Sep 4, 2023 | Valentina Spirdonova
By 2025, the collective sum of global data, whether it is generated, captured, or replicated will reach 175 zettabytes (1ZB = 1 trillion gigabytes), the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts. This surge in data generation has propelled organizations into a race against time to devise strategic and efficient storage solutions that can accommodate such unprecedented demands.
The endeavor, however, is particularly challenging for organizations with mission-critical deployments that are operating within highly regulated environments. Establishments in surveillance, healthcare, media and entertainment, or AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction), for instance, are already grappling with massive amounts of unstructured data. While saving costs with on-demand and pay-per-use Public Cloud services is attractive, in some cases a complete infrastructure migration to the cloud may not be possible.
For industries that require an on-premises-first data strategy and seek a simple path in the complex realm of data storage, Tiger Technology has emerged as a pioneering force. By leveraging the on-premises-first hybrid cloud model, Tiger Technology’s solutions empower organizations to navigate the complexities of data management. The key to success is preserving established workflows while harnessing the cloud for cost optimization and capacity expansion.
The following article highlights the critical role of hybrid file data services in mission-critical workflows and storage. In this context, the combined power of Tiger Bridge by Tiger Technology and Azure Blob Storage not only ensures storage cost optimization and capacity expansion but also enhances mission-critical workflows.
First and foremost, transferring petabytes of mission-critical data to the cloud can be time-consuming and complex, and may require significant bandwidth when there is a deadline to meet – such as an exit from an on-premises data center. Organizations may additionally encounter lower performance and higher latency relative to their on-premises storage when attempting to access this data with applications located on-premises, depending on the network infrastructure. These factors have the potential to affect critical on-premises applications or processes that rely on real-time data access.
Relying on cloud gateways or tiering technology in proprietary platforms may result in vendor lock-in, making it challenging (or sometimes even impossible) for organizations to switch providers or migrate data back to on-premises storage if needed in the future. To further compound the problem, many industries have strict compliance and regulatory requirements regarding data privacy, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union. So, organizations operating in such industries prefer maintaining on-premises-first hybrid cloud workflows to retain sensitive data on their local infrastructure.
With over 19+ years of expertise, Tiger Technology has established itself as a trusted solution provider addressing storage challenges in mission-critical Windows deployments. Tiger Technology has pioneered a unique approach to hybrid cloud which allows companies with large data sets to maintain their operations, applications, functions, and performance on premises while seamlessly integrating cloud capabilities for capacity expansion, disaster recovery and global file access.
A significant contributor to Tiger Technology’s success is its software-only file data management solution Tiger Bridge. Tiger Technology has achieved the status of both a verified Microsoft backup, archive & disaster recovery partner and a primary & secondary storage partner. Tiger Bridge intelligently and dynamically assigns data to Azure hot, cool, cold and archive storage tiers to maximize ROI and cost-optimization. Additionally, as a no lock-in solution, it blends all storage tiers into one unified namespace, so that organizations with mission-critical data can achieve secure, transparent, and seamless NTFS file system extension over HTTPS/SSL that maintains NTFS ACLs. Another benefit of Tiger Bridge is that it operates within the customer’s tenant. It can run using existing or new containers and will optimize the cost of Azure storage spendings.
Tiger Bridge serves as a valuable tool for industries dealing with petabytes of data, as it allows businesses to seamlessly expand their storage capacity without significant upfront investments in additional hardware. It also promotes simple yet efficient collaboration, data sharing, and analysis across distributed teams or geographically dispersed locations. Such accessibility ensures that industries can retrieve and work with their data seamlessly, regardless of its physical location.
An industry that is experiencing a massive increase in data and benefits greatly from a solution such as Tiger Bridge is video surveillance. With a reported 1 billion surveillance cameras in use around the world in 2021, the industry is already experiencing an exponential rise in mission-critical data. Tiger Bridge’s approach enables organizations that experience storage limitations and cost challenges to efficiently capture, retain, and analyze video footage, increase resolution, or archive evidence without interrupting workflows.
Another industry that greatly benefits from OPF hybrid cloud workloads with Tiger Bridge is healthcare. The field of pathology, in particular, generates an enormous amount of data annually. It is even projected that the global data generation in pathology alone could reach up to 10 exabytes. With such a staggering volume of data, Tiger Bridge offers the healthcare industry a reliable tool for seamlessly managing and organizing this critical information, including its archiving.
