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For Cloud Success, Think Data Fabric

Let’s talk about Data Fabric. Cloud is not a new concept by any means. If your business has made a leap into the public cloud, it’s likely that either cloud was a great fit for those workloads, or that shadow IT took hold. To clarify, perhaps some of the decision-making occurred without going through IT channels. Some organizations who’ve made the leap into the public/hybrid cloud have found they haven’t realized the cost savings they expected. Nor have they seen the performance increases they expected. This is somewhat due to high bandwidth costs and the same data management challenges they were facing before.

If you are considering or re-considering your cloud mix, ‘Fabric’ is the new keyword. Not fabric in the sense of 10-Gig Ethernet or InfiniBand, but rather creating a seamless web of private and public cloud options. These are independent of actual physical location, where your data can live securely and under your control at all times. Now is the time to look at where the leading storage infrastructure companies are going with cloud strategy and solutions and to concentrate on cloud flexibility as you move forward. Especially for organizations which have taken a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.

Think NetApp

NetApp, the leading storage OS by revenue1, has proffered the concept of NetApp Data Fabric. Essentially, the key to successful cloud strategy is keeping an eye on the prize – your data. Your data is yours, and access to it should be under your control. You should be able to move it to and from storage on-premises. As well as on public or private cloud hosting offered by different companies without undue penalty. To clarify, your data should not be hostage. The cloud should serve you, and not the other way around.

In order to maintain this sort of flexibility and control, it is essential that you think of your environment as a Data Fabric. The goal is to build your organization a data management platform, where the parts of your environment, whether on-prem, off-prem, across the globe or in the closet next to your office, are connected in one giant data tapestry.

The problem: today, customers are not in control. Cloud providers are in control. The solution: replace isolated silos with a common data management architecture. However, in order to accomplish this, you need to create a common set of ways to manage your data. You need to virtualize your storage and virtualize your storage systems. For instance, they should form a shared pool of storage across multiple storage hardware providers and types of storage—flash, disk, etc. You need to virtualize your cloud environments with these same tools so they can be just an extension of your existing architecture.

Where does the data go?

When your Data Fabric is in place (made simple with NetApp Data Fabric components), deciding which data and workloads belong where is not dependent on where they can go. But rather where they should go to maximize performance while minimizing cost. Well-understood workloads requiring low-latency and maximum data protection belong in your on-prem environment. Co-located private cloud space is ideal for seasonal workloads and projects requiring heavy-duty compute for short periods of time. The public cloud, super-cheap and plentiful, is ideal for encrypted, de-duped and compressed back-ups. Should the need arise, your whole data center can be spun up in the cloud as a DR site if your Data Fabric is in good shape.

Data Fabric Components from NetApp
Clustered Data Ontap 8.3

This Storage Operating Systems is the basis for the virtualized shared storage infrastructures which make up the data fabric. It offers integration with hypervisors such as VMware ESX® and Microsoft® Hyper-V®. If you have NetApp running in 7-mode, we can help you migrate – no time like now.

NetApp FlexArray Storage Virtualization Software

FlexArray storage virtualization software lets you bring your existing NetApp eSeries, EMC, HP, and Hitachi storage under your Clustered Data Ontap system. This unifies and simplifies IT operations.

NetApp All-Flash Storage

An abundance of flash storage can make up for a myriad of data center sins. Long known for the judicious use of flash in Flash-Cache, the All-Flash array is that much more awesome. It is at a ridiculously inexpensive introductory price right now.

NetApp AltaVault

Formerly known as SteelStore and owned by Riverbed, the AltaVault appliance is your key to truly owning your data in the cloud. Works with darn near every brand of storage. People in the know call it ‘AwesomeVault’.

Cloud Ontap

Cloud Ontap is spun up easily inside Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or IBM Softlayer for easy and economical storage on demand.

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