Data Mobility: Defying The Law of Data Gravity With StorSimple

October 22, 2015

By Tom Trainer, StorSimple Product Marketing

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8000 series and a whole lot about hybrid cloud storage and the revolutionary innovation that StorSimple has delivered to the storage market. I’ve also been thinking about data and how data is very much like gravity, although not in the traditional ‘data gravity’ sense, but more from the difficulty of accessing and moving data.

For a while now, there has been an industry notion around ‘data gravity’ and how data, as it grows over time (massively in many cases), tends to drive the development of additional applications and services to mine and leverage the value of data. It appears that this notion is correct thinking as it pertains to data growth in a datacenter and in the cloud; yet, as there is no slowdown of data growth in the datacenter, there remains a big gap in being able to quickly move data to the cloud from a datacenter where it can be more cost effectively and time efficiently analyzed. I believe the fundamental nature of data, as it grows and as it ages in the datacenter, is for it to become heavier, growing larger and becoming more difficult to move with each passing day and especially when it comes to moving data to the cloud. This, in its own right, can be considered as the law of data gravity.  

As an example, burgeoning data stores within a datacenter grow ever more cumbersome to manage, maintain, protect and move - mainly due to cost, and strained human resources. Storing of data that is aging is an expensive proposition (i.e. manpower, expensive disk storage systems, costly and slow network backup, unreliable tape backups, on-going maintenance, and long refresh cycles). Further adding to the problem is the ever growing and critical need to rapidly create development and test (dev-test) environments for developing new applications, patching and testing, and rapid data analysis and making timely, well-informed business decisions. 

There is no doubt that a business can thrive when it can obtain quick access to data and make factual, data driven, decisions that affect the top and bottom line. Take for example a national department store chain that, based on rapid data analysis, sees certain products selling faster in one geography versus another. The department store chain can make a rapid decision to move inventory quickly in order to capitalize on sales and reduce their costly inventory – this sounds great, however it is becoming increasing more difficult for business to maintain the large data stores and to quickly create the innovative dev-test environments they require. In a nut shell, the costs are going up and so is the time to create a complex test environment. In fact, we have one Fortune 500 customer that was spending a tremendous amount of money, and literally suffering though days to weeks of build-out time of a separate storage infrastructure, just to create their data analysis environment - and then they had to move their gravity bound data into the test environment.

With innovative technology in StorSimple hybrid cloud storage, we have been able to help customers not only lower the cost of storage, more effectively manage data growth, and data protection and disaster recovery, we have also been able to address the gravitation nature of their data. In essence we are able to help them tier data and move their growing aging and achievable data to the cloud at lower costs than keeping this data in the datacenter or on some unreliable media or at a far away and hard to access location, and we keep the data safe and reliably accessible so that it can be mined and analyzed. Plus, we create cloud snapshots in Azure where it can be rapidly accessed and analyzed in support our customer’s business requirements for faster data analysis and business decision making.  

Let’s revisit the previous example where I mentioned our Fortune 500 customer who was suffering through high costs and days to weeks to build out their dev-test environment. With StorSimple in their datacenter, along with StorSimple Virtual Appliance and their data analysis applications running in Azure, they have dramatically cut their dev-test costs and build-out times from days to weeks down to mere minutes. Now, they can create as many dev-test environments as they like. T they have moved from days to weeks to create a single dev-test environment, to being able to create and run as many dev-test environments as they like, as often as they like, with fast access to near real-time data. Additionally, they can now take advantage of Azure based analytics such as eDiscovery, Data Analysis, Machine Learning and more. So, not only have we addressed the heavy gravitational nature of data – we have actually enabled real-time data to, in a phrase, achieve escape velocity from the datacenter! This is very powerful!

How do we do all of this? As I mentioned previously, it’s all in the innovation built in to StorSimple. We’ve not only been Rethinking Enterprise Storage, we have now rethought it and are deploying enterprise-class hybrid cloud storage that bridges the datacenter and the cloud. StorSimple customers leverage our unique and industry leading data tiering and Cloud Snapshot capabilities, as well as other built-in technologies, that enable them defy the law of data gravity and to reach data escape velocity, thereby enabling them to revolutionize the way they think of their data and what they can do with it. Now, their data is more agile, retained it at a much lower cost and is more easily managed and protected. StorSimple helps give them an even greater competitive edge in their markets. 

To learn how you too can overcome the gravitational nature of your data and enable it achieve escape velocity to help your organization soar, request a demo here.

I plan to write a series of blogs on data mobility, with exciting examples of how our customers are defying the gravitation nature of data and achieving data escape velocity, illustrating how their organizations and business are thriving by leveraging StorSimple and our uniquely innovative technology – be sure to check often for updates.