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How Asian Cloud Service Providers can overcome storage challenges in a virtualised environment

CK Chan, Senior Sales Director for Asia Pacific at Tintri | June 2, 2016
CSPs should consider a VM-aware storage solution because it will make it easier to purchase and grow, while offering customers guaranteed high performance, transparent VM-level analytics and differentiated services, says Tintri's CK Chan.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Across the globe, the amount of data being produced is rising rapidly - begging the question of how to store it all.

Virtualisation has opened the flood gates to new solutions, and increasingly cloud service providers (CSP) are now playing a big part in handling it.

This can be seen by the large amount of unpredictable and rapidly expanding virtualised workloads that are dealt with on a daily basis. And nowhere is this more prevalent than in Asia.

According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, Asia Pacific (ex. Japan) is now the fastest growing market for cloud IT infrastructure sales, rising 49 percent in 2015.

But this significant level of growth can be handled only if CSPs can contain their complexities and curb their unpredictability.

It remains a challenge for CSPs to identify the pains and priorities that define their businesses over a period of time. With this in mind, VM-aware storage (VAS) provider Tintri surveyed 78 CSPs for its 2016 State of Storage for Cloud Service Providers to learn more about the issues they face. The research, and subsequent report, focused on storage because it is central to the success of CSPs and can help them to thrive if they utilise it correctly.

The research revealed that 75 percent of respondents have virtualised over 80 percent of their storage environments. The fastest growing CSPs actively use storage to unlock new efficiencies and deliver differentiated services to their customers. To help them stay ahead of the game and grow their businesses, they should be working towards the following:

1.   Aligning storage with virtualisation: While conventional storage is highly effective for physical workloads, LUN and volume-based storage architectures have little benefit to offer a highly virtualised footprint. CSPs cannot afford to lose time shuffling virtual machines (VMs) between LUNs and they cannot have low ceilings imposed on their ability to manage a large and growing number of VMs. That's why they need storage specifically built for virtualisation that can offer density and simple management.

2.       Competing on differentiated services: Given the heavy competition in cloud services, CSPs need to stand apart (and expand margins) by offering highly differentiated services. That's often accomplished by procuring different tiers of storage. Looking ahead, CSPs need to build on storage that allows them to isolate virtualised applications and set different Quality of Service (QoS) tiers on a single device. That way, they can help their customers step up to higher-revenue services and guarantee the performance of customer applications.


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