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Technology Paper

Cloud ComputingA New Model for Delivering and Consuming IT Resources

Overview Behind all of the hype and excitement, cloud computing is delivering real value to enterprises, SMBs and consumers. Companies are increasingly looking to a cloud computing environment to accelerate value in terms of improved mobility, scalability, security and reduced costs. Although cloud computing currently addresses only a small percentage of the overall IT market, it is quickly becoming an important and significant opportunity, especially for storage. Today an increasing number of commercial and large enterprise companies are benefiting from cloud computing, however, Seagate believes it could take three to five years for a broader adoption. The clouds elasticity of compute resources and lower cost structure will rapidly drive more applications and computing demand, triggering even higher demand for storage across all enterprise storage tiers. In addition to the sheer growth of storage driven by cloud computing, there are opportunities to provide new storage device solutions that will help solve cloud data center cost challenges and operational inefficiencies. The Cloud Is Good Cloud computing is good for storage: It is good for the storage service providers and for the storage infrastructure suppliers. As more and more applications are developed and computing resources demanded, more storage is needed. According to IDC, storage is the fastest-growing cloud service, growing from 9 percent of all cloud service revenues in 2009, or US$1.6B, to 14 percent in 2013, or over US$6B, of worldwide IT cloud services revenue.2 The manufacturers providing storage hardware, software and professional services to the cloud service providers raked in US$2.9B in cloud storage infrastructure revenue in 2009, according to IDC.3

What is the cloud?

The cloud is a new model for delivering and consuming IT resources, such as compute (server) resources, data storage, network bandwidth and even applications. The model includes characteristics such as on-demand self-service, rapid elasticity, measured service (pay-as-you-use), resource pooling and broad network access.1

1 The NIST Cloud Definition Framework : 2 Source: IDC eXchange, IDCs New IT Cloud Services Forecast: 2009-2013, ( 3 Source: IDC, Worldwide Cloud Services Storage Spending 2009-2013 Forecast: Storage for the Cloud, Doc #221368, Dec 2009

Cloud ComputingA New Model for Delivering and Consuming IT Resources

There are four kinds of cloud deployments: 4

Publictypically megascale infrastructures used and shared by multiple customers Privateowned or leased for use by an individual customer Communitya shared infrastructure of customers who have a common interest, such as medical centers Hybrida composition of two or more clouds

This growth will continue as an increasing number of companies are able to deliver more value with fewer resources, one of the many benefits provided by cloud computing. Seagate believes that this growth will be focused on the private cloud buildout, primarily in larger enterprises, over the next two to three years. The Cloud Is Demanding Cloud computing data centers are modeled upon a simple design-for-failure infrastructure. They use low-cost, purpose-built, scalable solutions, including servers, storage systems and networking products, while still utilizing standard delivery models and massive economies of scale. Cloud computing data centers, however, do not purchase off-the-shelf systems designed for the traditional mass-IT market. These products are too expensive and include features that do not meet the clouds unique data center environment and application requirements. The Cloud Requires Adjustment Cloud computing has established new rules that will require some adjustment since the cloud ecosystem operates under a different business model than the traditional on-premises IT ecosystem. For example, cloud data centers employ specific models for procuring server, storage and networking infrastructure. And for many businesses addressing infrastructure issues, the cloud is a game changer. In fact, large storage OEMs have reorganized, creating cloud-focused business units, which have aligned their business models with the cloud

service providers. These units have responded in a streamlined, transparent manner to RFQs and in delivering purpose-built solutions that meet the needs of the cloudexactly. Cloud Adoption Strategy Although many different surveys are being conducted to examine the perception and adoption of cloud computing, all are finding similar results. While security and integration issues are the biggest concerns, they have not deterred companies from adopting cloud computing. Furthermore, for those companies that are already using cloud computing, there is a very high satisfaction level. Seventy percent of those who are currently using a cloud-based platform plan to move additional applications within the next 12 months.5 In other words, cloud computing is becoming a permanent part of the IT discussion and strategy. So what convinces companies to adopt cloud computing? Obviously there are many drivers Figure 1 breaks out these driving factorsbut scalability and cost savings are the biggest. In fact, the overall pay-as-you-use cost model and the capital expenditure reductions it enables are the main reasons companies are adopting cloud computing. Furthermore, companies are deploying several categories of business applications that are driving rapid data growth and require a more dynamic storage infrastructure to accommodate this growth. Given those deployments and todays markets, companies need an IT infrastructure that is similarly dynamic and which can respond quickly to evolving business needs and objectives.

