Improving Data Availability in a Multi-Cloud World


All cloud providers suffer outages from time to time, so putting all your eggs in just one provider’s basket can leave you vulnerable. Will your data be available when you need it? If your data is important (and whose isn’t?) a multi-cloud strategy may be the answer. To start with, let’s talk about two key cloud storage provider terms – data durability and data availability and how they differ from each other.

What is durability?
Durability is a measurement of the tiny errors that occur in files due to underlying media. Object storage providers express data durability as an annual percentage in 9’s. For example, eleven nines of durability is expressed as 99.999999999%. What this means is that the storage vendor is promising that your data will remain intact (but not necessarily available) while it is under their care.

For example, Azure claims 12 nines for zone redundant storage and up to 16 nines durability for geographically redundant storage, while Amazon S3 Standard offers 11 nines, or 99.999999999% annual durability. This means your data is safe and they will not lose any more than 0.000000001 percent of your data in a year (in the case of 11 nines) which should leave you feeling pretty good about potential data loss.

But will your files be available when you need them?
Availability brings the question of “Can I access my data when I want or need it?” What impacts the availability of cloud storage? Possibilities include connectivity or infrastructure issues, internet outages or power loss, any of which can affect the availability of your data. And there’s always the chance of human error.

For example, Amazon says AWS S3 Standard is designed for 99.9% availability over a given year while Azure says they guarantee up to 99.99%. With 99.9% availability, your data could be unavailable for up to 8.77 hours per year. It doesn’t seem like much but there is always a small chance that systems may not work as planned or that human error (which cloud providers do not take into account) causes you not to have access to your data.

How important is your data? Are there regulatory or compliance requirements that dictate availability? Can you afford to not have access to your data, even if only temporarily?

Enter Panzura…Better availability with multi-cloud support
Panzura Freedom NAS delivers a multi-cloud file storage solution. And with cloud mirroring, announced as part of Freedom 8, we can effectively double the availability SLA of any single cloud storage provider.

In much the same way that RAID1 replicates data across multiple drives, Panzura mirrors your data across multiple clouds, effectively doubling the availability of any single cloud storage provider, while providing uninterrupted service in the case of a cloud storage service outage, connectivity issue or even human error.

Panzura Freedom’s cloud mirroring capability will automatically fail-over to a redundant cloud storage provider in the case of a failure without disrupting any file services for applications or users. And when the primary cloud service is available, Panzura will automatically synchronize both clouds to a consistent state all without human intervention. Read more in our earlier blog which give insights on how Panzura powers cloud data protection and availability.

If you currently have all your eggs in one (cloud) basket and are concerned about availability or if your regulatory requirements demand a multi-cloud strategy, Panzura Freedom NAS can help!

Watch our Lightboard Video to see how cloud mirroring works and if you really want to dive under the covers of this new feature, read our cloud mirroring whitepaper. Of course, we’re happy to do a demo any time, just contact us.

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