Cloud storage, such as AWS, may be cheap compared to buying new storage arrays, but it's expensive compared to unused capacity you already own. The kit is depreciating; the power is on; the cooling is running.
Might as well use it.
That's the pitch that Velostrata makes. Velostrata is a 100 percent software solution that allows you to spin up virtual machines in the cloud using VMs stored in your data center.
Their software is packaged as virtual machines - one for your datacenter and one for the cloud you use - and they stream from your datacenter to the cloud as needed. They intelligently stream only the data needed to get get production VMs running, typically in less than 5 minutes.
They use bi-directional compression and data de-duplication to maximize effective network bandwidth.
Ease of use
No changes required to application images to work with Velostrata. There's an API if you want to integrate other apps with Velostrata.
The Velostrata software has a vCenter plug-in, so you can use familiar vCenter tools to manage the tool. Velostrata says it is a 5 minute install, so you could test drive it on your lunch hour.
Security and availability
All your data is encrypted at rest and in motion. Since only data spikes are in the cloud, and are removed when the spike is over, your data is much less exposed. And you can have multiple VMs on multiple availability zones if you want that level of resilience.
The software is sold on a subscription basis with a 12 month commit. They tell me they've had great customer feedback, so I don't understand the 12 month commit, but maybe there's a good reason.
The Storage Bits take
As the old IT joke goes, God only needed 6 days to create the universe, but He didn't have an installed base. While the cloud is revolutionizing IT due to its compelling economics, how best to integrate it with ongoing IT processes is an open question.
I like Velostrata's answer: buy the base; rent the spikes. If that makes sense to you, request a demo.
Comments welcome, as always. Does Velostrata address your most pressing cloud concerns?