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With the rise of cloud computing and the rapid expansion of mobile computing, object-based storage services – the use of HTTP/Web-based access to stored objects – are increasing in popularity. These services can make perfect sense for new applications and services built in the age of cloud computing because they allow storage transactions to take place purely via HTTP, allowing consistent and broader access to to data from any device or cloud-enabled application.

While these object-oriented storage services may provide time-to-market, scalability, and cost-of-ownership benefits for greenfield applications, enterprises migrating existing application portfolios to the cloud also require a solution compatible with the common data access methods and protocols already in use. Without these critical capabilities, enterprises can face high costs in customizing  applications for cloud infrastructure and nearly eliminate the cost-advantages and agility they are looking to achieve by moving to the cloud.

Traditional storage systems are challenged in supporting enterprises making this strategic choice in direction as they are literally locked inside the datacenter. These vertically integrated ‘data destinations’ lack the flexibility required for today's modern and agile IT infrastructures.

A new approach is emerging that enables storage to moving beyond simply a ‘data destination' to an active storage software platform independent of the hardware underneath and capable of providing elastic scale-out storage capabilities from megabytes to petabytes. This new approach, embraced in Red Hat Storage solutions, can easily and reliably accelerate the move of enterprise storage to the public cloud. And, by utilizing the public cloud infrastructure, enterprises take an important step to embrace an open hybrid cloud approach – combining their existing resources into their cloud infrastructures, crossing physical, virtual and public cloud resources.

Within a given application portfolio, traditional applications often require access to unstructured
data through a variety of storage protocols and command sets including CIFS, NFS, FTP, and others.

Presenting storage through these traditional access methods and simultaneously providing object-based access gives enterprises the ability to easily migrate existing unstructured data to public clouds.  And, this can all be done without rewriting applications and while maintaining existing storage management frameworks and processes.

But an enterprise class cloud storage solution doesn’t stop at access. Beyond an architecture that is compatible with cloud infrastructure, it also needs to meet additional requirements to deliver enterprise-level qualities of service including:

elasticity - easily and dynamically adding or removing resources with minimal friction leveraging cloud resources such as AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2);

scalability - deliver greater capacity and performance by making it simple to add  additional compute and storage resources availability;

availability – cloud storage solutions must support enterprise service level requirements with high levels of data availability in the face of cloud infrastructure failure; and

continuity – provide synchronous and asynchronous data replication capabilities including both local and long distance data replication - enabling business continuity and disaster recovery.

Intelitek, a learning solutions provider based in North America, needed an extremely scalable and elastic scale-out storage solution and found that Red Hat Storage Server for Public Cloud and Amazon Web Services together were a great fit to meet the requirements above.

Red Hat Storage servers aggregate the power of large numbers of Amazon EC2 and EBS resources within AWS, forming scale-out NAS in the AWS cloud and providing data replication across EC2 instances allowing Intelitek to create a high-performance object and file storage solution. This enabled them to scale to gigabytes of throughput and petabytes of capacity on-demand without the need for them to rewrite applications.

Check out the full Red Hat Intelitek case study here.

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