Adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise has seen rapid acceleration in the past few years. It’s not a secret that enterprise IT organizations can be very risk adverse and slow to adopt unproven technologies. However as cloud computing platforms have matured, it has been increasingly difficult to resist the allure of the cloud’s opex model and rapid elasticity.
Neither Public Nor Private, But Hybrid
However, it is very rare to see any enterprise IT organization adopt a public cloud only operating model. Certain workloads will remain on-premises for a variety of reasons. Refactoring certain applications may not be possible or simply provide little benefit. For certain applications, latency is a major enough factor that datasets and applications must be kept closer to the users. For these reasons and more, hybrid cloud is the preferred operating model of choice for enterprise IT.
As a result we have seen several products and services released in recent months to enable a unified hybrid cloud experience. These products or services have either come in the form of first party service from the cloud provider themselves or a third party extending the capabilities of their traditional on-premises products into the cloud.
Regardless of the path to hybrid cloud, the goal for enterprise IT is two fold, create a consistent API experience for developers and as a result a means of bidirectional application and data mobility. This not only simplifies and increases the pace of application development, but also adds the ability to move data and applications as needed either for test/dev purposes or migration projects.
Pure’s Hybrid Cloud Gambit
One of the latest entries to the hybrid cloud enablement game is Pure Storage. Having recently introduced a trio of new products aimed at helping customers build a hybrid cloud through use of Cloud Block Store, CloudSnap, and StorReduce. We have covered the release of these products in a previous post, including an exclusive look at Cloud Block Store.
Recently we had a chance to hear from Pure Storage at Cloud Field Day. During their time we heard about their overall cloud strategy and how they intend to provide a consistent API and development experience to their customers. During the company overview, Pure Storage Director of Product Management, Kunal Kapoor covered how these three product releases are meant to relate to their three key pillars: Build Your Cloud, Run Anywhere, and Protect Anywhere.
The majority of Pure’s time at Cloud Field Day was focused specifically on CloudSnap and the capabilities it provides to leverage the cloud in moving and protecting applications and data. Presented by Dirk Meister, the presentation covered how CloudSnap’s functionality not only protects data efficiently to provide low RTO and RPO but also makes snapshots portable. And what presentation would be complete without a demo? During the CloudSnap Demo, Dirk was able to demonstrate the simplicity of standing up and managing CloudSnap and it the capability of managing snapshots across a fleet of both FlashArray’s and Cloud Block Store instances.
A Hybrid Cloud For Operations and Development Teams
With the capabilities provided by Pure’s Cloud Data Services (Cloud Block Store, CloudSnap, and StorReduce), it is easy to see how the unified experience will benefit IT operations teams by allowing them to administer all data in a consistent way, whether it is located on-premises or in the cloud, but what about developers? Thankfully the APIs provided by Pure Storage are consistent across both on-premises and cloud based products to deliver a predictable and repeatable development process.
Coupled with the APIs, Pure also provides Pure Service Orchestrator (PSO) across both on-premises and cloud offerings which enables persistent storage for containers. This is accomplished through us of either their Kubernetes FlexVolume Driver or Docker Volume plugin. PSO provides a single API for multiple storage products including FlashArray, FlashBlade, and Cloud Block Store. Being able to specify storage needs for an application rather than specifying the underlying infrastructure is exactly the kind of behavior developers expect from their operations teams and is a necessity in the cloud native era.
If you heard that Pure Storage was presenting at Cloud Field Day and though “what is a storage company doing there?”, then you have not been paying attention to Pure for a while. Storage is an important factor to developers and operations teams alike, regardless of where an application resides. As hybrid cloud is becoming the preferred operational model in enterprise IT, the ability to provide a consistent experience across clouds will be a differentiator for companies like Pure Storage.