Community Blog Store and Serve - Keeping Data Safe on the Cloud

Store and Serve - Keeping Data Safe on the Cloud

Weighing up the essentials of high availability, instant scalability, super reliable, durable, cost effective, and secure data storage services with Alibaba Cloud.

The unceasing demand for faster and more stable Internet connections continues to clamor across the world. And now, in this unprecedented period of pandemic, when many of us are working from home, we need secure speeds and stability of the Internet more than ever.

Broadband usage analytics company Open Vault reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has driven broadband usage up 47% with an unprecedented number of power users (1TB/2TB) appearing globally.[1] Amazingly, they have seen nearly all the annual growth expected for the sector in the first quarter of this year and to support the increased demand, Alibaba Cloud is investing $28 billion in its cloud infrastructure.[2]

Cloud providers are the tech backbone that manages our data and provides the bulk of global content delivery networks, data centers, and storage services that are essential for eliminating bottlenecks in Internet data delivery. Prior to the pandemic, with new developments in mobile technology driving demand for increased network speeds, cloud infrastructure growth was showing no sign of slowing and today some commentators place Alibaba Cloud third for cloud IaaS (infrastructure as a service),[3] biting at the heels of Western cloud market leaders. Some consider Alibaba Cloud an equal to AWS and Azure, especially in the cloud integrated stack space.[4]

One of the key components of cloud networks that support increasing Internet speed and stability are content delivery networks (CDNs) which minimize the speed in which data is served to our devices. The pressure on the market to increase speed and reliability means that development in this sector is extremely dynamic. Recent market insight reports stated that the CDN market is expected to grow from USD 1.81 Billion in 2016 to USD 6.23 Billion by 2021.[5],[6] Given market analysts had not yet factored in the global pandemic at the time of writing, the true figure is likely much higher.

Serving the World

Cloud data storage services are now regulating constant global emergency network spikes and Alibaba Cloud is well placed to serve the world in these unique times. In this blog, we are going to look at two products from the Alibaba Cloud Storage & CDN range: Object Storage Service (OSS) and Hybrid Cloud Storage Array.

Alibaba Cloud's Object Storage Service (OSS) is a fundamental building block in Alibaba Cloud products. An essential part of smaller cloud web applications, medium-sized ecommerce business networks, and vast cross-region enterprise workflows, OSS finds its way into every nook and cranny of the Alibaba Cloud ecosphere.

Object Storage Service

Alibaba Cloud's Object Storage Service (OSS)[7] is an encrypted and secure storage, backup, and archive service that eliminates the need for user created server storage. Simple and flexible with easy development tools, OSS takes care of data operations for small ecommerce websites and vast enterprise infrastructures.

With a guaranteed durability of 99.999999999% and availability of 99.95%, its RESTful multi-language APIs offer storage and accessibility anywhere on the Internet. OSS offers elastic scaling of both capacity and processing power, and has a wide variety of storage classes to optimize cost.[8] OSS plugs into nearly all Alibaba Cloud products and services as default. For example, Elastic Compute Service (ECS), CDN, Elastic MapReduce, and the Alibaba Cloud Apsara range of products use OSS as a corner stone in their designs.

Developers also have the freedom to build out cloud network environments with Alibaba Cloud's OSS as they see fit. Let's look at some common scenarios for building OSS into network designs. For example, why not keep application users happy by configuring a cloud network with OSS that separates static and dynamic resources significantly reducing data delivery download times. This simple cloud network design eliminates network overload by optimizing the speed of data delivery of massive amounts of data.

Separation of dynamic and static resources

OSS can store nearly unlimited data types. It supports multiple data types at massive scales such as images, audio files, videos, logs, and other files that are accessible via terminal, web, and mobile applications with the super tight security you can expect from Alibaba Cloud.

Multi-media data storage

With an extensive list of features,[9] OSS allows simple read and write data access leaving the developer free to focus on the business value in applications. A wide range of storage types,[10] helps developers organize data in a logical and cost-effective manner.

Multiple storage and data types

OSS has an impressive range of security features[11] including support for disaster recovery replication across different regions which secures and stabilizes data during exceptional events.

