Multicloud Storage – a new “must have” requirement for any storage vendor you are considering
By Dave Kresse
VP of Product Operations, Nimble Storage

The public cloud is front and center for enterprises big and small.  According to a recent Gartner survey, companies consider public cloud to be both the most disruptive and most impactful issue facing them in 2017.  The simplicity and agility advantages that public cloud infrastructure offers have made it impossible to ignore.  A recent survey by Forrester suggests that half of all enterprises will have some applications and data in the public cloud by the end of this year.

Many customers I speak with constantly debate whether to move a given application into the public cloud, or keep it on-premise. When they think public cloud, 95%+ of the time they are talking about Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, and usually it is some combination of these.  A recent survey by Rightscale shows that for those enterprises using the public cloud, they on average use 1.8 public cloud offerings for production and are actively experimenting with an additional 1.8 offerings.  Common challenges enterprises wrestle with when executing a multicloud strategy are around dealing with the different storage services offered by each provider, and the time and cost associated with moving data from on-premise to public cloud, and from one public cloud provider to another (not to mention moving data back on-premise if needed).

The variety of native cloud storage offerings has a big impact on the types of applications enterprises feel comfortable running on a given cloud.  Native block storage offerings in particular have significant differences around data durability (likelihood of data loss), data services like snapshots or allowing multiple hosts to share the same volume, and differences in performance characteristics.  These limitations have led certain classes of applications, like transactional databases, to not move as quickly to the public cloud.  The stark disparity between different native public cloud block storage offerings and traditional on premise storage creates a huge opportunity for storage vendors: the opportunity to deliver a true multicloud storage offering that spans on premise and multiple public clouds with the durability and data services only available today with on-premise block storage.

A multicloud storage service offers a new set of capabilities that enterprises need.  Just like native cloud block storage, it is a true service – easy to use and pay-as-you-go, where customers provision and manage volumes, not physical infrastructure.  In addition, multicloud storage works seamlessly with multiple public clouds, providing enterprise-grade storage and instant migration from one public cloud service to another.  Nimble is the first storage vendor to offer a true multicloud storage service.  I recommend reading Ajay Singh’s blog for details.

Multicloud storage  provides one other key capability – working seamlessly with on-premise infrastructure.  According to a recent survey by ESG, 74% of enterprises state that it is critical/very important that public cloud infrastructure is compatible with on-premise infrastructure.  The multicloud storage service that Nimble has announced today delivers on this requirement, allowing Enterprises to have confidence in their underlying storage regardless of where their application is running.  Whether the applications are on one of several public clouds, or on-premise, the underlying block storage will provide the same enterprise grade data services, performance, manageability, and durability.

The industry will reach a time soon when enterprises evaluate on-premise infrastructure buying decisions on whether a given solution is designed for the multicloud reality customers increasingly face.  We even have a term for it – “Cloud Ready” – which you now see prominently displayed on all of our on-premise All Flash and Hybrid Flash Arrays.  When customers buy “Cloud Ready” infrastructure, they know they have a path to a multicloud world.

We are excited to be launching our first multicloud storage offering today – Nimble Cloud Volumes.  After talking about public cloud with well over a hundred enterprises over the past year, we believe we are delivering a service that meets a critical need for many of our current and future customers.  Welcome to the future of storage – multicloud storage.

To learn more on the latest trends in the cloud, flash storage and data protection, you can join your IT peers globally at the Nimble vConference on March 15. Tons of great content, zero cost and no travel time. Register here: http://nimblestorage.regsvc.com/E9