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What are Cloud Volumes? Everything You Need to Know


Enterprise organizations have adopted cloud computing strategies at an extraordinary pace over the past decade, with the 2020 State of the Cloud report indicating that nearly 100% of enterprise organizations are deploying workloads in the cloud and 93% have adopted a multi-cloud strategy to meet their computing needs.

Among the top priorities for organizations leveraging cloud computing in 2020 are optimizing existing usage of cloud services to reduce costs, migrating more workloads to the cloud, and expanding the use of containers. Organizations that succeed in these initiatives are poised to take advantage of new market opportunities, including the consumerization of business applications, business process automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

To succeed in these initiatives and accelerate their digital transformation, organizations should invest in modernizing their infrastructure with the latest cloud technologies – especially with Cloud Volumes, a new cloud storage technology that provides flexibility, security, and cost-savings for enterprise organizations operating with a multi-cloud architecture.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Cloud Volumes and why this solution represents the future of data storage in cloud computing. You’ll also discover the benefits of leveraging Cloud Volumes in your business and how this solution interacts with major public cloud service providers.

What are Cloud Volumes?

Faction Cloud Control Volumes (CCV) is a cloud storage management solution targeted at enterprise organizations whose goals include moving applications into the cloud, adopting a multi-cloud computing architecture, reducing IT costs, and implementing a cloud-based disaster recovery strategy.

With Faction CCV, you’ll benefit from persistent, cloud-attached storage that makes your enterprise data available where and when you need it while protecting against data loss.

Faction Cloud Control Volumes (CCV) connects seamlessly to all major public cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and VMware Cloud on AWS. Faction has developed proprietary socket layer technology that connects your data directly to public cloud providers, providing high-speed data transfer and minimizing latency.

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What are the Benefits of Leveraging Cloud Volumes?

Avoid Cloud Vendor Lock-In

Enterprise organizations transitioning workloads to the public cloud have a range of public cloud vendors to choose from, especially the big three: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Cloud vendor lock-in happens when your organization wishes to move from one vendor to another but cannot do so because of technical compatibility issues or excessive costs.

The lack of standardization and low interoperability between public clouds means that developing applications for a specific cloud platform can leave your organization more vulnerable to unanticipated changes and result in poor data portability and vendor lock-in.

Data portability issues leading to vendor lock-in can also arise from the egress fees that public cloud vendors charge when customers migrate their data away from public cloud servers. Look at the latest prices for data ingress and egress with leading public cloud vendors

Table as of September 2020:

Data Ingress and Egress Pricing for Public Cloud Vendors
Public Cloud Vendor Data Ingress Pricing Data Egress Pricing
Amazon Web Services Free $0.00 for the first 1 GB/month
$0.09/GB for the next 9.999 TB/month
$0.085/GB for the next 40 TB/month
$0.07/GB for the next 100 TB/month
$0.05/GB for 150+ TB/month
Microsoft Azure Free $0.00 for the first 5 GB/month
$0.087/GB for 5GB – 10 TB/month
$0.083/GB for the next 40 TB
$0.07/GB for the next 100 TB
$0.05/GB for the next 350 TB
Google Cloud Platform Free $0.12/GB for 0-1 TB/month
$0.11/GB for 1-10 TB/month
$0.08/GB for 10+ TB/month

Public cloud vendors make it cheap and easy to transfer your data onto their storage infrastructure – but try moving it somewhere else and you’ll run into complex pricing models and high costs. With the current fee structures, transferring 20 TB of data from the public cloud onto your own private cloud servers would cost:

· $1,750 with Amazon Web Services
· $1,680 with Microsoft Azure
· $1,910 with Google Cloud Platform

Enterprise organizations can minimize these egress fees by implementing cloud-attached storage with Faction Cloud Control Volumes. Costly data transfer and egress fees are replaced by reliable, high-speed access to data across all public and private clouds.

Enhance Multi-Cloud Resilience

In 2020, 93% of enterprise organizations are leveraging multi-cloud computing architectures as part of their IT strategy. A multi-cloud architecture is where an organization leverages multiple public cloud platforms to support cloud hosting, data storage, and enterprise applications. Hybrid cloud architectures are also commonplace, as enterprises seek to leverage public cloud infrastructure in combination with their own private cloud deployments and on-premise data centers.

Despite these changes, many enterprise organizations are still vulnerable to business interruptions that can occur when public cloud service providers experience service outages.

We’ve already seen service outages happening among the leading public cloud providers this year. Microsoft’s US East Azure region experienced six hours of downtime in early March of 2020, resulting in business disruptions with millions of dollars in economic impacts. Google maintains a public record of incident reports related to services on the Google Cloud Platform – a quick look reveals hundreds of hours of downtime over the past year, spread across critical services like Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud Networking, and others.

Enterprise organizations leveraging a multi-cloud infrastructure can reduce the impact of public cloud service outages with Cloud Volumes. Faction CCV provides cloud-attached storage with high-speed data transfer, giving organizations the capability to rapidly failover workloads from one public cloud service provider to another and seamlessly resume operations when an outage occurs.

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Realize Cost Savings & Enhance IT Spending Efficiency

Public cloud service providers allow organizations to scale their services by provisioning virtual machines (VMs). A virtual machine is a software emulation that provides the functionality of a physical computer system, including data storage, processing power, and an operating system.

