The Time is Now – Forrester says Embrace Hybrid Cloud Storage

Jason Starr

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The enterprise has been apprehensive about leveraging cloud storage and its capabilities, and that’s stopping it from realizing the hybrid cloud’s full potential.

That’s the premise of a January 2015 Forrester Research report, which says businesses have limited cloud storage to two basic scenarios: 1) providing data silos that support next-generation analytics or cloud-based applications; 2) offering a bin where they can dump unstructured storage burdens.

But in “Your BT Agenda Demands a Hybrid Cloud Storage Strategy,” report author Henry Baltazar writes that cloud storage has much more to offer. The report also states that colocation facilities such as Equinix (one of three companies named) can help enterprises get the most out of it.

More specifically, Forrester says colocation facilities and their partners enable the enterprise to put compute and storage resources in close proximity to cloud service providers (CSPs), opening up critical opportunities for lower latency, increased workload mobility and enhanced system backup. Here are some selected excerpts from the Forrester report:

Easier Migration Needed: “While the elasticity and power of cloud compute and networking resources are game-changing capabilities, these services will have limited use beyond test and development scenarios if you cannot leverage your company’s or partner’s data or if you cannot migrate existing workloads.”

Getting closer: “A handful of colocation and data center providers … (e.g. Equinix) … have facilities that are either physically close to a cloud service provider or house an instance within their data center. This proximity allows customers to bypass the Internet and connect directly to their cloud service providers … which can provide as low as sub-millisecond latency since such networks bypass the Internet.”(*see graphic below)

Finding partners: “Enterprise storage vendors such as NetApp (with its NetApp Private Storage for Cloud solution family) and Zadara Storage are teaming up with colocation service providers to facilitate instant data sharing across clouds without data migration.”

Can’t buck Einstein: “Can’t buck Einstein: “The drawbacks of cloud can heavily offset its benefits – most notably the unresolvable limitations of simple physics. Scientists have not yet been able to overcome the speed of light, and Einstein suggests they never will. Some other solution must be developed that does not depend on brute-force throughput over relatively slow and inconsistent WAN links.” ”

At Equinix, we can’t defy Einstein’s physics either, but we can shrink time (latency) and space (distance) through our cloud-dense International Business Exchange ™ (IBX®) data centers and interconnection services. Here are some details about how we do that:

1) Performance Hub enables the enterprise to locate its IT assets at any one of our 100-plus data centers worldwide, so it can establish direct, secure connections between its storage systems and cloud service providers inside Equinix anywhere.

2) Equinix Cloud Exchange. Cloud Exchange allows customers to maximize their data resources by quickly, safely and simultaneously linking them to multiple public cloud services (e.g. Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure) from a single port.

3) Partners. Storage-as-a-Service providers, such as Equinix partner NetApp, protect enterprise data on their private platforms inside Equinix and make exactly what the enterprise needs easily and securely accessible exactly when it needs it.

Click this link to learn more about Equinix and the hybrid cloud.

*Figure 3: Leverage Hybrid Cloud Storage To Migrate Workloads Without Moving Data

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