I was lucky to attend both London and Chicago AWS Summits for Scality recently. We were promoting Zenko, our multi-cloud data-controller, and the Scality RING, our flagship Software-Defined solution for on premise Storage. As an engineer, I was there to nurture technical conversations whenever possible, and what I found striking was how many of those happened in the course of those two events.
AWS Summit attendees have very diverse backgrounds, and it keeps you on your toes: anyone from a bachelor undergraduate student to the CTO of a global company could be the next person stopping by your booth. I had great conversations with junior software engineers, senior infrastructure engineers, architects… and not all of them were AWS experts! In fact, a lot of attendees stated being new to AWS. But all of them had a massive spark of interest when we talked about an open-source implementation of the S3 protocol.
My three main takeaways from this event are:
- Developing an application that will eventually run against S3 could have huge hidden costs: if you have been playing with AWS S3 for over a year, your free tier trial is over, and you start having to pay for every operation you perform against AWS S3. At this early stage, for any project, such costs can be very hard to bear as there is no revenue generated yet, and load/performance tests usually imply running a ton of operations… each time you try to pass them…
- A lot of big companies are trying to move from on-premise storage to cloud storage, but there is a conflict between the vision of the top executive, who wants to move everything regardless of the costs, and the top architects, who realize there are compliance requirements for some data that are hard to meet in the cloud, along with sensitive data which safety would be better controlled if kept on premise. This discussion needs to happen and, from our experience, we believe that large players in the global companies world will realize the need for “hybrid” solutions (on-premise and Cloud storage working side by side)
- When moving to the Cloud, whether for costs, tiering, or flexibility reasons, most large companies wish to split their assets across different Cloud Storage providers.
These takeaways are very positive for Scality and Zenko, as it means we already have answers to a problem people are just starting to grasp. Indeed, following the same structure as above:
- CloudServer, our Open Source implementation of the S3 API running locally in a Docker container, enables developers and start-ups to take the time they need to test their application against a fully compatible S3 frontend before moving it to AWS S3 as it goes in production.
- One way to connect to the RING is the “S3 Connector”, the Enterprise Edition of CloudServer; it comes with a few more features, especially an extensive support of IAM entities and calls.
Deploying a RING alongside an S3 Connector allows control of your on-premise data and your AWS S3 hosted data via a single API that has become the de facto standard for object storage: the S3 API. As the world moves towards having both kinds of storage available, this kind of ease of use is crucial to have.
- Zenko, which grows the CloudServer and S3 Connector ecosystem, currently enables on-premise high availability deployment architectures. It is scheduled to include an S3-to-Azure translator, and a cross-clouds aggregated metadata search by November 2017. If you are currently using multiple clouds, you know how much easier your life will be with these…
Finally, it comes with a management portal enabling visual monitoring and configuration of the service. The main monitored aspects are disk usage, CPU usage, and various utilization stats (S3 API calls). The main configurable variables are credentials for all organization’s members across cloud providers, and endpoints for all cloud providers.
Of course, all these functionalities will be available in exactly the same terms with your on premise storage provided it runs on a Scality RING. Moving (some of your data) to the Cloud has never been easier.
I strongly believe the multi-cloud approach is really what lies ahead of us, and these AWS Summits have done nothing but reinforce that impression. I encourage you to attend the next one happening close to you: these events are a great opportunity to peek at the future of storage, and to meet future partners! By the way, Scality (and thus Zenko) will attend NYC AWS Summit on August 14th, 2017… just in case 😉
— Zenko (@Zenko_io) July 26, 2017
— Candida Valois (@CandidaValois) July 26, 2017