Hybrid cloud computing is a lot harder than it should be, mainly because cloud service providers (CSPs) and enterprise IT organizations are rarely standardized on the same virtual machine. The end result is that any time an organization wants to move data running in their local data center in a public cloud they need to convert it into a format that is compatible with the type of virtual machines used by the CSP. More often than not, that means converting VMware into some variation of the open source Xen hypervisor generally favored by CSPs such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Moving to significantly simply that process, FalconStor Software today unveiled a new version of its software-defined FreeStor storage software that both automatically handles that conversion process and optimizes wide area network (WAN) performance between local storage systems and public clouds.
Furthermore, FalconStor is also changing its pricing model to eliminate the extra costs IT organizations often incur when they copy data. IT organizations will only be charged based on the amount of primary data stored, rather than the total amount of data they may wind up storing using FreeStor.
Timothy Sheets, vice president of corporate marketing and enablement for FalconStor, says that analytics tools delivered via the cloud are making it simpler for vendors to understand how storage software is being applied. Armed with that information, it then becomes possible for FalconStor to shift away from traditional data storage pricing models.
That shift, adds Sheets, also better reflects how storage management is evolving in the age of the cloud.
“Storage management really needs to evolve into data management,” says Sheets.
Other new capabilities in this edition of FreeStor include improved support for the NVM Express (NVMe) interface to improve overall I/O performance, integration with Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP and support for Linux 7. Public clouds supported by FalconStor include AWS, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba and any cloud that supports OpenStack application programming interfaces (APIs).
Managing data in the age of the cloud is a lot more difficult than most IT organizations prefer. By simplifying that process, FalconStor is making it feasible for more data than ever to move with a minimal amount of friction into the public cloud. Naturally, it will be up to each individual IT organization to determine when and how much local data needs to move into the cloud. But given the increased reliance on public clouds for secondary and tertiary data storage, chances are high that most organizations will soon have a lot more data residing in a cloud somewhere than they typically will need to regularly access on premise.