The resources available in the cloud are offering some increasing benefits to small and medium-sized businesses, in part, because the industry is working together despite different operating systems. OpenStack offers an open-source alternative to the closed cloud services of providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others. Supported by 190 companies, OpenStack offers a standard system and allows service providers to build their clouds from scratch and lease them to enterprise customers. This system has made cloud storage computing free from proprietary architecture.
How Cloud Block Storage Benefits Businesses
Small to medium-sized businesses are jumping on cloud computing in the hope of finding some extensive benefits. Cloud servers offer more processing power and data storage capabilities than these businesses could achieve on their own. With proprietary databases in particular, companies are striving to keep up with their demands for server resources.
The cloud can store data from content management systems, email systems and information archiving, or it can serve as a storage backend for Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) vendors. Cloud servers can also store and analyze bid data, such as social media usage information, transaction records and device usage.
Cloud-based data storage allows for the processing of big data and high-performance computing environments that handle diverse and intensive workloads, which are ideal for data management. Another upside for business customers is the flexibility of having your system grow as your company grows.
Flexibility & Choice
One cloud provider, Rackspace, offers businesses using cloud block storage the choice between standard volumes or SSDs for higher performance. Some businesses simply don’t require fast performance for specific applications, and in such cases, they have the option of paying a lesser price for nonprioritized performance.
For those businesses weighing the benefits of standard and SSD volumes, cloud services work with whichever size of cloud server the business has. This freedom allows greater flexibility to deal with I/O-bound versus CPU-bound applications. Storing files and assets in the cloud provides enterprises with the flexibility and choice of how employees and customers receive that data. In addition to deciding how and when the files are available, a business customer can manage that data independently at all levels.
Additionally, in OpenStack-based clouds, cloud storage allows users to implement APIs and supported interfaces to request new volumes. Since the cloud uses virtual machines, business customers can add a level of indirection between their hardware resources and their virtualized servers. The result is not having storage tied to specific hardware, allowing the system to perform other tasks underneath the storage layer.
An example of this type of efficiency is being able to perform disk lifecycle management outside the virtual machine. Since the virtual machine doesn’t t know it resides above a smart block management layer, it doesn’t manage block replication and requires no downtime. In the traditional server situation, each machine would have physical storage on it, so relocating the server or the applications running on it would require downtime. No downtime means newfound efficiencies for enterprise customers and ultimately, it’s the competitive edge businesses need.