Customers and apps are embracing cloud storage, we see this across many different businesses and industries. Since managing multiple cloud services can be complex due to all their differences, we set out to simplify this. We also have heard that customers really don’t want to bank everything on a single vendor’s cloud, especially their business data!
We launched our Zenko Multi-Cloud data controller earlier this year to provide a platform to simplify the lives of developers who are building applications requiring multi-cloud storage. The basic idea is if you know the AWS S3 API, you can use it to access any of the public cloud storage services supported by Zenko. This (of course) includes AWS S3 itself, but also cloud storage services that don’t natively support the S3 API such as Azure Blob Storage (supported now) and Google Cloud Storage (coming soon). Any conversation of multi-cloud should also consider private clouds, so we can include on-premises object storage as another “cloud” to be managed through Zenko.
Zenko is based on a leading open source project, Scality CloudServer which has just marked 2 Million pulls on Dockerhub. Scality itself is a leader in object and distributed file system storage solutions, according to the main analyst groups, Gartner and IDC.
So how can we take advantage of multiple clouds from an application or business perspective? There are a number of things that surface as potentially valuable, such as:
- Reversibility: can I take my data back on-premises or move to another cloud?
- Data proximity: How to take advantage of compute in the cloud, can I easily move my data to be close to the service that needs it?
- Cost: How to control the cost of cloud storage, since there are differences across vendors, and also to make sure I don’t get trapped or locked in.
- Where is my data: how do I search over everything in this cross-cloud content depot?
- Durability: is it enough to store data in one-cloud, or can I take advantage of storing across two clouds (more on this one later!)
- A single API that works on all clouds, including AWS, Azure & Google
- Data is stored natively in each cloud, so it can be accessed directly
- Data workflows based on policies, across clouds
- Finding data simply across multiple clouds
Simplified Multi-Cloud Management through the Zenko Orbit Portal
All of these features are powerful, but again the key question is how can we make this extremely simple to use? For this reason, we now have introduced Zenko Orbit, a cloud based portal that makes multi-cloud storage as simple as “point-n-click”.
Getting started is easy: just use your Gmail account to register and login. The first thing we simplify is starting up a cloud instance of Zenko itself. If you already have a Zenko instance created, just enter your InstanceID and Orbit will connect to it.
The Orbit dashboard provides useful information about your aggregate capacity utilization, and breaks it down across the various clouds. You can also easily manage your cloud storage accounts and credentials, plus monitor the Zenko instance resources and performance indicators.
Once these simple actions are completed, you are ready to use Zenko to access multi-cloud storage services. Orbit will soon offer an integrated data (object) browser, for easy upload/download of objects into these target clouds. In addition, we’re working on some very simple capabilities to provide additional business value from multi-cloud storage through Orbit.
In our next blog, we’ll explore a super interesting and high-potential use case for storing replicated objects (data) across two clouds, and what this can do for your data durability, availability – and of course ultimately, what does it mean for cost?