There are three typical cloud service categories: 4

Software as a Service (SaaS)A customer uses a service providers application over a network Platform as a Service (PaaS)A service providers platform is used to deploy a customer-generated application to the cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)Customers pay for the usage of processing, storage, network bandwidth and other IT resources.

4 The NIST Cloud Definition Framework : 5 Source: Mimecast, Feb 2010

Cloud ComputingA New Model for Delivering and Consuming IT Resources

Lower Costs Agility/Scalability Efficiency Streamlined Administration Reliability Better Performance Sustainability Security
12% 18% 15% 31% 36% 39% 49%


Source:, 2010

Figure 1. Why Companies Adopt Cloud Computing

Cloud computing provides flexible provisioning of IT resources, adding tremendous business value to new programs and initiatives that companies need to launch in a timely manner. In fact, the big hitters in terms of applications being moved to the cloud include email, archiving, CRM and storage. While some industries are moving to the cloud front more quickly than others, the top three industries currently adopting cloud computing are technology firms, financial services and legal/ professional services.6 What Makes Clouds Different There are fundamental design differences between clouds and traditional on-premises data centers. A traditional on-premises data center is typically viewed as a cost center, while, from a service providers perspective, the cloud data center is a value or revenue-generating asset. Consequently, the two environments are architected differently. Many of the large Internet data center companies base their cloud

environment architecture on deploying low-cost, scalable, commoditized hardware with a software layer that glues the inexpensive hardware together to create a more efficient model. Clouds are also based on a self-service model of multi-tenancy, enabled in part by virtualization and a high level of autonomics and homogeneity. A traditional on-premises environment is typically a heterogeneous shared-service model with less automation, and manages assets independently for each user or application. A clouds deployment model is distributed, while a client-server model is decentralized. Another very important difference: clouds are designed for failure instead of failover, which aligns well with their utilization of replication as the primary model for data protection due to its simplicity and massive scalability. Finally, open-source software (OSS) is common in cloud computing, driven by a symbiotic relationship. While massive data centers built on low-cost commodity hardware and virtualized operating environments provide the technical

6 Source: Mimecast, Feb 2010

Cloud ComputingA New Model for Delivering and Consuming IT Resources

foundation for global, cloud-based services, OSS enables global, service-based business models. Clouds can achieve lower service costs through greater resource sharing, greater economies of scale, greater levels of architectural

standardization, greater process optimization and automation, and the ability to modify the usage of those resources much more quickly than traditional IT environments. A comparison of the two types of infrastructure is summarized below.

Cloud Data Center

Hypervisors (VMware, HyperV, Xen) heavily deployed, as well as proprietary methods to abstract applications from physical resources. Abstraction designed for a multitenancy environment. Designed for failure Heavy horizontal scale-out. Designed and run at scale. Some cloud architectures trade off the impact on network usage (Layer 2) to gain greater scalability. Use sharding (podding) to mitigate. Low-cost H/W with an intelligent S/W management layer. Purpose-built server and storage systems. Distributed deployment Heavy use of autonomics to achieve 1000 (server to admin 1/100) ratio Free-air cooling becoming more prevalent (air-side economizers with VSFs) Multi-tenancy, shared deployment Replication (3 to 10) Self-service: dedicated user controls (end user decides when, how, what and why). Users unable to import or manage virtual machines, monitor utilization and costs, or define network, storage and security settings. No intervention by service provider to provision

On-Premises Data Center

Traditional hypervisor technology deployed to achieve virtualization and control virtual server images, but a lesser degree of applications are virtualized. Designed for failover


Reliability Model

Scaling Model

A balance of vertical and horizontal scalability. Individually siloed applications with their own load balancers, storage, networking, etc. Expensive, H/W with specialized S/W for siloed applications. Off-the-shelf standard OEM server and storage systems. Decentralized deployment Automation achieving 100 servers/admin (1/10 server to admin) ratio Predominantly CRACs and chillers Single tenant model. Siloed applications have their own dedicated resources (servers, storage) RAID (RAID 6 becoming more prevalent)

H/W and S/W Platform Deployment Model Automation Environmental Application/Resource Deployment Data Protection

Service Model

Shared client-server. IT provisions and decides when, how and what. No provisioning/de-provisioning without IT administrator