Cross-region disaster recovery

There are some limits imposed on the use of Alibaba Cloud OSS but these are often acceptable to the use case.[12] However, if you need super robust support for backup and restore and have an essential on-premises data center, you may like to consider Alibaba Cloud's Hybrid Cloud Storage Array.

Hybrid Cloud Storage Array

If you are maintaining an on-premise datacenter and need a higher end specification for demanding data security, backup, and restore compliance requirements - and you would rather avoid the overhead and inherent risks of designing and building an inhouse storage solution - Alibaba Cloud's Hybrid Cloud Storage Array (HCSA) has everything you need. HCSA is a managed enterprise data product built for the unique requirements of global concerns that require on-premise data centers but still want to benefit from cloud infrastructure.

HCSA functions by integrating private, on-premise datacenters with dedicated devices that communicate with Alibaba Cloud's Cloud Storage Gateway [13] which includes standard OSS and Network Attached Storage (NAS).[14] HCSA offers simple deployment for scalable, secure, and compliant data configurations that support backup, archiving, disaster recovery, replication, deduplication, and compression. The product ensures enhanced cost-efficiency, high reliability, high durability, and ease of maintenance.[15]

HCSA state of the art performance specification provides file storage, block storage, object storage with Windows/Unix/Linux filesystem facility, FC fiber channel for multiple server access, iSCSI for remote volume access, super-fast FCoE fiber channel over ethernet capabilities, and much more. HCSA features ensure high scalability from premises to multiple cloud-based services.

HCSA customer setup example

HCSA storage features include caching, syncing, or tiering options that cater to specific data classification requirements. The table below shows the storage options across a range of scenarios such as network and device failure, cloud access, and data recovery.

HCSA storage features [16]

HCSA is an excellent option for global enterprises running on-premises data centers that have specific governance and data requirement concerns.

Rest Assured

We've looked at two products from the Alibaba Cloud Storage & CDN range. The mainstay of Alibaba Cloud storage, OSS, is proving an essential support for businesses experiencing pandemic demand.[17] And on-premise hybrid cloud solutions for data storage, such as Hybrid Cloud Storage Array, help business managers sleep better in times like these.

Fully supporting clients throughout these difficult times,[18] and with a super reliable global infrastructure that can cope with emergencies, is now the time to put your data delivery requirements in the stable and dependable hands of Alibaba Cloud?

In a future blog, we'll look at the full Alibaba Cloud Storage & CDN product range, specifying similarities and differences, and giving examples of specific usage scenarios. We hope to see you there.


[1] http://openvault.com/complimentary-report-Q120/
[2] https://www.capacitymedia.com/articles/3825318/alibaba-to-invest-28bn-in-cloud-amid-covid-19-tech-boom
[3] https://kinsta.com/blog/cloud-market-share/
[4] https://www.nextplatform.com/2020/02/10/vertical-integration-is-eating-the-datacenter-part-three/
[5] https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/cloud-content-delivery-network-cdn-market-208477558.html
[6] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cloud-content-delivery-network-cdn-market-to-expand-based-on-increased-usage-of-internet-services-globally--radiant-insights-inc-300999241.html
[7] https://www.alibabacloud.com/product/oss
[8] https://www.alibabacloud.com/help/doc-detail/31817.html
[9] https://www.alibabacloud.com/help/doc-detail/52830.htm
[10] https://www.alibabacloud.com/product/oss/pricing
[11] https://www.alibabacloud.com/help/doc-detail/126537.htm
[12] https://www.alibabacloud.com/help/doc-detail/54464.htm
[13] https://www.alibabacloud.com/products/cloud-storage-gateway
[14] https://www.alibabacloud.com/product/storage-array
[15] https://www.alibabacloud.com/solutions/backup_archive
[16] https://www.alibabacloud.com/help/doc-detail/54032.htm
[17] https://www.alibabacloud.com/blog/five-ways-alibaba-cloud-oss-helped-dingtalk-cope-with-traffic-peaks_596067
[18] https://www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/fight-coronavirus-covid-19

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