Azure Partner Community: Why cloud storage is cool

Karl Rautenstrauch - Azure Infrastructure Blackbelt

If you think a discussion about cloud storage is boring, think again. We can't function personally or professionally without reliable storage to host our data - project files, customer data, our music libraries, funny cat photos. But we don't spend a lot of time thinking about it because it is always there, like electricity. Even though it plays such a crucial role in our lives, it's just not cool enough for much discussion. Right?

In our January 12 community call for Azure Partners, we're going to shine the spotlight on compelling solutions that prove cloud storage is cool. We'll review four ways to use Microsoft Azure Storage, each scenario offering unique value, with one important common benefit across them all. A short introduction to each of them is in this post, as is information about a series of webcasts featuring technology partners with solutions that help your customers benefit from cloud economics and on-demand resources.

Sign up for the January 12 Azure Infrastructure and Management Partner community call

Learn more about Microsoft Azure Storage

Introduction to Microsoft Azure Storage

Microsoft Azure Storage scenarios

1. Backup to cloud storage

Everyone needs to protect their data by sending backups offsite. There are many software- and hardware-based backup solutions on the market today that offer cloud storage connectivity and can allow your customers to safely and securely utilize Azure Storage as an offsite backup vault.


2. Archival to cloud storage

Legal discovery, industry regulations, and internal business policies may require your customers to be able to securely store application, database, email, or file data for lengthy periods of time in an indexed, searchable content store. Azure Storage provides an economical way to do so and can even offload the search function when they need to find important data.


3. Cloud as a storage tier

Let's face it - enterprise storage is expensive. Hardware, software, support, power, cooling, and migration from one generation to the next costs your customers significant time and money. What if there was a way to reduce their on-premises footprint and minimize all of the costs above?

Storage tiering has been commonplace in the industry for years now. As data is less and less frequently accessed, intelligent storage arrays automatically move the data from fast, but expensive, solid- state disk (SSD) to less expensive tiers of traditional spinning magnetic drives. Many vendors have now added the capability to include Azure Storage as one of those tiers. If your customer’s vendor is not among them, StorSimple or one of our technology partners can help.


4. Synchronizing data with the cloud

There is one more way to utilize Azure Storage as part of a customer’s storage infrastructure: routinely synchronize data to it. This can be done via technology at the storage layer (storage replica, array-based replication, or cloud snapshots), hypervisor layer, application layer (SQL Always-On, etc), or at the virtual machine or non-virtualized server layer. The net result is a consistently updated copy of your customer’s data (or entire machine) in Azure Storage.


Azure Storage solutions webcasts in January 2017

In addition to the discussion about cloud storage on the January 12 Azure Partner Community call, we're hosting a series of webcasts focused on the four storage scenarios above. Join us to learn about the storage solutions our technology partners provide. Download the calendar (.ics) file for each event to add it to your calendar.

Partner opportunity

Regardless of the means used to bridge your customer’s storage infrastructure to the cloud, the benefits of lower cost and less risk are undeniable. Azure Storage can deliver as much as a 10x reduction in cost and offers encryption at rest, multiple copies by default, and strict role-based access controls to insure data integrity.

There is one more benefit that is even more valuable to your customer. The data they send can be utilized by a variety of Azure services. Mount copies to virtual machines for development and test. Use your replicated machines and data sets in Azure as a warm site for disaster recovery. Migrate machines and workloads to the cloud. Burst workloads to the cloud. Present the data to machine learning, analytics, or media services. Do all of this as needed. Pay for what is used, when it is used. Deliver the vision of the on-demand public cloud to your customers.

  • Get your data into Azure Storagefinal-cloud-storage-image
  • Spin up your vendor’s Azure Marketplace appliance (if needed, based on the solution)
  • Present data to the Azure service(s) of your choice
  • Receive accolades from friends, colleagues, and the business

Learn about each of the Azure services in the Products section of the Microsoft Azure website

Azure Infrastructure and Management Partner Community

Azure Partner Community call on January 12     Azure Partner Community Yammer group     Microsoft Azure Storage - flexible, scalable, secure

Comments (4)

  1. Hello everyone!

    One thing I wanted to point out is that the several of these technology partners offer MUCH more than what I have highlighted above in the “Azure Storage solutions webcasts in January 2017” section. For example, SoftNAS offers a tremendous on-premises software-defined storage solution, BUT they also offer a sophisticated Public Cloud solution.

    I encourage you to attend, peel back the onion, and learn more!

  2. Hello everyone!
    Another update for you. These sessions will have an embedded live Yammer feed. Yammer will act as our means to interact during the sessions and afterwards – a great way for you to continue the dialogue with our valued technology partners! If you have not signed up for a Yammer account, please do so before the series begins. You will need to use your company email address to register. Our group will be here:

  3. Asif Khan says:

    Karl, thanks for posting this. This is a great way of thinking about how Azure can be incorporated into a storage architecture strategy.

  4. Thanks for posting this useful article post. it is very informative.

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