Feeds

AWS storage gateway adds local volumes, tiering

Cloud titan kindly offers to reduce burden on in-house arrays

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Amazon Web Services' Cloud Storage Gateway has added another feature that will raise eyebrows among storage hardware vendors: tiering.

The cloudy concern recently let it be known that the Gateway, a virtual appliance that shunts data into and out of its simple storage service (S3), can now provision a local volume that servers and applications see as just another source of storage. The Gateway can also make S3 buckets appear as just another volume.

Local volumes aren't the appliance's only new trick, as AWS says the appliance can now also create “a cache of recently written and recently read data stored locally on your on-premises storage hardware.”

The effect of that innovation is to give business a chance to store lots of data in S3 at the low, low, prices on offer in Uncle Jeff's Crazy Bargain Cloud, but keep some data on the premises to reduce user-grumpiness-inducing latency.

Storage vendors have been spruiking a similar vision for a decade or more, starting with information lifecycle management's insistence that not all data deserves to live on fast disk forever, given the cost of such storage.

These days storage shoppers hear more or less the same message described as “tiering”, a technique that talks up the idea of data users clearly want now being offered the chance to cruise in comfort on solid state disks, while last year's emails get a bumpy ride on 7.2k disks that reside inside the same storage array. While users can set rules for which data ends up in which tier, automation is an integral part of the process as it ensures that data reaches the tier demand for it deserves.

AWS has confirmed to The Reg that the caching it has implemented competes with tiering, telling us through a spokesperson that “The process for managing the Gateway-Cached volume is automated and does not require manual action or management. The processes or algorithms to cache the most frequently accessed data is an inherent part of this Gateway-Cached volume feature.”

Amazon's entry to the tiering makes a hot market even more contested. All major array vendors have, of late, tuned their kit to do tiering well and are busy promoting niggardly differences between their efforts in the area. All-flash players like Whiptail, FusionIO and Violin assert separate flashy devices do the job even more efficiently, by simply putting everything into flash, either in an all-flash array or by giving servers a big flash injection to remove the need for data to traverse the network quite so often.

The release of the Gateway will therefore put added pressure on those vendors that charge for tiering, as they face competition from storage rivals who give it away and AWS' &US125/month Gateway. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.