AWS and Komprise: Intelligent Data Management for Healthcare and Life Sciences

Last week I had the opportunity to host a webinar featuring Anthony Fiore, Senior Partner Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Krishna Subramanian, Co-Founder and COO of Komprise.

Krishna kicked things off talking about how we’re in data explosion mode and how enterprise IT organizations are looking to the cloud to address their growing volumes of unstructured data. In the first phase of cloud adoption, organizations created new applications in the cloud and new models of building and managing these cloud native apps emerged like DevOps.  We’re now in the second phase of cloud adoption, where enterprise IT teams are looking to migrate and manage core file-based applications and workloads to the cloud. Anthony commented on how difficult it is to refactor all of these applications and meet the corporate mandate to get to the cloud and save on cost. He noted,

It’s great that there’s a tool like Komprise out there that lets customers have their cake and eat it too when it comes to integrating a cloud strategy without having to refactor when it comes to NAS file storage of their applications.

Krishna then reviewed the challenges we see in data-heavy Life Sciences, Genomics, and Healthcare organizations when it comes to moving core-file workloads to AWS. Common characteristics include:

  • Generating TBs of data every day – ever increasing footprint
  • Moving to a “cloud-first” strategy
  • Datacenter space is limited
  • Not all data is S3 – a lot of file data
  • Data is valuable – but not all data is hot, a lot of data is inactive/cold
  • Need to move to the cloud without disrupting researchers and applications
  • Need to use data in AWS without requiring 3rd party tools

Anthony shared a story about a healthcare customer he worked with who had cold data today, but knew that it might not be cold next week. They needed a solution that could grow with them as there are peaks and valleys of demand as the temperature of the data changes. Komprise is not just talking the point in time of hot or cold data and tiering it, but over time how Komprise can be used to manage on-going data mobility requirements. He also stressed,

Another nice thing about Komprise that customers love is that it moves files or archives files in native format.

The goal is to unlock the value of the data, not just a one-way cloud data migration.

Before the demo, we had a good discussion about what has historically prevented enterprise IT organizations from taking a more data-centric approach to storage and why this is changing. We flashed the Gartner quote:

The IT industry doesn’t have a storage problem; it has a data management problem.

Why?

  1. Lack of Awareness: We’re used to running out of capacity and buying more storage. We’re used to backing up everything. We’re now in a position where this won’t work anymore. It’s too expensive. The backups are taking too long. Data volumes are growing fast and storage budgets are staying flat.
  2. Data Value wasn’t the Priority: There is now a recognition in the importance of analytics and ultimately the value of data. To know first and plan and say, “I don’t to back up everything on our most expensive backup solution because 80% of the data hasn’t changed.”
  3. Storage-Centric Mindset: Changing the mindset to recognizing that buying more capacity is not the answer. There is a better solution out there.

Anthony summarized it this way:

Having been on the customer side for most of my career, I’m well aware of the refresh cycles, and the process of budgeting and buying more storage…you’ve got to think about the overhead, you have factor in growth for projects that haven’t even been considered yet. It may have worked 10 years ago, it doesn’t work now as companies of all sizes are trying to optimize their spend and keep a tight lid on expenses and even capital purchases. They want to make sure they’re doing things in the most efficient way as possible. The first step is understanding what you’re buying. If you keep throwing money at storage on-prem and none of it has been accessed in over six months, but you still need to keep it around for compliance purposes. Komprise is a really attractive option for being able to give customers insight into the data and to being able to make decisions with tool based on that.

So, here’s the goal: smarter, faster, cost-effective data management.

Krishna shared some customer stories, highlighting that the benefit isn’t just cost savings and efficiency. The larger benefit is unlocking data value so you’re not just dumping data into the cloud. You’re using the cloud to get more value from your data. Anthony notes:

It’s rare to see ROI this impactful, this quickly. It makes me smile!

Then Krishna jumped into a Komprise demonstration: Know First. Move Smart. Take Control.

There were some good questions and comments throughout the demonstration.

Komprise sits outside the hot data path. It’s not adding latency. It’s not impactful to the actual NAS system or the applications. It’s almost like a background process so it’s not going to cause your NAS systems to overheat, so to speak, from a performance perspective.

  • Krishna highlighted that files that Komprise moves to the cloud are available natively. Komprise doesn’t lock the data in. The customer always is always in control of their data, not the storage or backup vendors.
  • Anthony is sometimes asked, “who owns the S3 bucket?” The answer is the customer. The customer maintains full control at all times.
  • Krishna pointed out that all of the data Komprise moves to the cloud retains all of the metadata so you can actually build virtual data lakes across all of your storage (cloud and on-prem). She showed an example of searching for all data tagged as “project X” and you quickly see the actual file data sitting in different shares – a single view of data across cloud and on-prem NAS – then use this data for other strategic initiatives. Here’s an example of Komprise Deep Analytics from the demo:

In the final segment of the webinar, Anthony reviewed how AWS accelerates time to value with Healthcare and Life Sciences customers. He reviewed AWS security and compliance for healthcare, talked about AWS Global Infrastructure and expanding number of availability zones, and reviewed why S3 is the best place to store your data.

Krishna wrapped up with a summary of why Komprise and an overview of the Komprise and AWS partnership:

We squeezed in a few minutes of Q&A at the end and each of the presenters shared their final thoughts on what Anthony refers to as “the art of the possible.” He also advises:

Don’t just use Komprise as another data migration or archival tool. You’re missing the other half of the story. It’s the analytics.

You can watch the full on-demand webinar here.

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