of partnership is a winning proposition for both parties.

If you would like to explore how partnering with a first-class STaaS provider like Zadara can be a game changer for your company, please read the case study: VPSA in the Cloud.

May 2, 2017

Posted In: Blog, Industry Insights

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Zadara Storage and VMware Bring a Winning Storage Solution

Zadara Storage and VMware combined provides an unbeatable storage solution. The Zadara Storage Cloud is unique in that it’s completely flexible — available in any location, via any data type, and supporting any protocol.

Zadara Storage and VMware for Service Providers

By utilizing the VMware Certified Zadara Cloud Storage Platform in a VMware environment, our customers are able to enhance their storage by enabling clusters across multiple data centers. Starcom, as an example, uses Zadara in conjunction with VMware which enables them to offer a hybrid cloud capability. They are able to run workloads within their own data centers in a VMware environment, but also enable multi-way replication between them and customers as required. Click here to read the case study.

With the Zadara iSER option, we are seeing 33% more IOPS in our VMware environment.” -Steve Donaghue, Director of Hosting Services, Starcom

Leveraging Zadara Storage and VMware

vmware-and-zadara

Zadara with VMware provide advanced copy protection techniques such as instant snapshots, clones, mirroring and online volume migration. Zadara enables you to use  SSD, SAS, SATA storage technologies to suit specific Virtual Machine (VM) workloads. This, combined with flash cache, enables acceleration due to read and write caching to enhance the end-user experience. The value-add of application acceleration with replication to another Zadara VPSA or S3-compatible object storage such as Zadara ZIOS, enables rapid recovery of virtual machines (even down to a single file).  This simplifies recovery point and recovery time objectives for the business. Zadara includes enterprise storage features that enable recovery of VM’s without third-party backup and recovery tools using the RESTful Zadara API or GUI and built-in VMware tools.

For instance, using on-premise and off-premise deployments, you can replicate from Zadara Storage On-Premise to the Zadara-enabled cloud and use cloud provider migration capabilities to run workloads inside AWS/Azure. In the case of a disaster, on-premise and replication between two Zadara VPSA’s is configured. Integration with VMware SRM provides automation of the failover to the disaster recovery location through VMware capabilities. Zadara’s ability to create clones in the destination environment without the need to break the mirror enables simplified testing of disaster recovery without putting the source replication policy at risk. This simplifies Disaster Recovery Planning and enables this to be tested during normal working hours into a sandbox environment.

zadara-storage-and-vmware-replication

Another benefit of Zadara Storage and VMware is the flexibility of connectivity. Customers using both Zadara and VMware can connect their VMware Clusters over any protocol (iSCSI, FC, iSER, NFS) enabling ESXi Hypervisors and Guest Virtual Machines to make use of the enterprise storage features based upon business needs with complete customer or application isolation (if desired). This is great for service providers as it provides high performance and isolation on a per tenant basis — something that cannot be achieved on a standard dual controller storage infrastructure. The benefit of this is that it completely isolates customer end-to-end and enables the service provider to provide a consistent SLA on a per-tenant or even a per workload basis.

on-demand-storage

 

Service providers are using Zadara and VMware together to provide DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS), cloud scalability, replication capabilities and more. Additionally, they can leverage both organizations’ pay-per-use model. Together, VMware and Zadara provide complete resource management. Thanks to the technology of both, we are able to deliver a flexible and cost-effective software-defined data center solution.

 

Additional Resources (Customer case studies using VMware):

TU/e case study

Starcom case study

 

Co-Authored by Steve Costigan

September 28, 2016

Posted In: Blog, Tech Corner

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Zadara Summit 2016 Speakers Part I

This fall from November 14th through November 17th, Zadara Storage will host its 4th annual Zadara Summit in sunny Southern California. There will be a variety of speakers ranging from Zadara employees, customers, and partners as well as industry analysts and experts from around the world. While these speakers will touch on many different topics, the overall theme and messaging is the same: with storage-as-a-service, you are always aligned for success.  Continue reading to learn more about our Zadara Summit 2016 speakers and topics, or click here to see the full agenda. 

 

Which Storage is Right for You?

Zadara’s Solutions Architect Howard Young will do a technical dive into the 3 types of storage: block, file, and object. With object storage newly available at Zadara, we now offer a complete, universal storage solution to make sure we stay aligned with all your storage needs.

 

The Flash Revolution: New Technologies That Will Affect Your Business

Yair Herschko, VP of Engineering at Zadara will go into detail about new technologies emerging and how you can best prepare for and utilize these in your storage strategy.

 

Fibre Channel Connectivity

Fibre Channel connectivity was another big piece of our recent upgrades and Greg Scherer of QLogic will give a keynote on how to leverage enterprise-grade Fibre Channel for host connectivity. Hear from Greg on how our new FC connection opens up additional options for our storage-as-a-service.

 

Storing Digital Media in the Cloud

Ben Foakes of BASE Media Cloud will give a partner perspective covering how storage-as-a-service (STaaS) is making it easier for those in the media industry. Ben, an expert in digital media and cloud storage knows how vital it is to be able to provide a storage solution that is agile and efficient as well as cost-effective. When storing large media files, performance and scalability are imperative, and storage-as-a-service has helped solve those recurring issues in digital media.

 

Cloud Adoption in 2016 and Beyond

Frank Berry, CEO of IT Brand Pulse shares his expert insight on what’s going on with the cloud. Frank has interviewed multiple cloud visionaries and experts and will share the data he’s collected about the future of the cloud. By attending Frank’s session, you’ll not only gain a unique perspective but how to leverage these changes to your advantage.

 

These are just a few of the exciting sessions coming up in November. Stay tuned for part 2 where we’ll highlight another round of speakers.

Click here to learn more, sign up for, and attend the summit.

August 10, 2016

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