Q&A: Molly Presley of Qumulo Talks Cloud Data Storage, Hybrid Cloud File Storage and Qumulo Shift for AWS

Q&A: Molly Presley of Qumulo Talks Cloud Data Storage, Hybrid Cloud File Storage and Qumulo Shift for AWS

June 23, 2020 Off By David
CloudCow Q&A Qumulo

CloudCow recently spoke with Molly Presley, Head of Global Product Marketing at Qumulo, to find out the latest around cloud data storage and what the company has been up to recently.

CloudCow: With the explosive growth of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, it’s clear that many organizations are finding success on their cloud journey, but what does that mean for cloud data storage?

Molly Presley: Users migrating to the cloud are primarily doing so to accelerate business outcomes.  The scale of cloud compute and variety of cloud applications help them to use data faster and with more options than ever before.  The closer data is stored to the compute environment, the easier it is to use.  This has led to a shift to cloud storage for both active and warm data sets.  The format the data is stored in also is important.  Data must be stored as file data for mission critical legacy applications, where for many modern cloud-native applications, it needs to be stored as object.

CloudCow: Unstructured data continues to increase, ushering in the era of “hybrid IT.” Through this transformation, what are the top things IT organizations need to know?

Molly Presley: To accomplish hybrid IT, users need to look for technologies that help them simplify their hybrid environment.  Selecting solutions that run both in the data center and in the cloud is important.  These technologies should have simple management in the datacenter and integration with public cloud management tools.  The software needs to be offered both in a datacenter offering as well as run cloud-native directly on the cloud infrastructure in order to take full advantage of the speed, flexibility and scale of the cloud.

CloudCow: Organizations are being tasked with managing rising volumes of data and making that data available to applications wherever they reside, whether on-prem or in the cloud. How do organizations determine how it’s stored, accessed, analyzed and archived?

Molly Presley: From a business perspective, data management decisions have always been difficult to enforce.  Tensions between users and IT have long made this topic a challenge.  With rising volumes of data, increasingly, application policies and automation through APIs have simplified this challenge.  In modern solutions, data movement to the appropriate storage, moving it from warm storage to memory for example, is programmatically invoked when an application requests the data.  It can be moved programmatically or by policy from one storage location to another, and converted from file to object to meet the application requirements.  

Built in data analytics are also critical to managing large amounts of data.   No longer is it possible for an IT administrator to view the billions of files that exist and make decisions on how to optimize performance and meet SLAs to the application or the users.  It is necessary for the technology to understand the data deeply in order to gain business benefit from it.

CloudCow: Are there vertical industries that are adopting cloud data storage faster than others? If so, why?

Molly Presley: Yes, specific to unstructured data, the earliest adopters of cloud for active data were Media & Entertainment and Life Sciences imaging workloads.  This was driven by their datasets having very large files that were easier to process, render and analyze on the powerful cloud compute environment. 

Other industries that are rapidly adopting cloud for warm and cloud unstructured data include large Enterprises and Healthcare organizations that can meet many of their compliance objects leveraging cloud storage for longer term retention.  Cloud warm and cold storage provide lifecycle policies designed specifically to meet a variety of specific compliance requirements, offer an offsite and even “offline” storage solution to address ransomware and disaster recovery concerns, and offer many different cost and performance tiers to meet different retention strategies.

CloudCow: Can you define what hybrid cloud file storage technology is and how it differs from cloud file storage?

Molly Presley: Hybrid cloud file storage is designed to give a company a unified experience for their data as they scale-across on-prem and the cloud.  Most hybrid users have large data sets on-prem that they need to connect to the cloud environment.  Hybrid file storage delivers unified management experience and enables the same automation scripts to be used in both environments.  It also has the ability to move data between locations and between different clouds to make it easier to move the data where the application or target storage resides.

CloudCow: Why are so many enterprises still using legacy storage systems that don’t enable businesses to extend to the cloud?

Molly Presley: Data has gravity.  Once it is created, it can be difficult to move. This is particularly true if the legacy storage system doesn’t provide tools to help make the cloud journey easier.  Many legacy storage solutions are designed to run on datacenter hardware appliances and don’t have any ability to move data to the cloud, or if they do have a cloud tiering option, that data has to come back to the datacenter appliance in a proprietary format before it can be used.

CloudCow: Tell us about your recent announcement of an AWS offering.

Molly Presley: To date, enterprises have been unable to easily move their critical file data to the cloud, stranding their data from the applications and services they need to use. Complicating cloud adoption even further, enterprises have been forced to completely re-architect their application workflows in order to utilize data in the cloud. Traditional legacy file systems are limited in their ability to help customers leverage the cloud, causing expensive and time-consuming application refactoring and forcing customers into proprietary data formats. Qumulo Shift for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a native cloud service that enables organizations to move file data from any Qumulo on-prem or public cloud cluster into Amazon S3 and transform that data to object in an open and non-proprietary format. With Shift, Qumulo file customers can leverage the cloud-native applications and services attached to Amazon S3. Qumulo Shift is included for free with the Qumulo file system.