Cloud Tiering with Komprise: Three Customer Use Cases

Benefits and Trade-Offs for Hybrid Cloud, Public Cloud, and Private Cloud Tiering and Archiving

At least 70% of data on average is cold and the cost of cold data is not just the cost of storing it—even though that can get pricey on top-tier NAS devices. Two-thirds of the expense is the active management of data: the backups, the replication and the everyday management costs. At Komprise, we are helping organizations think differently about data because unstructured data growth is eventually going to kill organizations’ competitive advantage by consuming too much budget and too much manpower. Is there a simpler way? We think so.

Show Me the Money!

Organizations across industries are running Komprise Intelligent Data Management to cut 70% or more of data storage and backup costs. We do this by helping IT organizations understand where their data lives, who’s accessing it and how often. In this post I’ll review the most common use cases that we encounter with our customers across all sectors and include some interesting ways to think about the potential ROI for each. Here’s a summary:

1. Hybrid Cloud Tiering

The majority of Komprise customers are on a cloud transformation journey. A simple way to adopt the cloud without disrupting users and applications is to tier cold data from on-premises NAS to a cost-efficient object class in the cloud such as Azure Blob or AWS S3. But how you tier from NAS to cloud can make a huge difference in costs and in your ability to access and use data in the cloud:

  • Komprise provides file-level cloud tiering and archiving without any lock-in to deliver 75% lower cloud egress costs and 300% lower ongoing costs versus storage-tiering options (for example, NetApp FabricPool and Dell EMC Isilon CloudPools) and cloud storage gateways. More info here.
  • Storage vendors use proprietary block tiering which is useful for tiering proprietary components such as snapshots but not for cold data because it has much higher cloud egress costs due to unnecessary pulling back of data. These costs can occur with both random reads (such as when a user opens a file), to sequential reads (such as indexing scans and antivirus scans).
  • Proprietary storage tiering and cloud gateway solutions also result in 300% higher ongoing costs as you need to continuously license their software in the cloud just to access your own data. More info here.

2. All-Cloud Tiering

Enterprise IT organizations are starting to put file data in the cloud on a cloud file storage option such as Amazon EFS, FSX, or Azure Files or NetApp CloudVolumes ONTAP. These cloud NAS solutions are a great way to move file workloads to the cloud as they require no rewriting of the applications. But, cloud NAS solutions can get just as expensive as on-premises NAS. Here’s why:

  • A cloud file storage solution still needs to be highly performant and requires replication to another site for resiliency and backups and snapshots for data protection.
  • Cloud file storage solutions sometimes offer built-in tiering to cheaper file storage classes or to Azure Blob and AWS S3 classes. While storage file system cloud tiering can be useful for tiering proprietary components such as snapshots, their block-based proprietary nature means you only save on some underlying storage costs for the primary copy but not on the cloud file system costs nor its replication and backups.
  • Komprise delivers significant savings when tiering data from a cloud NAS to a cloud object class compared with cloud-tiering “Pool” solutions because Komprise tiers the entire file from the cloud file storage to the S3 or Blob classes and eliminates the full cost of the cold files from the cloud file system and its replication region. Learn more here.

In a real customer analysis storing 1PB on NetApp CVO, after Komprise moved 900 TB of this data to cold storage (Azure Blob GRS), we showed a savings of more than 75% annually.

3. Private Cloud Tiering

Some enterprise IT organizations still have all their infrastructure hosted within their data centers. They may have NAS storage, an object storage solution, and a cheaper third-level solution such as tape storage.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Proprietary storage-based tiering solutions do not work with the heterogeneous mix of vendor solutions that most customers have.
  • Komprise customers find that with open, standards-based file-level tiering even in a fully on-premises scenario, they can double their savings over Pools solutions.

At a customer site, we found that on 10PB of file data, the savings with using a proprietary storage tiering solution to object storage over the status quo was 30% whereas the savings when using Komprise file tiering to the same object store was 65% and if a third tape tier was leveraged, then the savings with Komprise was more than 75%.

Considerations for Enterprise Cloud Storage Planning

By asking the following questions, you can get a better idea of your ongoing storage needs and apply the appropriate cloud tiering solution regardless of whether you plan to use a hybrid cloud, all cloud or private cloud model:

  • How much total data do you have and what are your growth forecasts over the next 12-24 months? Most companies are facing double-digit data growth and need to find a way to cut ongoing costs.
  • Do you take snapshots of your NAS? Taking 30-90 days of snapshots will result in at least a 30% increase in your overall data footprint.
  • Is your NAS replicated? Most customers forget about this cost. For 1PB of data you could be managing 2.6PB with snapshots and replication.
  • Are you planning to use cloud file storage? If so, consider not only the file system costs in the cloud but also the costs of its underlying infrastructure and the cost of the replication copy.
  • Do you have an ILM plan? The right information lifecycle management plan should allow you to continually manage the data lifecycle as data ages and automates data migration, tiering, and archiving to colder storage as needed or by policies. Most storage vendors will only move your data once using their tiering technology, limiting the savings.

Consider a Komprise Data Assessment to find out how much you can save with analytics-first unstructured data management from Komprise. Also visit Komprise Path to the Cloud to review your options and learn more about Komprise Intelligent Data Management.

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