Hybrid cloud spotlights storage placement optimization

As hybrid cloud adoption grows, enterprises see increasing importance of optimized, cost-efficient storage placement to realize benefits of going to cloud, says EMC exec.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

The increasing adoption of hybrid cloud is driving the conversation around storage to optimized storage placement, so that enterprises can take advantage of both the on and off-premise infrastructure to flexibly bolster their business performance, says an EMC executive.

Elizabeth Phalen, vice president of software engineering at EMC Corporation, said companies have business cycles, so application and server storage is actively or heavily used only during certain times of the year. Hybrid cloud gives enterprises freedom to optimize storage placement and consequently optimize business performance as and when needed, she said in an interview Tuesday.

Considering hybrid cloud generally entails two or more data center locations, customers find it valuable to be able to optimize their storage, Phalen argued. The most mission-critical or heavily-used applications can run on the best and most expensive storage hardware which is located as close to the business users, for instance. Likewise, the least utilized or least important apps can run on less expensive hardware that can be located further away from the users since latency is a less critical compromise.

Such flexibility not only better ensures ongoing availability, but more efficient asset utilization and budget allocations for storage can be achieved, she pointed out.

Ultimately, this whole idea mirrors the cloud concept of "designing your infrastructure without constraints physically and moving things as demand calls for it", Phalen said.

She pointed out that regardless of IT trends and market conditions, some aspects of storage remain consistent such as reliability, high availability and performance.

"What has changed, is the conversations have changed. Customers now want to make sure they're setting up their environment [in such a way] that they have the ability to take advantage of hybrid cloud technology and not be locked [in a physical sense] to hardware, so they can move their business forward," said Phalen.

In the era of big data, customers today are also interested in storage products that help them with data mobility, she emphasized.

Traditionally, data is copied from one location to another, but customers today are thinking differently and desire active-active configuration of data sharing between two locations, the executive added.

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