A Strategic Take on Cloud Storage Solutions — Part 1: The Overview

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By Shantanu Kaushik

Cloud storage is among the prime movers of the data industry. Data storage requirements are rising by the day, with more businesses and enterprises shifting to the cloud. Alibaba Cloud has made sure the cloud storage products they offer can cater to multiple audiences and scenarios of the modern cloud.

Whether it is the Object Storage Service, the Apsara File Storage NAS, Storage Capacity Units (SCUs), or the Block Storage, every product caters to a specific industry type and is based on requirement assessment. No matter which storage service you use, optimization of your service is highly recommended. One must differentiate between the local storage on your computer and the cloud storage.

Alibaba Cloud has flexible storage solution options. The Object Storage Service practically offers unlimited storage. Choosing not to optimize your storage service can incur additional costs. Old snapshots, storage volumes, or archived data blocks should be removed or replaced with synced and updated data for an efficient storage solution.

In this article, we will discuss how you can assess and optimize your cloud storage solution.

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Choosing the Correct Storage Solution

Choosing the right solution for your business is important. Every solution has unique advantages and features to support a particular enterprise type. There are different factors to consider before selecting a storage solution:

  • Sensitivity of Data

It is essential to determine how sensitive data will be handled on the cloud storage and what measures can be taken to ensure the protection of sensitive data. Data durability has to be the prime focus while opting for a particular product. Measures have to be taken to ensure there are no gaps in sensitive data, and this data is not prone to malicious access or any accidental modifications.

  • Size

It is imperative to have a fair idea of your data size. This will enable you to manage the data capacity of your cloud storage product. Storage capacity correlates with costs. Even though OSS practically offers unlimited storage, the costs will depend on the amount of data that is being traversed.

  • IOPS

The Input/Output operations per second are an essential factor to consider while opting for an online storage service. Alibaba Cloud’s storage lineup offers different IOPS and throughput. You can easily estimate what your requirements are and opt for a suitable product.

  • Access Frequency / Response Time

Enterprises deploy and use multiple applications. These applications may have different requirements for data access frequency and response time. Alibaba Cloud Storage Solutions are designed to cater to the needs of any organization.

  • Data Importance

If you are storing data for extended periods, you have to make sure you optimize your storage needs and selection based on what type of data you storing. If you are storing regulated data or data that is critical for your organizational operations, you need to select a product that ensures relatable security services to protect such data. Alibaba Cloud OSS has a lineup of secure product integration to help you with such scenarios.

Storage Service Selection | Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud has a lineup of storage solutions. The lineup consists of Storage Capacity Unit, Object Storage Service, Apsara File Storage NAS, and Elastic Block Storage.

Object Storage Service (OSS)

Alibaba Cloud OSS is a highly-elastic, secure, and highly-reliable cloud storage solution for storing unstructured data. OSS has three classes of storage, Standard, Infrequent Access (IA), and Archive Type Storage. The Object Storage Service (OSS) offers the most durable and highly-available storage solution and is more cost-effective compared to other providers. The storage cost depends on the frequency of data access; the “colder” the data gets, the cheaper the solution.

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Storage Capacity Units (SCU)

Storage Capacity Units are a subscription type storage solution that offers a model to club the storage solutions within the same region. When compared to the disks purchased with ECS, SCUs offers a more flexible approach towards cost-sensitive storage subscriptions.

Storage Capacity Units (SCUs) offer three different subscription models. The standard model is the typical blue-green deployment model. In this model, the services are automatically deployed and updated depending on which subscription you choose. Microservices architecture is the basis of this model, and storage can be optimized depending on the microservices usage or deployment scenarios.

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SCU with DevOps

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Storage Capacity Units (SCUs) offer a better model for DevOps deployment at different stages. Whether it is R&D, testing, or the deployment phase, the storage resource provided will share and enable a project storage model that can incorporate functionality from different storage products from Alibaba while simultaneously decreasing the associated costs. The ability to modify the resources depending on which phase of DevOps deployment you are going through is a storage solution that can be adjusted for cost-effectiveness.

Mobile Gaming industry

Storage Capacity Units enable you to create and release resources for multiple projects based on the lifecycle of the product. The subscription model will ensure that you have cost-cutting scenarios at the highest level. With mobile gaming, the ECS instances used by the service are released, and new instances are purchased when the mobile game lifecycle changes. This calls for the most effective SCU deployment model.

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Apsara File Storage NAS

Apsara File Storage NAS is a cloud-based service that is used for the storage of ECS instances, E-HPC nodes, compute nodes, and nodes for the Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK). The Alibaba Cloud network assisted storage solution has a distributed file system that supports NFS and SMB protocols.

Apsara File Storage NAS offers shared access, high reliability, elastic scalability, and high performance. It supports extreme NAS, NAS performance, NAS capacity, and infrequent access modes.

NAS offers many benefits:

  • NAS is highly secure and features high-availability to reduce risks and maintenance costs.
  • The NAS file system is ready to be mounted on multiple compute nodes simultaneously while maintaining functionality. This accounts for high cost-cutting measures.
  • Apsara File Storage NAS doesn’t require upfront commitments for long or large service. The performance of NAS increases with storage capacity.
  • NAS is easily controllable in terms of identity and access control measures using the RAM (Resource and Access Management).
  • The access isolation is based on Alibaba Cloud Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
  • NAS supports encryption at rest and in transit for data. This prevents data tampering.

A Strategic Take on Cloud Storage Solutions — Part 2

In Part 2 of this article series, we will continue explaining Block Storage and the optimization scenarios for all the storage products from the Alibaba Storage solution lineup. We will also talk about security and monitoring solutions that apply to the storage solutions.

Upcoming Articles

  1. A Strategic Take on Alibaba Cloud Storage Solution — Part 2: Optimizing
  2. A Strategic Take on Alibaba Cloud Storage Solution — Part 3: Security and Monitoring

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