Source: Seagate Technology, Enterprise Product Line Management

Cloud ComputingA New Model for Delivering and Consuming IT Resources

Seagate Technology Fits in the Cloud The Right Storage Device for the Right Cloud Application Applications drive the workload, reliability and performance needs of any system, and applications in a cloud data center run 247, have high workloads and run in high-vibration environments. Enterprise-class drives are designed for a multiple-drive system environment, such as servers and external storage systems that operate 247, 52 weeks a year. Nonenterprise-class or personal storage drives are designed for a single-drive environment and have a much lower design usage, lower duty cycle, and a simpler, lighter workload. To ensure success with demanding cloud applications, Seagate strongly recommends using enterprise-class storage devices (HDD and SSD) in a cloud data center environment. More specifically, the Seagate Unified Storage architecture supports the cloud architectural

approach to increase simplicity, lower costs and achieve greater scalability. This approach reduces complexity and optimizes energy efficiency and performance footprint for the data center. By simplifying around a single interface and form factor, and upon a single security foundation, the Unified Storage architecture promotes sustainability and creates powerful, yet simple, enterprise-class storage solutions for the demanding and numerous applications in the data centers. With a broad enterprise portfolio of products, Seagate has a family of drives specifically designed for each tier of storage, and for each type of application and quality of service level in a data center. To a large degree, the applications workload determines the type of physical resources, including type of drive. The guide below is an overview and can help determine the right type of drive to use for a given cloud application.

Cloud Need Highest Performance Extreme, I/O-intensive cloud computing environments. Accelerate dynamic cloud site applications. SecureErase technology. Very high I/O-intensive workloads, content delivery network applications, edge caching, cloud computing application acceleration, live streaming video

Savvio 10K/15K
2.5-Inch Performance/Capacity Compute-intensive data requirements demanding the highest HDD performance density, availability and capacity. SecureErase technology. High-performance cloud servers and storage arrays, computeintensive email service and database applications, and power-constrained data centers

Cheetah 15K
3.5-Inch Performance High-capacity, compute-intensive requirements demanding high performance and availability. SecureErase technology. Large form factor, mission-critical enterprise storage applications in demanding network and server storage environments. Heavy read/write workloads.


Use This Drive For


Constellation ES
Cloud Need Highest 3.5-Inch Capacity Maximum-capacity cloud servers and storage arrays requiring enterprise-class reliability. SecureErase technology. Mainstream drive for highcapacity cloud applications, including email, backup and archiving, rich media content storage, reference and compliance cloud data storage

Low-Power/Highest 2.5-Inch Capacity


Use This Drive For

Cloud computing reference data demands requiring cost-effective, low-power, enterprise-class reliability. SecureErase technology.


2.5-inch servers or storage chassis where power savings is a concern, mainstream medium-compute-intensive Web-based email services

Source: Seagate Technology, Enterprise Product Line Management

Cloud ComputingA New Model for Delivering and Consuming IT Resources

Seagate Position and Recommendations on Cloud Computing In summary, Seagate believes that cloud computing will continue to evolve and expand, driving more applications and computing demand that will, in turn, drive more need for both data center and local storage. Seagate does not believe the cloud will wholly replace enterprise data centers. However, it is likely that many SMBs will move from an internal IT model to an outsourced cloud model. The larger enterprise companies may migrate their non-critical applications and data to the cloud, while others will migrate and outsource their entire IT operations. Seagate also believes that

many larger companies will keep their critical applications and data internally, behind their firewall. Some larger companies, on the other hand, will have a hybrid model, utilizing the cloud for providing certain IT services while at the same time maintaining other internal IT services. There is a huge growth in market share toward the cloud, with a significant market share growth still to come. Seagate estimates mainstream cloud adoption will start to take hold in 2012 and 2013. The degree to which companies adopt cloud services for their diverse set of applications depends on many factors; one of the more important of these is trust, and earning this trust will take time.


Seagate Technology LLC 920 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, California 95066, United States, 831-438-6550 Seagate Singapore International Headquarters Pte. Ltd. 7000 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, Singapore 569877, 65-6485-3888 Seagate Technology SAS 1618 rue du Dme, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France, 33 1-4186 10 00

2010 Seagate Technology LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC in the United States and/or other countries. Cheetah, Constellation, Pulsar, Savvio and SecureErase are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC or one of its affiliated companies in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. When referring to drive capacity, one gigabyte, or GB, equals one billion bytes and one terabyte, or TB, equals one trillion bytes. Your computers operating system may use a different standard of measurement and report a lower capacity. In addition, some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions, and thus will not be available for data storage. Seagate reserves the right to change, without notice, product offerings or specifications. TP617.1-1009US, September 2010