In our discussions with customers and with corporations in general, we often say that data has mass. Or that it creates its own gravity.
By which we mean that it’s the most difficult component in the stack to push around. It has an inertia that other parts don’t tend to have in the modern data center.
You want a new virtual server? You can spin one up from a template in seconds.
How about a changed network or route? A few clicks or commands and it’s done.
But if I need a new dataset moved between locations or copied for any reason, then I have to wait. And wait. Because data, by definition, is stateful. And the more of it I have to copy or move, the longer it takes.
Since the transfer is governed by basic physics (rates, bandwidth, speed of light), the trick is often to get ahead of the problem by moving the data before you actually need to use it.
Replication and synchronization of that data, especially to the cloud, accomplishes that goal nicely. Having your data continuously in two (or more) places gives companies a ton of options.
You can use the target as a backup, as a DR location, a clone of the dataset, or the source for a swarm of clones and copies, for analytics, new app development, etc. ad infinitum.
You just have to get that initial dataset there and keep it up-to-date.
Oh and one more thing. You shouldn’t have to buy a truckload of gear to do it.
NetApp began thinking about how to best accomplish this task a while ago, and an innovative type of service gradually took shape.
At its core, the data replication is based on the easiest, most powerful tool in the marketplace: SnapMirror.
But wrapped around the software instance is the secret sauce – a broker to parallelize and speed up transfer, and to perform data protocol transformation to the well-known S3 standard too.
Voila’ - Cloud Sync was born.
A quick look at Cloud Sync shows that it isn’t like other NetApp products or technologies. Cloud Sync is a true service, requiring only an NFS/CIFS-based mount on the customer side and an AWS S3 bucket on the cloud side. That’s it.
No NetApp hardware is required, no license purchase is needed, and you can start and end the service at any time. It just gets billed to you via your AWS account. Simple.
With Cloud Sync, you solve your most important problem – replication to the cloud – and it’s done with startling simplicity. Now you can do all those other tasks on your list – and forget about moving the mass of data around.