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Non Traditional Ways Businesses Leverage Azure for Cloud

Non Traditional Ways Businesses Leverage Azure for Cloud

Talking Cloud with Azure, Part 3

with Karl Rautenstrauch of Azure Cloud and Jay Livens of Actifio

Giovanni Tropeano:  You know speaking of customers you both speak to a ton of different businesses out there and customers.  What are some of the non traditional ways that you see businesses leveraging Azure for cloud?



Jay Livens:  You know let me start with that one.  You know one of the interesting trends you see in the industry a lot is that people are also thinking about object storage.  Object storage is an interesting technology, because it tends to be very cost effective, it tends to scale massively, yet it has this other challenge where traditional applications that maybe thought to block storage or perhaps file storage, may have a more difficult time in a grading with object storage.  So we see plenty of customers who are thinking about how can they leverage Azure blob to get long term retention and then an even more advanced to used case we see quite a bit.

Now that I have long term retention on Azure blob you know how can I access that right?  How can I get access to data that maybe I backed up or protected a month ago or two months ago maybe for compliance purposes or maybe for testing purposes or something else?  So it’s really trying to think through what — how can we leverage object storage, how can we leverage Azure Blob to get the benefit of the scale and the efficiency and the economics in different ways than maybe we’ve thought about before when it was maybe thought once to sort of only being for very specific niche cloud based applications perhaps and nothing else.  Karl, what do you see about object storage, I’m curious?


Karl Rautenstrauch:  Yeah, no that’s great Jay.  I love the way you put that and I’ve seen a big shift over the last five years from kind of the focus on cloud first, cloud native application. So if I’m going to build something why build it in house, when I can build it on top of that on-demand infrastructure we’ve been talking about.  And that has continued, I mean we certainly see that where now — customers are shifting to cloud first and a Linode cloud strategy versus — well I can’t put this in the cloud for any number of reasons. Now I’m going to start thinking how would I do this in the cloud and then it would work backwards to see if there’s any reason why I shouldn’t and it’s been amazing how quickly that shift has occurred.  I saw this 15 years ago with server virtualization.

At first it was no we can’t virtualize this application because of reason X, Y and Z and then throughout my career in IT that shifted then it was probably over a five year period to know you really need to prove to me why we can’t virtualize this. And even companies that I worked for virtualizing and not telling the application stakeholders right?  That was how much trust they had in the infrastructure. So that’s how things started and while that continues the big shift I’ve seen is more and more integration with traditional offering. So replacing things that have been done the same way for years and years inside enterprises and let’s take a very simple example, offsite back up. Everybody needs to do it, you have to.

You may not have a business to come back to if you don’t backup offsite.  So that was something that initially was not one of the first used cases for cloud or the first steps into cloud that customers took and now it is.  Now tape replacements and offsite back up using cloud has really taken over in that space and we just see so many customers of all sizes moving in that direction.  So that’s something that wasn’t traditionally thought of as a cloud use case that has really become one of the most common.


Jay Livens:  And that natural extension, we see a lot on that Karl, because just building on what you’re saying is – you know, once you make that choice and you realize hey I’m going to leverage Azure, I’m going to leverage the cloud for long term retention, a natural add on to that is wait a second I’m storing all this data in the cloud you know let’s put up this DR strategy and if I’m a legacy maybe I have a separate data center that I’m paying for that has servers that aren’t being used and compute that’s just sitting there all the stuff.  And then I start thinking wait a second, why can’t I use the same flexible benefits that I might get in the cloud for DR? So now let’s say if you are making the completely rational logical jump to say well maybe it’s not just long term retention, now it becomes sort of a passive site if you will that’s available there that I can jump to if you know God forbid something really bad happens I can leverage my resources, my storage, my compute, my on-demand stuff inside of Azure and bring my data center back up there while not having to pay the massive cost for all its redundant hardware that for the most part isn’t even used hopefully.


Karl Rautenstrauch:  Absolutely you are so right and that’s one of the — so there’s a couple of things that are attractive about cloud for offsite recovery.  One from a cost perspective incredibly attractive, two from a security perspective you are in one of the most heavily monitored data center in the world, right?  No matter where you’ve chosen to deploy and you have a partner in security us providing perimeter security, you providing security as you’re used to today and then the access to demand compute network absolutely right.  You can spin up dozens, hundreds, thousands of machines with what we have on hand in our data centers and it does, it just makes sense to move in that direction for recovery. And when you look at the fact that you already have replicas of your data of your applications and your datasets through that offsite backup, it’s really easy to extend that into DevTest, like we started our conversation with…

Jay Livens:  Right you bet, you bet.

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