Nimble Storage debuts new cross-cloud data management service


One of the biggest challenges involved in moving on-premises applications to the cloud is transferring their data to the new environment. But according to Nimble Storage Inc., the information doesn’t necessarily have to be brought along for the ride.

The flash memory array maker today introduced a new service called Nimble Cloud Volumes that removes the need to relocate in-house data as part of the migration process. Instead, it enables remote workloads to access records left behind on a company’s infrastructure as if they were stored locally. There’s naturally more latency involved since requests have to travel longer distances, but Nimble argues that the benefits more than justify the delay.

The first selling point of the service is that it can help reduce the financial barrier to migrating applications to the cloud. The difficulty stems from the fact that on-premises applications tend to amass a considerable amount of data over the years, which requires companies to buy a lot of extra bandwidth if they want to complete the transfer in a reasonable time frame. It’s such a big expense that it’s often more economical to ship records physically to a provider’s facilities than sending them over the web.

Keeping the information in-house avoids the hassle while enabling companies to retain full administrative control, which is the other major appeal of Nimble Cloud Volumes. It’s an especially important consideration when it comes to financial data and other sensitive records that an organization may not wish to entrust to third-party providers. Also, some customers may simply be more comfortable storing their data on Nimble’s systems than a remote platform that they’re not familiar with.

The array maker is working to make its hardware a more attractive choice than cloud-native storage services. Among others, Nimble Cloud Volumes provides a so-called zero-copy cloning features that enable remote workloads to easily modify on-premises records. When an application edits a file, the new version is simply saved locally while the original remains unchanged.

Administrators can monitor their information through a centralized monitoring console that provides visibility across multiple cloud platforms. Nimble said its service only supports Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure on launch, but support for other platforms will likely be added further down the line if there’s enough demand. Nimble Cloud Volumes is available immediately in the U.S. starting at  10 cents per gigabyte per month.

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