Cloud

Nimble Storage wants to kill cloud vendor lock-in, helps users easily jump between Azure, AWS

According to Nimble Storage, its new Nimble Cloud Volumes offers a multicloud block storage service that works with both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

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Image: iStockphoto/BsWei

A new cloud storage service from Nimble Storage could help businesses more readily avoid cloud vendor lock-in. Nimble Cloud Volumes, announced Monday, is "the only enterprise-grade multicloud storage service for running applications in Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS)," a press release said.

The new service is targeting what the press release called "traditional transactional workloads," which it said have pretty exacting storage requirements. Additionally, Nimble Cloud Volumes will provide six nines (99.9999%) availability and data durability that is "one million times greater than native cloud block storage," the release noted.

As more businesses look to the public cloud to run core business applications, companies are beginning to migrate workloads for their CRM, financial apps, and more. However, these applications have different needs than the cloud-native apps that may have come before them.

SEE: Live Nation just locked itself into Amazon AWS, and couldn't be happier (Techrepublic)

"These applications often control important transactional business processes, place far higher demands on storage, and depend on enterprise-grade availability and data services that are not provided by native cloud storage," the release said. "These factors, along with a lack of data mobility and very limited visibility across clouds, have slowed enterprise cloud adoption for business applications."

Enterprise customers can use the Nimble Cloud Volumes for storage capacity, while relying on their public cloud vendor for compute. Nimble Cloud Volumes can be managed as simply as native cloud storage and are fairly cost-effective—"customers only pay for changed data, not for additional full copies," the release said.

To save compute and overhead, the new service also allows for the straightforward creation of zero-copy clones in the public cloud, which could lead to faster deployment of test and dev, along with the potential for bursting and analytics capabilities, the release said.

The data mobility built into Nimble Cloud Volumes means that users can quickly move between AWS and Microsoft Azure, but it also allows for the movement of data back to on-premises data centers, opening up new hybrid cloud options.

"Cloud is a strategic priority in every organization today and IT teams are migrating their enterprise applications. Nimble Cloud Volumes provide enterprise storage features and ease of migration to minimize disruption," Nicole Herskowitz, senior director of product marketing at Microsoft, said in the press release.

The service is currently in beta, with 50 companies currently participating. Although, a customer preview will launch within Q1 2017. Nimble Cloud Volumes will start at $0.10 per GB, per month.

The ability to move between clouds is critical, as the recent RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report noted that 85%of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy. The report also noted that, on average, enterprises were actively running apps in 1.8 public clouds, while experimenting with an additional 1.8 clouds.

However, many large companies, such as Live Nation, have purposefully locked themselves into a single cloud provider for the innovation provided by the ecosystem. And, as Techrepublic contributor Matt Asay wrote, cloud lock-in might actually be the best thing for your business.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Nimble Storage Nimble Cloud Volumes are a multi-cloud storage service that allows businesses to jump between AWS and Microsoft Azure.
  2. The service is in beta, and will be available in preview later this quarter.
  3. While many companies are using and experimenting with multiple clouds, some have argued that cloud lock-in is a better option for big businesses.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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