AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

How Customers Can Run and Protect Workloads with AWS Storage Partner Solutions

Storage-3By Henry Axelrod, Partner Solutions Architect at AWS
By Kelly Boeckman, Marketing Programs Manager – Storage at AWS

Servers, networking, and storage. Long has this trinity formed the foundation of IT, and all three are equally critical for any given workload’s success. Storage is self-describing—it’s where data lives.

Without source data driving it, system communication doesn’t happen, processes halt, and applications can’t run. Data lives in storage, and storage protects the data.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) was one of the first services launched by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006. Since then, Amazon S3 has come to anchor the AWS storage services portfolio that runs the spectrum—file storage, block, object–and meets almost any customer need.

Some of the storage and data transfer services offered by AWS are Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Elastic File Service (Amazon EFS), AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Snowball, AWS Direct Connect, and Amazon S3 Glacier. AWS has also released several new services, including AWS Backup, AWS DataSync, Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering, and Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive.

Complementing AWS native storage services, AWS Partner Network (APN) Storage Partners comprise a large community that is dedicated to helping customers move and store data of all types. APN Storage Partners have the expertise and experience to asses, deploy, upgrade, and manage storage-centric solutions across many use cases.

As AWS continues to release new storage services and features, APN Partners are quick to follow suit with innovative solutions leveraging those new services and features, providing ever-more choice and flexibility to customers.

Learn more about APN Storage Partners >>

APN Storage Partners Support Many Use Cases

As discrete services, AWS storage options provide the durability, reliability, and price point to meet customers’ needs.

APN Storage Partners focus on four common use cases:

  • Backup and restore operations to, from, and within the AWS environment.
  • Primary storage using IP file or block protocols and object storage.
  • Data archiving capabilities.
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions.

Let’s look at each of these uses cases and how APN Storage Partners can help you.

Backup and Restore

Backup and restore is a critical and necessary IT function. Production workloads may be end-user facing, but backup processes work behind the scenes, protecting data that powers the business. AWS and APN Storage Partners help build secure, efficient, and cost-effective backup and restore solutions, with the scale and reliability of the AWS Cloud.

APN Storage Partners Spotlight-1

Figure 1 – Backup and restore reference architecture on AWS.

Most backup and restore solutions from APN Storage Partners include native connectors for directly reading/writing to AWS storage services, such as Amazon S3 or Amazon S3 Glacier. These connectors eliminate the need for gateways, and can be used with existing on-premises installations or installations on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), where supported.

APN Partner products offer various levels of solution capabilities, including tiering data, cloning data, or using AWS storage as a main data repository.

AWS Storage Competency Partners like CloudBerry Lab, Cohesity, Commvault, CTERA, NetApp, Rubrik, Veeam N2WS, and Veritas all offer solutions with native connectors to AWS. These top APN Partners help customers make solution implementation as easy as selecting AWS as the preferred storage repository, thereby reducing on-premises hardware and management expenses.

Backup as a service is a software as a service (SaaS) offering that backs up a variety of clients and devices without the need to manage any server or storage infrastructure as part of the backup environment. Customers install agents on the clients, but all other components of the backup environment run in the partner’s AWS account. APN Advanced Technology Partners Commvault and Druva offer SaaS solutions.

Primary Storage

Primary storage provides storage for high-performance production workloads. APN Storage Partners enhance the benefits of AWS primary storage by extending the functionality beyond AWS core capabilities.

These solutions augment native services and provide file, block, and object storage targets, which can be extensions into the on-premises environment or a pure cloud implementation. APN Storage Partners implement AWS best practices for security, economics, performance, and simplicity, to deliver a rich set of storage features.

APN Storage Partners Spotlight-2

Figure 2 – Primary storage reference architecture on AWS.

Primary storage provides first-level storage of data to workloads, such as:

  • File distribution, synchronization, and sharing services.
  • Gateway for IP storage protocols.
  • Replication of storage via native replication mechanisms.
  • Storage as a service for access to storage without on-premises infrastructure.
  • Emulate on-premises storage but on AWS, including storage for high performance computing (HPC).

APN Storage Partners like CTERA, Nasuni, NetApp, Panzura, SoftNAS, WekaIO, and Zadara enable customers to run production workloads on AWS, lower capital expenses by reducing up-front storage over-provisioning, and derive more value from data by its proximity to other AWS services, such as compute and big data.

Data Archiving

The data archive use case allows for the preservation of important but infrequently used data with appropriate cost and resiliency.

Backup and restore solutions from APN Storage Partners often feature seamless archive capabilities by tiering backups into Amazon S3 Glacier when they become colder, or by doing direct PUTs into Amazon S3 Glacier and bypassing Amazon S3 entirely.

Data can be moved off of production systems into an active archive tier, or even to the newly available Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive when retention policies dictate data be kept for lengthy periods of time, but it will be rarely accessed. APN Storage Partners’ archiving capabilities, combined with AWS archive-appropriate storage tiers, can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for on-premises backup and archive storage installations, including large tape installations.

Archive solutions reduce primary storage and backup infrastructure requirements, and emphasize both cost and performance advantages.

APN Storage Partners Spotlight-3

Figure 3 – Data archive reference architecture on AWS.

APN Storage Partners like Cohesity, Commvault, NetApp, and Rubrik can reduce the total cost associated with maintaining legacy data storage infrastructure, such as tape management, onerous refresh cycles, security, and manual data transfer.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR)

At the heart of disaster recovery (DR) is defining minimally required business resources and overcoming technical challenges to deliver them all the time, no matter what.

Scoping DR capabilities in the cloud for on-premises resources means understanding service margins for availability. APN Storage Partners help customers with primary workloads outside of AWS to enable faster DR of critical systems to the AWS Cloud, without incurring the infrastructure expense of a second physical site.

If you have primary workloads already running on AWS, you can leverage APN Storage Partner solutions to use the global presence of AWS and enable verifiable and predictable failover to other regions.

APN Storage Partners Spotlight-4

Figure 4 – Business continuity and disaster recovery reference architecture on AWS.

APN Storage Partners that provide BCDR services do so in a variety of ways, with organizations like Cohesity, Commvault, Rubrik, Veritas, and Zerto supporting cold topologies (backup and restore, or pilot light), and Sungard Availability Services and Zerto supporting warm topologies (warm standby, or multi-site).

APN Storage Partner Druva CloudRanger provide a DR as a service solution that fully protects native AWS workloads, leveraging Amazon EBS Snapshots in a secondary AWS Region for the failover site.

Customer Success: APN Storage Partners

Customers globally, across every use case, are deploying AWS Storage Competency Partner solutions to solve their storage challenges. Learn how customers are accelerating their backup windows, reducing their storage footprint, and consolidating and centralizing their storage management.

You can also take a look at some APN Storage Partners’ innovative AWS architectures through the This Is My Architecture series on YouTube.

Dive Deep: APN Storage Partner Whitepapers

Team Up with an APN Storage Partner

If you’re ready to get started with an APN Storage Partner solution, please visit the Storage Solution Space page or check out APN Partner solutions in AWS Marketplace.

Learn more about APN Storage Partners >>