By Rob Mason on April 10, 2012
Part 3 in our series examined the performance of Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace Cloud Files during different bulk migration scenarios. In the final part to the series we look at what conclusions can be drawn from our testing. It is important to keep in mind that our battery of tests are not meant to be comprehensive. While the results may be useful to anyone considering cloud storage, we focus on what is important to our customers. Being able to move large numbers of objects within a CSP and, specially, across CSPs in a reasonable amount of time and with no disruption to our customers is paramount at Nasuni.
Unlike cloud computing, cloud storage has a lot of inertia that must be overcome to move it from one provider to another or even within the same provider. This inertia varies widely across cloud storage providers (CSP).
As with our CSP Industry Benchmark Report, Amazon once again ranks at the top of the list, a full 10 times better than the next best cloud storage provider. This speaks to their time in the market, their architecture, operations, etc. Also not surprising from our previous report, is that Azure is still in second place and Rackspace a more distant third place.
For many cloud storage users, a 10MB/s ingestion rate (equivalent to a 800Mbps upstream Internet connection) is more than sufficient and Rackspace’s performance is nothing to be disappointed in. Nasuni’s own corporate upstream bandwidth is limited at a paltry 10Mbps. But keep in mind that Nasuni is offering multi-site global access to your data. We have customers with 30 sites in different countries accessing the same data set. With a more reasonable upstream pipe of 30Mbps and 30 sites you would quickly exceed the abilities of some cloud storage providers to take your data.
The other consideration is when you need to do bulk migrations. If you need to get a lot of data fast, can your provider keep up? As we said earlier, it depends, but if you picked Amazon and they can’t then nobody can.
There are many additional tests that would be interesting to run. What about using Rackspace Cloud servers to do the migrations? What about using Azure compute services? Migration runs at different times of the day in order to understand daily fluctuations among the CSPs. There just isn’t enough time in the day to look at all the possibilities. Plus each one of those questions would cost you hundreds of dollars to get just in the compute time, data transfer charges, etc. The data for this report alone cost Nasuni over several thousands of dollars to execute. The CSPs are resistant to measurement, both in their policies but also in their pricing and partnerships.
Now let’s go back to the initial question: How long will it take you to move my data? The answer still may depend, but if you have 12TB of data with Nasuni it can be moved securely without any disruption to your users in about 4 hours or less within S3, a couple days from S3 to Azure and just under a week from S3 to Rackspace.
While cloud storage providers have a lot of inertia making it difficult to shift around quickly, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your data is stuck with a particular CSP. At Nasuni we’ve built technology that enables us to determine and select the best cloud storage provider for our customers. If times change, Nasuni can rapidly and without any disruption to our customers shift the data securely to new locations and CSPs. Nasuni is a new sort of storage company. We do what needs to be done to support the cloud as a component and to deliver enterprise grade storage services directly into our customers’ data centers.
Up Next: Download the White Paper – Bulk Data Migration in the Cloud
Rob Mason has more than 20 years of operational, management and software development experience, all of it in storage. A meticulous builder and obsessive tester, with an eye for talented engineers, Rob produces rock-solid software, and, through his own example of hard work and ingenuity, inspires his teams to outdo themselves. His determination for thoroughness extends to financial and operational matters, and at Nasuni, he is a powerhouse behind the scenes, managing the company’s operations, in addition to its engineering team. As the VP of Engineering at Archivas from 2004 to acquisition, Rob oversaw all development and quality assurance. After the Hitachi acquisition, he continued in his role, as VP of HCAP Engineering, managing the integration of his team with Hitachi’s and supporting the rollout of HCAP. Before joining Archivas, he was a senior manager at storage giant EMC, where he was responsible for the API, support applications and partner development for EMC’s content-addressed storage product, Centera. In a previous stint at EMC, he was Manager and Principal Design Engineer for the elite Symmetrix Group, where he improved the speed and reliability of EMC’s flagship enterprise storage disk array. Between Centera and Symmetrix, Rob was the co-founder and VP of engineering at I/O Integrity, a storage-based startup developing a high-performance caching appliance. He has a bachelor of science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s in business administration with honors from Rutgers University. Rob holds upwards of 30 patents.