SoftNAS® is pleased to be part of the Azure Cool Blob Storage offering. Our SoftNAS Cloud NAS customers using Microsoft Azure will get a virtually bottomless storage pool for applications and workloads that need standard file protocols like NFS, CFS/SMB, and iSCSI. By the end of Summer 2016, customers can leverage SoftNAS Cloud NAS with Azure Cool Blob Storage as an economical alternative to increasing storage costs.
SoftNAS helps customers make the cloud move without changing applications while providing enterprise-class NAS features like deduplication, compression, directory integration, encryption, snapshotting, and much more.
Our SoftNAS StorageCenter™ console will allow a central means to choose the optimal file storage location ranging from hot (block-backed) to cool (Blob-object backed) and enables content movement to where it makes sense over the data lifecycle.
What is Azure Cool Blob Storage?
Microsoft Azure Cool Blob Storage is designed for customers with older, less active data, that still needs occasional access. Relative to Hot tier, the Cool tier is suitable for data that is not frequently accessed and can tolerate slightly lower availability (99% SLA).
Some of the common scenarios for Azure Cool Blob Storage include: backup data, disaster recovery, media content, social media photos and videos, scientific data and more. Customers will see significant cost savings by using the Cool tier for appropriate data sets.
Why is Azure Cool Blob Storage Needed?
Today, data stored in the cloud is growing at an exponential – and expensive – rate. An important part of managing the cost for your expanding storage needs is tiering your data based on how often the data is accessed. If you have all your data in one location, you’re paying the same price for all the data, regardless of how much it’s accessed. Doesn’t it make sense to pay less for the data that you rarely use?
As Figure 1 shows, data in the cloud is accessed less and less over its lifetime. Some data is actively accessed and modified throughout its lifetime, but the majority of data sit idle and are rarely, if ever, accessed again.
In general, hot data is data that is accessed frequently and needs to be highly durable and available. On the other hand, cool data is data that is rarely accessed and long-lived. Cool data can tolerate a slightly lower availability, but still requires high durability and similar time to access and throughput characteristics as hot data. For cool data, slightly lower availability SLA and higher access costs are acceptable trade-offs for much lower storage costs.
Each of these data access scenarios benefits from a differentiated tier of storage that optimizes for a particular access pattern. Azure Cool Blob Storage with SoftNAS now addresses this need for differentiated storage tiers for data with different access patterns.