“Only pay for what you use.” This foundational promise of cloud storage explains why by 2025, Gartner forecasts that more than 70% of all enterprise-grade storage capacity will be sold on a consumption basis. It is an important trend that storage vendors are paying attention to, but it requires innovation to turn this prediction into reality. A cloud or hybrid cloud model for mission-critical databases and applications requires the highest level of performance that historically could not be delivered in an as-a-service model. The other challenge was how enterprises would seamlessly get their data in (and out) of the cloud. Rightly so, most enterprises loath a model that traps into one vendor or architecture without an easy path to change.

At 2023 Dell Technologies World, the as-a-service model for mission-critical block data became a reality with APEX. Right workload. Right place. Right cost. It is a message that resonates with many businesses that want the performance of PowerFlex, PowerStore, or PowerMax in whatever location makes the most sense for their IT requirements.

With the new Dell APEX offerings, businesses now have access to a multicloud solution with storage products from the data center to the public cloud. The goal is to help companies to operate and innovate faster through improved management and mobility of their applications and data wherever they reside. And, of course, for businesses that want to shift IT budgets to the operation expense flexibility of the cloud instead of relying on physical storage – APEX is a fantastic option.

Options are critical, but only if they are usable. One of the big questions we hear from Fortune 5000s is that while they are interested in the advantages of PowerFlex and the as-a-service nature of APEX, they need a way to enable data mobility cost-effectively. If they are forced to wait for downtime, or the planned migration is scheduled to take 12 months, the solutions are a lot more interesting.

Cirrus Data became a Dell Technologies partner early. Our customers regularly need solutions to move block data onto the latest Dell storage products. As a result, Dell was one of the first integrations that Cirrus Data completed. The exciting news for enterprises globally is that Cirrus Data introduced a new level of integration earlier this year with its Cirrus Migrate Cloud and Dell PowerFlex. Organizations can now enable data mobility with PowerFlex in a few clicks. There is a short video (here) to demonstrate this capability.

Following the very successful Dell Technology World 2023, Cirrus Data hosted a webinar on modernizing and optimizing cloud storage with Adam Smolka, Senior Director of APEX for Dell, along with Mark Greenlaw, VP of Market Strategy for Cirrus Data. With so much news covered during the event, Cirrus Data and Dell wanted to help organizations distill the key news related to block storage and data mobility.

What is APEX, and how does it simplify storage strategy?

Dell APEX Data Storage Services is powered by infrastructure that provides ever-expanding levels of performance, capacity and resiliency, with the flexibility of an as-a-Service model. Designed to radically simplify the process for purchasing, deploying, and maintaining block storage, customers can now align expenses with actual versus anticipated usage. APEX customers to choose the service levels that meet their organization’s needs, while Dell owns and maintains the infrastructure. facility. At the same time, the customer has full operational control of all workloads and applications on the Dell APEX console.

In the webinar with Cirrus Data, Smolka identified three critical areas where the APEX portfolio adds value:

  1. Enriching the public cloud
    • Dell APEX enhances customers’ existing public cloud investment to improve needed areas like performance, security, and cost control. If a customer is running block storage in AWS or Azure, they can deploy APEX block storage into the public cloud of their choice—enabling up to 300% more performance per dollar.
  2. Connecting on-premises and public cloud
    • Dell APEX enables customers to link what they do in the public cloud to what they do on-premises. This both saves a lot of time and makes the overall management process more straightforward.
  3. Recalibrating storage strategy
    • Dell APEX provides a balanced and agile approach to storage strategy, helping customers modernize legacy infrastructure or rationalize between public and private cloud landing zones. Organizations can swiftly adjust their strategies and ensure their workloads are running in the most suitable environments—all while controlling costs.

How Cirrus Data offers data mobility to help businesses using Dell APEX

As you adopt a cloud operating model like APEX, the speed at which you migrate your data matters. Dell APEX customers with Cirrus Data can perform block data migrations four to six times faster than traditional approaches. However, speed is only the beginning.

Cirrus Data simplifies and accelerates data migration to the APEX portfolio by offering true data mobility. This eliminates the friction of moving block data from one platform to another so that you can take advantage of cost and performance advantages across public cloud vendors. Here’s why Cirrus Data is the ideal solution to migrate block data to the APEX portfolio:

  • Flexibility
    • Cirrus Data can move block data from any existing storage infrastructure (on-premises or in the cloud) to the APEX solution of choice. Any host, any application, any storage, any location—all migrated with a single platform instead of vendor tools of varying compatibility. This delivers an easy, transparent, and automated migration process no matter where you’re moving block data from.
  •  Simplicity
    • As a longtime Dell Technologies Partner, Cirrus Data has unique integration functionality with Dell PowerFlex. The integration improves the already simplified nature of the Cirrus Migrate Cloud solution with targeted automation that makes APEX migrations even easier. In addition, this automated approach eliminates tedious manual processes to reduce the risk of human error.
  • Cost-effectiveness
    • Cirrus Data can migrate live data without disruption. You can realize the cost savings of your new Dell storage faster by eliminating downtime. And by using thin reduction and compression, one Cirrus Data customer moving from EBS to Dell PowerFlex expects to realize savings of $3.2 million annually.

It is a massive change in the way businesses can manage block storage. The option of only paying for what you use is now finally here for all workloads. We expect other storage providers to follow Dell’s lead in this arena, which ultimately means more choices for businesses.

Ready to cut your storage costs and take back control of where your data lives? Let’s go!