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Release Management : Blog Post

What to Look for When Selecting a Cloud Storage On-Ramp or Gateway Device

StorSimple Chief Scientist Joel Christner Shares Top Considerations for Cloud Storage On-Ramp or Gateway Devices

In a recent blog post, Joel Christner, chief scientist at StorSimple, is looking at various factors that customers should be considering in their search for a cloud gateway.

When researching their cloud gateway options, Christner advises organizations to consider:

  • Performance - when using cloud storage, you are effectively injecting Internet latency, bandwidth, and packet loss in between your server and its storage.  Gateway devices mitigate this, and an understanding of the architecture - and quantification of the system's performance - will help you understand whether or not the solution is applicable in your particular application environment.
  • Caching vs Tiering - many devices provide a "caching" architecture, where the cloud storage service is effectively your primary storage.  StorSimple provides a "tiering" architecture, where the on-premises appliance is your primary storage.  The differences are subtle, but substantial when viewed through the lens of data integrity, coherency, performance, and availability. Check the StorSimple blog for more on this in the following weeks.
  • Security - devices should provide protection for both data in motion (over the network) and also data at rest (as stored in your cloud storage service provider network).  Keys should never be shared with your cloud storage provider, as that can fundamentally put your control of your data at risk in the event of litigation/subpoena.
  • Data Protection - devices should simplify data protection and help you - when possible - eliminate multi-tiered backup and restore architectures.  The fundamental unit of data protection in the enterprise today is the snapshot, and the longer you can extend the usefulness and liveliness of a snapshot-centric architecture goes a long way in minimizing operational complexity when you need to restore data.
  • Application Awareness - some devices claim to be "application aware", while also claiming to support everything including the kitchen sink.  The vendor should take a pragmatic and focused approach to specific applications, with the necessary technology integrated to provide compelling value for specific applications rather than broad brush strokes that make their approach seem applicable to a broad array of applications.
  • High Availability - people deploy storage in a highly-available manner today, and when you move to a cloud storage-centric model, this should not change.  Devices should provide you with the availability characteristics you expect from your current storage systems, and not require you to undergo configuration gymnastics or ridiculous server-side changes to meet your availability metrics.

More Stories By Georgiana Comsa

Georgiana Comsa is the founder of Silicon Valley PR, a PR agency with a unique focus on the data infrastructure markets. Georgiana's decision to found Silicon Valley PR was based on her own experience as a corporate PR professional working with other PR agencies; she noticed that there was a need for a specialized, rather than a general tech PR firm, with media, analyst, and vendor relationships that would benefit its clients. With Silicon Valley PR, companies get to leverage the power of traditional and digital media relations to generate highly targeted press coverage, contributing to tangible business wins, which help them launch and grow their businesses.

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