3 advantages to having cloud tools available for on-prem data centers

The growth of hybrid cloud deployments are driving the need to bring the security and flexibility of cloud tools to data centers.

Data center

Image: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Now that operating in the cloud is almost standard operating procedure for most companies, the new challenge is balancing the operational needs of public and private deployments. Having two sets of procedures for operating and securing each one doesn't work for very long. The best approach is to consolidate tools as much as possible and develop an operating plan that covers on-prem and cloud needs. 

Lee Caswell, vice president of marketing at VMware, said that companies want one operating model for all types of cloud deployments. 

"Customers want to consolidate the span of control and build a consistent operations model that gives them leverage," he said.

He used the example of smartphone cameras replacing traditional SLR models.

"We're seeing more consumerization of IT, and that means that you have to have generalists who can operate these systems," he said. "With the integration of storage, networking and compute into one console, you can start diagnosing performance problems."

SEE: Cloud data storage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Jon Toor, chief marketing officer at Cloudian, said that the company's offering of S3-compatible storage for on-prem data centers reflects this desire for one set of cloud management tools.

"Whether you are running apps in the cloud or on-prem, you'll use the same API, and the same storage and management tools will work the same in either place," he said.

Toor listed Amazon's Outpost and Redhat's OpenShift as other examples of this trend that is particularly relevant for companies that deal in data that must be kept on prem for compliance reasons.   

Cloudian offers enterprise-grade S3-compatible object storage to VMware's vSAN Data Persistence platform via VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu. Customers can deploy Cloudian HyperStore on VMware vSphere clusters and use underlying vSAN disks for simple, unified storage of object data. 

Caswell said that this management integration at the VMware console layer allows users to view all resources in one place.

"This frees up the team to focus on getting a new app in place and not worrying about the infrastructure," Caswell said. 

Toor said this integration with VMware is an example of the worlds of cloud and on-prem meeting in the middle to offer a common operating model. 

"For developers who are cloud-native, this is a friendly environment because they can use the same tools they've used in the cloud," he said. 

Caswell said this common-tools approach can improve enterprise resiliency and consistency of operations as well. 

"It's increasingly difficult to be an expert across all these aspects: server, storage, cloud," he said. "What we're doing is taking the same tools and expanding developers' career paths by extending the options."

Toor sees three main advantages for this approach to cloud deployments:

  • Flexible storage
  • Consistent security protections in the cloud and on-prem
  • No new tools for cloud engineers to learn

Running cloud apps on prem requires a different approach to storage for organizations accustomed to more traditional storage design. In many on-prem data centers, storage is designed for long-term use. 

"Modern apps are more like renting a hotel room, they only need access to storage for a certain amount of time, and when they want to move on, they want storage space to be allocated elsewhere," he said.

Toor said Cloudian provides the same level of security in the cloud and on prem.

Cloudian's object storage-based Object Lock services allows users to create immutable data backups that are then invulnerable to hacker encryption or deletion.

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