One would have to be living under a rock not to know that cloud computing is taking technology by storm. It’s a no-brainer for several reasons:
- Scalability: Cloud services allow businesses to quickly ramp capacity up and also scale it down to match real-time business requirements and trends.
- Custom-made service: Unlike legacy hosting, known for locking businesses into long contracts, cloud computing services are usually offered either on a monthly basis, or based on consumer usage. This is a just what businesses crave for specialized services, such as retail, in which boom and quiet times and known and predictable.
- Accommodating: If the business is launching a test application and the success of this new application cannot be predicted, the cloud expands or contracts as required. With that, so do costs. This fact is raising the ears of CFOs and CTOs everywhere.
Goodbye hard drives. Hello block-level storage.
Back in the old days, after the purchase of physical servers, an enterprise had to keep up with an array of scheduled and non-scheduled upgrades and updates in order to add additional hard drive space, but those days are like black and white pictures: over. Today, it’s buy-on-the-fly. Business cannot turn this model down, because of the obvious efficiency and savings.
While there may be come cases where file-level storage is efficient, the era of hard drives and portable drives are fading now that block-level cloud storage is on the scene. In the same pay-as-you-grow fashion that cloud computing provides, businesses can buy storage that suit their exact needs, no matter the magnitude of the cloud server.
Businesses are latching on to block-level cloud storage for many reasons:
- Flexibility: Much like SAN, block-level uses raw storage volumes, while the operating system connects to the volumes and treats them as individual drives, creating “virtual storage.”
- Versatility: Block-level storage is suitable for nearly any application, using a virtual machine file system (VMFS). Business can mix and match different file systems and databases.
- Sharing: Block-based volume storage allows users to share files by using a virtual empty hard drive with no limits and no sluggish performance. It’s like having a giant dry erase board that is always available and viewable by everyone, making group effort a breeze.
What information technology users expect today
Since today’s IT professionals expect performance and have little tolerance for bulk, businesses are banking on block-level storage to help deliver the performance, support, collaboration, fast file sharing and less painful scope changes to their clients’ deliverables.
What information technology managers expect today
Managers want ease of use and lower cost implementations. They expect low-risk installations, because when drive capacity requirements are planned, there is no need to estimate storage upgrades. Block-level storage provides all of this via the cloud. Installing a single customer solution means there is a single set of objects to handle, lowering operational spending.
The sky is no longer the limit. Today’s solutions are implemented, deployed and monitored in the cloud, and block-level storage uses the same principal to keep costs low and bend with the changes of the business.