ClearSky is a Boston-based startup founded in 2014 by industry veterans Lazarus Vekiarides and Ellen Rubin; ClearSky comes with a unique proposition, which – if successful – might revolutionize the way primary storage is consumed. I introduced ClearSky in my previous TFD14 preview article where I described their solution; the objective is to reduce drastically the Data Center footprint of traditional primary storage by shifting it to the Cloud while at the same time simplifying DR operations and ensuring accessibility of data from any location. This outcome seemed to be impossible to achieve due to the strict latency requirements that primary storage inherently carries, but ClearSky has found an elegant and effective solution to this conundrum. However, there is one caveat here and it will be evident in the following paragraph.
In the last few years virtualization technologies have changed dramatically and irreversibly the way modern Data Centers are designed, implemented and managed. In modern DCs, virtual to physical ratios are growing constantly, due to the commonly accepted evidence that every workload is now a candidate for successful virtualization: cases where 100% of the systems are virtual are not uncommon anymore.
This clearly requires a different approach to many – if not all – the tasks that fall into the Operations area. Backup and Replication are probably the two tasks that more than any other have changed as a consequence of the opportunities that virtualization has presented to infrastructure designers, engineers and administrators.