ClearSky Data Unfurls Managed Cloud Storage Service

Mike Vizard
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Storage vs. Backup: What Your Business Needs to Know

As the amount of data that businesses generate continues to grow, managing the storage of that data has become an increasingly larger problem for the average internal IT organization. In fact, the time may have come to outsource the management of data storage altogether.

With that in mind, ClearSky Data today unfurled its managed cloud storage service based on a set of tiered services that are federated across a mix of solid-state and magnetic storage devices hosted in data center facilities owned by hosting services providers, such as Digital Realty, and cloud storage service providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

ClearSky Data CEO Ellen Rubin says that the volume of data that needs to be stored has reached a point where it is simply more efficient to contract a third party to manage it. Doing so then frees up the internal IT organization to focus more on adding value in terms of managing applications instead of dealing with lower-level infrastructure, says Rubin.

The ClearSky service, which IT managers can directly invoke using a Web interface, makes use of VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes storage virtualization software. The Smart Tiered Caching technology developed by ClearSky Data automatically distributes data across a network of geographically distributed cache layers. That core set of technologies is then used to give customers the option to store “hot data” in a way that is cached at the edge of the ClearSky Data network using 2u Flash storage appliances. The “warm data” tier places data within a point-of-presence managed by ClearSky Data that is within 120 miles of the customer. Finally, “cold data” is stored in an external cloud service.

The degree to which IT organizations are willing to give up control over storage is going to vary. In industries where a lot of regulations concern where and how data is stored, for example, resistance to a managed service might be higher. But given the general shortage of IT professionals with cloud storage expertise and the total cost of managing data across a hybrid cloud environment, having someone else take on the burden of data storage management just might prove to be an attractive alternative.

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