Today Amazon released their Storage Gateway Service which provides on-premise customers with an i-SCSI interface to the Amazon S3.  At initial glance, we went -gulp- there goes the competition, but upon further review, we think that Amazon fell short on going to market with this:

  1. At least the customers we’ve talked to (Fortune 500, 1000, amongst others) already have significant investment in Snapshot (point in time) capabilities.  NetApp, EMC, VMWare, Symantec all compete in this space pretty aggressively.   What the market wants is not point in time from Cloud providers, instead, it wants to leverage Cloud as an extend of their in-house Storage capability.
  2. Even the snapshot approach (where there are point-in-time backups of your data to be offloaded/mirrored to the Amazon S3 service) can be bandwidth and time consuming.  Where’s the de-dupe logic?  Where’s the efficient caching (Amazon’s offering requires 100% of the storage to reside locally, although they plan on offering gateway-caching in the coming months).
  3. Vendor locking is a bum – which is what you’ll get here.  Easy to get onboard, hard to leave….
  4. Did anyone look at the footprint of this VM appliance?   4 vCPU, 7.5GB of RAM, and 75GB of storage is pretty hefty price to pay where the compute power is simply handling I/O (again, no intelligence in data de-dupe and intelligent caching, where the magic lies).
  5. Limit of 1TB  per data volume, max of 12 volumes (effective 12TB).  Last we checked, this means horizontal scaling limits will prevent penetration into enterprises. As 1TB is nowadays equivalent to 1GB 10 years ago.  This also significantly increases your costs.
  6. Performance – the jury is still out, but based on how it operates we highly doubt it outperforms/out values competitors such as TwinStrata’s CloudArray.

Here’s a nice read from InformationWeek that shares the sames concerns.

Until then, we’ll stick to Veeam and TwinStrata for Offsite Backup and flexibility of storage providers 🙂

About the author:

Vinnie Lima

Vinnie Lima is the Managing Director for VVL Systems & Consulting, a small business focusing on IT Optimization for Cloud, Infrastructure, and End Users. Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Vinnie Lima has over 21 years in IT Automation, Orchestration, and Cloud. Mr. Lima’s career has been focusing on helping customers drive value from their IT investments through the use of leading edge technologies and approaches, driving innovation in a wide spectrum of industries such as DoD, Federal, Health Care, and Financial.

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