Virtual machines follow the conventional wisdom of database design, using tightly coupled data storage and computing with a dependency on locally attached storage to minimize latency and maximize performance – however, times, tech, and hardware dynamics have changed, and the ability to separate data storage and computing with cloud-attached storage is becoming mainstream as organizations begin to realize the associated cost savings and efficiency gains.

In the past, organizations had no choice but to scale their computing and data storage capacity concurrently as needed by provisioning additional VMs as needed. Today, organizations that leverage Cloud Control Volumes can operate outside this paradigm – they can scale their data storage capacity independently, without spinning up costly new VMs when additional computing resources aren’t required. This capability results in substantial cost savings and increases the efficiency of IT spending.

Unlock the Power of Big Data

Leading enterprise organizations are leveraging big data to develop customer insights, analyze and improve operations, detect security threats, and discover new market opportunities.

Cloud computing was supposed to give organizations the power to efficiently scale data storage and analysis at a low price point, but traditional cloud deployments are increasingly becoming an obstacle, rather than an enabler, when it comes to unlocking the power of big data.

The reasoning here is simple: public cloud service vendors provide the compute resources needed to handle big data analytics, but egress fees and the impacts of data gravity make it difficult or impossible to move data around once it finds a home on public cloud infrastructure. As a result, big data sets are “trapped in the cloud” and organizations can’t easily move it between public cloud providers or into private clouds or on-premise data centers.

Cloud Volumes provides a much-needed workaround that helps enterprises unlock the power of big data within their organizations. With Faction Cloud Control Volumes, big data sets in cloud-attached storage are easily and cheaply transferred between Faction CCV, your private cloud or on-premise data center, and accessed by multiple public clouds. As a result, you’ll be able to access your data where and when it’s needed to facilitate analysis and support data-driven decision-making across your organization.

Cloud Volumes for VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS is a collaboration between virtual machine pioneers VMware and Cloud Computing giants Amazon that enables organizations to leverage VMware’s software-defined data center and related capabilities seamlessly on dedicated AWS infrastructure.

Faction Cloud Control Volumes is the first cloud-attached storage solution that provides native integration with VMware on AWS. Faction CCV provides a direct connection between your cloud-adjacent data storage and VMware Cloud on AWS environment via a proprietary, patented, high-speed network with less than 3-millisecond latency. With these capabilities, organizations can:

1. Rapidly migrate vSphere-based workloads into the cloud while replicating data and applications into Faction Storage. This supports data center or app migrations and reduces risk, as there is no need to convert or refactor applications prior to migration.

2. Leverage VMware Site Recovery (already natively integrated into VMware Cloud on AWS) to enhance disaster recovery and improve business resilience. This feature enables organizations to automate their disaster recovery process and operations, recover services more quickly in case of a disruption, and reduce IT costs associated with disaster recovery.

3. Cloud Control Volumes and VMware Cloud on AWS give organizations the flexibility to rapidly develop and scale composite applications using over 100 native AWS IaaS and PaaS tools and services.

Cloud Volumes for Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure represents a growing collection of cloud services and capabilities that help organizations build and scale applications, and store data, on a global scale.

Faction has partnered with Dell Technologies to deliver the ultimate cloud-attached storage solution for Microsoft Azure users, combining the flexibility and scalability of Faction Cloud Control Volumes on high-performance Dell storage hardware with the powerful compute and processing services provided through Microsoft Azure.

We’re also taking advantage of Azure ExpressRoute Local, an Azure service that lets us establish a private connection between Microsoft Azure data centers and Faction CCV, where your data is securely stored. ExpressRoute connections bypass the public Internet, providing superior data security and reliability with lower latencies and reduced costs.

With this feature, our customers can benefit from high-speed data transfers with massive bandwidths of up to 200 Gbps and an ultra-low-latency connection with delays as low as 1.2 milliseconds.

Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform

The Google Cloud Platform runs on the same infrastructure as YouTube, Gmail, and the Google search engine. It includes more than 90 products and services across nine categories: compute, storage & databases, networking, big data, cloud AI, management tools, identity & security, IoT, and API platform.

Faction Cloud Control Volumes provides exceptional data security by taking advantage of private access options on the GCP. Instead of being transferred through the Internet, traffic between Faction CCV and Google’s data center is isolated on private IP addresses, keeping it safe from unwanted access.

Cloud Volumes for AWS

AWS was established in 2006 and began offering cloud services to the public in 2008. As the leading public cloud service provider in the world, AWS commands a 33% share of the market and is expected to generate over $40 billion in revenue this year. AWS offers more than 175 cloud-based products and services across 25 product categories, including 10 different data storage services.

Cloud Volumes can replace native AWS storage as your solution of choice for scalable data storage. The key benefit here is that cloud volumes supports a multi-cloud architecture, helping you avoid vendor lock-in, while AWS services like Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic File System (EFS), and S3 Glacier result in your data being exclusively available through AWS cloud services.

With Faction Cloud Control Volumes, you’ll be able to leverage all the powerful features that AWS has to offer while reducing data storage costs and future-proofing your organization with multi-cloud capabilities.

Lower Data Storage Costs & Defy Data Gravity with Faction Cloud Control Volumes

Faction is the leading provider of cloud-attached storage solutions and a reliable technological partner for modernizing your cloud infrastructure and accelerating digital transformation within your organization. Faction Cloud Control Volumes support a cost-effective multi-cloud architecture and are compatible with major public clouds like AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure, VMware Cloud on AWS, and even your own Faction-hosted public cloud.

Ready to learn more about Faction Cloud Control Volumes and how Faction can help you enhance disaster recovery and get the most out of your valuable data?

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