Introducing Cloud Block Store for AWS

Most enterprise architects dream of leveraging multiple clouds to enable hybrid applications, but delivering on that vision can be challenging.  The cloud divide is real and inhibits enterprises from getting leverage in a hybrid cloud world. A common data layer, data portability, manageability, and data services allow enterprises to successfully enable hybrid cloud.  But it doesn’t stop there. This common data layer helps customers innovate faster, gain a competitive edge, and be more agile as a business.

At Pure, our focus has always been on providing a cloud-like experience on-premises, by making storage easy, automated and orchestrated, highly efficient, and simple to scale.  We have seen great success in cloud companies (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS) due to these core tenants.  Thousands of customers rely on Pure as their private cloud for powering their innovation and competitive edge.

Taking this competitive edge and extending it into the cloud is an evolution.  The evolution continues to support our customer’s need for an innovation platform in the public cloud.  To get there we are revolutionizing cloud storage with our announcement of Pure Storage Cloud Block Store for AWS.  Cloud Block Store takes our awesome Purity Software from on-premises to the public cloud, allowing everyone to gain leverage and a competitive edge.

Pure Storage Cloud Block Store for AWS is industrial-strength block storage powered by our Purity Operating Environment, delivering high reliability, efficiency, and performance.  It makes hybrid cloud data mobility and cloud protection simple and easy with all the goodness of Purity! To make things seamless and ensure all existing automation is 100% transferable, you can also leverage the same APIs across your existing FlashArrays and the public cloud.  

Cloud Block Store is 100% software running in AWS.  Since it is 100% software, it makes spinning up an instance or multiple instances in minutes simple and easy.  Just add the cloud formation template into your AWS catalog and provision away! Cloud Block Store has been specifically optimized to run on top of AWS infrastructure and provide enterprise data services similar to the user experience provided by Pure Storage FlashArray on-premises.  With the same APIs as our FlashArray™ you can leverage your existing automation and orchestration workflows in the public cloud.  Efficiency is built in with deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning to deliver capacity economically.  When moving your existing enterprise applications, there is no need to re-architect for resiliency. Cloud Block Store features ActiveCluster to mirror data across availability zones for business continuity and to enable the resiliency needed for Tier 1 applications making it easy to move existing enterprise applications to the cloud without having to re-architect.  Cloud Block Store is hybrid by design with bi-directional data portability and protection across your hybrid cloud. Replication enables you to move your data to wherever it needs to be processed. Lastly, it’s flexible, so you can consume on a pay-as-you-go model to best match your needs for production and development.

Cloud Block Store makes cloud storage better for both traditional enterprise applications and web scale applications.  With the aggregation of cloud capacity inside Cloud Block Store you get aggregated performance which give you a boost compared to a single EBS volume in the cloud.  

When moving traditional applications, AWS recommends protecting across availability zones. Instead of re-architecting your application, Cloud Block Store can utilize ActiveCluster to mirror data across availability zones and ensure you are protected.  ActiveCluster is super easy to manage and can be up in minutes versus traditional synchronous active/active software which requires architecture discussions, design work, and hours of setup.

Our snapshot technology is instant and space efficient which enables many high-value use cases so that you can:

  • Protect applications locally and remotely
  • Create instant test and development environments from production
  • Refresh a development database from a production database
  • Create hundreds of the same environment for developers
  • Scale more compute on a scale out database, like MongoDB instantly

How are our snapshots different from other solutions?  First, there is no configuration necessary, which makes things simple and easy to manage.  They are space efficient, so no additional capacity is required and the deltas are deduped and compressed against the global population.  You can leverage a policy engine to support multi-target (on-premises and in the cloud) and multi-volume replication strategies. Not only are most of these features not available natively in the cloud today, most vendors don’t even make them available on-premises.

Lastly, all data is encrypted at rest without any configuration or management.

So you are probably thinking, “this sounds way to easy, how does this stuff actually work and what you can do with it?”  Well let’s look at an example of how hybrid cloud can be delivered.

  • Disaster Recovery:  Purity//Protect is a bidirectional replication facility to replicate data to and from the cloud.  If you have applications running in the cloud you can create a policy to replicate back on-premises.  If you run apps on-premises, you can replicate locally, remotely to other FlashArray™, FlashBlade™ or NFS targets OR to the cloud.  You can even do both at once.
  • Migration to/from the Cloud:  Having the same common data layer allows your data and  applications to be transferred across cloud via our bidirectional replication and CloudSnap.
  • Backup to the Cloud:  CloudSnap™ makes an awesome backup utility to back up your FlashArray at the array, volume, or VM level.  CloudSnap is based on our portable snapshot technology which encapsulates metadata and enables the ability to restore any portable snapshot to any FlashArray on-premises or to Cloud Block Stores in the public cloud.
  • High Availability Cloud-to-Cloud:  For Apps that are cloud native, you can leverage ActiveCluster within or across availability zones for business continuity.  This is an awesome addition for existing enterprise applications and even more so for web scale applications, as resilience doesn’t need to be developed or re-architected, it is already in the foundation.
  • Data Protection / Backup:  CloudSnap provides simple, built-in, local and cloud data protection, backup, and even migration.  CloudSnap moves snapshots directly to S3 in AWS for low cost storage. These snapshots can be restored back on-premises to a FlashArray or to Cloud Block Store in AWS.  You can even back up a volume from a FlashArray to S3 in AWS, delete it off the FlashArray to alleviate space constraints, then restore it back in the cloud or on-premises when you need it back.  It is metadata-aware and only sends back the incremental data that is needed.

Cloud Block Store can also be leveraged directly to VMware Cloud in AWS.  Although iSCSI volumes from Cloud Block Store can be mounted into VMs inside VMC today, Pure is working closely with VMware engineering to bring more robust external datastore connectivity via iSCSI to market.  Stay tuned for more information on new and innovated solutions with VMware Cloud.

While bridging the same customer experience between on-premises and the public cloud, we are extending Pure1® (our Cloud Data Management and Support platform) to Cloud Block Store.  You can see all of your Pure Storage FlashArrays, FlashBlades, and Cloud Block Stores in AWS in one single pane of glass.  All the existing APIs and workflows built on-premises can now be leveraged in a hybrid cloud world.

 

In summary, Cloud Block Store enables customers to:

  • Run true hybrid operations with Pure’s cloud data infrastructure and Cloud Block Store.  You can easily move existing applications to the public cloud.
  • Develop applications once, and run them in your owned clouds or rented clouds.
  • Allow your webscale developers to focus on application logic, and leave reliability to the storage layer.

Cloud Block Store available via a limited public beta and will be generally available mid 2019.  If you are interested in signing up for the Cloud Block Store Beta, please sign up here.

To learn more about our cloud vision announcements, take a look at the following blogs:


We are super excited to share these innovations with you!  Thank you and stay flashy my friends!