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On Ramp Data to the Cloud with HPE Cloud Volumes

StorageExperts

 

You want to leverage the ease and flexibility of cloud services, but your data is all on-premises. How do you get your data into the cloud and put it to work? 

On ramp_HPE Nimble Storage Cloud Volumes_blog.jpgFor years, HPE storage customers have had the ability to replicate data from an array in one physical location to an array in the same or another physical location. This capability fostered many valuable use cases, including business continuance and disaster recovery that leverages remote copies for development and testing, and also leverages a full multi-site data center strategy.

Now with cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure comes an opportunity to leverage these resources for the afore-mentioned use cases—in lieu of building out and supporting your own physical infrastructure in multiple locations.

There’s just one catch: Your data is on-premises. How can you get your data out of your premises and into the cloud as easily and securely as possible, so that you can put your cloud resources to work running your applications against your data?

Enter Nimble Cloud Volumes.

With Nimble Cloud Volumes, replicating data from your on-premises HPE Nimble Storage array to the cloud is just as simple as it has always been with array-to-array replication. In fact, with the recent NimbleOS 4.4 update, customers can update their arrays to become Cloud Ready. Here, I’ll dive dive into the technical details and show you exactly how this works.

Creating a replication store

The first thing that we’ll do is log into the Nimble Cloud Volumes portal and create a replication store. Think of the replication store as your replication destination in the cloud. This is what we’ll pair your on-premises array with in order to facilitate data movement to the cloud. As part of the creation process, you will pick a size for the store and the tier of storage you’d like to use—general-purpose flash or premium flash. You’ll also specify a geographic region. Today, replication to US-East is supported, with more regions to follow.1-create_repl_store.png

Establishing a replication pair

Now that we’ve created a replication destination, we’ll need to pair it with your physical on-premises array. Within the Nimble UI, navigate to Manage -> Data Protection -> Replication partners. This is where traditionally you would have added a second Nimble array to replicate with. As of NimbleOS 4.4, you now also have the option to enable cloud replication here. Select “Cloud Replication” and enter your NCV credentials:2-create_repl_partner.png

After entering your credentials and clicking “Next”, the array will log in to NCV and retrieve a list of the replication stores you have created. You’ll need to select one of them to pair with and specify an inbound location. The description is optional.3-create_repl_partner_part2.png

As part of this pairing process, you can also implement a bandwidth policy to limit the amount of traffic used for replication during certain hours. It may take a few minutes for the partner status to transition from “Connecting…” to “Alive”.

You have now paired your array with an NCV replication store.

Create a volume collection and enable replication

To make things easy, this replication partner can be used in exactly the same way you would have used a second on-premises array partner in the past. Create a volume collection, add volumes to it, specify the cloud replication partner, add a replication schedule and a retention policy.

When you log into your NCV portal and select the replication store you created, you will see the volume collection you enabled for replication.4-volume_collection.png

Cloning the replicated volume

Now that you are replicating volumes to NCV, you can clone those replicas and attach the clones to an AWS EC2 Instance or Azure VM.

Select “Replica Volumes” from the NCV portal, and then click on the volume you’d like to clone.5-replica_details.pngNote that you will see a list of snapshots available for the replica volume you’ve selected. We’re going to use one of those snapshots as the basis for the clone we will create.

Click on the snapshot and you are presented with the option to create a clone from it. You can customize the name of the clone, how much performance is allotted to it, which cloud provider you’re connecting it to and then the connection details for that provider.6-create_clone.png

Once you’ve completed the cloning wizard, your cloned volume will now appear along with the rest of your NCV volumes. Navigate to “Volumes” in the NCV portal to find it.

At this point, you can connect your newly cloned volume—which contains data you’ve replicated from your on-premises array—to the instance or VM of your choosing (though we won’t go into the details of that here). It’s the same process you would go through for connecting any NCV volume.

Keep in mind that you’re not limited to a single clone, nor a single cloud provider for that matter.  You can replicate your data to NCV and then attach copies of it to both AWS and Azure, or to multiple VMs and instances within each.

Replication that’s always easy

It’s always been incredibly easy to enable array-to-array replication using physical Nimble arrays. As you can see here, it’s just as easy to replicate to the cloud and leverage the simplicity and flexibility that a hybrid IT solution has to offer.

Julian Cates_HPE Nimble Storage.jpg

 Meet Around the Storage Block blogger Julian Cates, Principal Technical Marketing Engineer, HPE Nimble Storage.

 

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