As a software-only cloud-enabling solution, Tiger Bridge offers a distinct advantage by eliminating the need for additional hardware or virtual appliances. It enables hybrid workflows by seamlessly pairing file systems with a customer’s Azure Blob Storage containers thus creating a single namespace between the existing file system and object storage. The data is then stored in Azure Blob Storage as native folders and files, which can be used directly by any third-party service running in Azure.
To build on-premises-first (OPF) hybrid cloud with Tiger Bridge and Microsoft Azure, the first step involves either using an existing Azure storage account or creating one. This storage account will then serve as a repository for data that is tiered or replicated by the Tiger Bridge solution. This streamlines the deployment process and reduces any associated costs.
Another noteworthy differentiator is that Tiger Bridge supports all Azure Blob Storage tiers, including the Cold and Archive tiers. This support enables businesses to store infrequently accessed data in a cost-effective manner while still keeping the legacy access pattern intact. Tiger Bridge’s multi-tier data management engine also contributes to the simplification of the entire file data lifecycle.
While Tiger Bridge is an ideal hybrid solution for organizations that deal with the challenges of managing petabyte-sized data, it also brings significant benefits to workflows operating on smaller data sets. Here is an example of how Tiger Bridge works with Microsoft Azure to facilitate seamless capacity expansion for such a customer.
An auto part manufacturing company with three separate locations across the USA faced the challenge of managing its data across various servers and optimizing storage costs. With a total of 120 TB of data spread across three different servers: Server A (Detroit), Server B (Boston), and Server C (Dallas), the company sought the assistance of Tiger Technology to create a single namespace.
The server in Detroit with 80 TB of data primarily relied on a proprietary storage platform utilizing Azure Storage as a capacity tier. Tiger Technology worked with the customer to perform a thorough storage assessment, and determined that out of the 80 TB, 63 TB (or 79% of the existing data on the proprietary platform) could be moved to Azure Archive blob tier. This transition was made possible by leveraging Tiger Bridge, a key component that enabled the data transfer from the proprietary platform to Azure Archive. By implementing this strategy, the company achieved significant cost savings while maintaining efficient data management.
For the servers in Boston and Dallas, both of which utilize on-premises Windows file servers, the goal was to optimize data placement in Microsoft Azure to align with access patterns. Tiger Technology’s comprehensive assessment revealed that out of the 19 TB on the Boston server, 17 TB (or 89% of the existing data on the file server) could be moved to Azure Archive blob tier, effectively reducing costs. Additionally, 11% of the frequently accessed data was relocated to Azure Cool blob tier, striking a balance between accessibility and affordability. As a result, Tiger Technology contributed to an 80% reduction in costs while ensuring the data was stored in the most suitable tier.
Similarly, with its third server in Dallas, our customer achieved a 77% reduction in costs, while still maintaining appropriate access levels for different data categories. In this case, Tiger Technology identified that out of 22 TB, 19 TB on the server in Dallas (86% of the existing data on the file server) could be migrated to Azure Archive blob tier, while 14% of the frequently accessed data was transferred to Azure Cool blob tier.
In summary, with Tiger Technology’s expertise in storage assessment and data management, the auto part manufacturer successfully achieved their objectives of optimizing data placement and global data orchestration while reducing costs across their three locations. By leveraging Tiger Bridge for the price of $13,000 per 1 year, they were able to transfer infrequently accessed data from the proprietary platform to Microsoft Azure Archive blob tier, resulting in an up to 80% cost reduction.
Moreover, the servers in Boston and San Francisco benefitted from a well-balanced distribution of data across Azure Archive blob and Azure Cool blob tiers, leading to enhanced data accessibility. In addition, the company now benefits from Tiger Bridge’s Active Synchronization Mechanism, synchronizing its data across all three offices and keeping their own Azure tenant.
Based on the tables provided, Tiger Technology enables companies dealing with both terabyte and petabyte-sized data to achieve a significant reduction in storage costs, reducing them to below $0.0111 per unit. This represents a cost that is four times lower compared to other solutions.
Cost of Azure Cool GB/m
Cost of Azure Archive
*Prices are based on US East, one-year reserved capacity, LRS
Azure Cool (10% of the data)
Azure Archive (90% of the data)
Tiger Bridge License cost
Average cost per GB/month based on TCO***
**Assumptions based on storage assessment showing not more than 10% of the data being accessed for 1 year
*** Azure blob costs are covered by the customer
Tiger Technology has recently launched a Tiger Bridge SaaS offering on Azure Marketplace, providing a seamless hybrid environment with intelligent data lifecycle management across all Azure tiers for capacity expansion, disaster recovery, and global file access.
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NOTE: The following article is part of a three-part series specially authored for Microsoft’s Tech Community Blog. The original piece can be read here.