Using Talon FAST™ as part of your Microsoft Azure cloud strategy

by Jaap van Duijvenbode on June 17, 2015

There can be no denying cloud computing's impact on the enterprise. Over the past few years, companies in every sector have increasingly embraced this technology in countless ways, gaining superior efficiency, flexibility and accessibility, all while driving down operational costs.

Using Talon FAST™ as part of your Microsoft Azure cloud strategy  This is arguably most apparent when it comes to the issue of data storage. Virtually every enterprise is eager to move, or has already moved, significant portions of its data infrastructure into cloud environments. And while there are a lot of cloud storage options on the market for enterprise IT decision-makers to consider, one provider stands out from all the rest: Microsoft. To take full advantage of these offerings, though, a distributed enterprise needs to invest in the right foundation to provide a strategy for future growth and global expansion.

Put simply, the only cloud file sharing solution that truly meets these criteria is Talon FAST™. CloudFAST™ was designed to essentially overlay Windows Server, smoothly integrating into the enterprise's existing infrastructure. This maximizes the cloud's value while minimizing IT complexity.

The enterprise cloud storage market
The enterprise cloud storage market is growing fast. Notably, a recent study from found that the global enterprise storage market is on pace to experience a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent between now and 2019. Nearly two-thirds of enterprises around the world are already using cloud solutions in some capacity, and that number is clearly poised to increase dramatically. It is all but certain that the enterprises that have begun to leverage these resources will continue to move more of their data resources into cloud environments in the coming months and years.

"80% of Fortune 500 companies are now on the Microsoft Cloud."

The Microsoft Azure platform is particularly appealing for a number of reasons. Most significantly, Microsoft's Windows operating system remains an incredibly popular option for enterprises, making Microsoft's cloud offerings naturally appealing. According to Microsoft, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now on the Microsoft Cloud, and 57 percent use Microsoft Azure. Microsoft in general, and its cloud solutions in particular, are proven, familiar and reliable, and that holds obvious value to enterprise leaders.

Storage challenges
To gain the greatest possible benefits from Microsoft Azure's Cloud storage, CIO's and IT administrators have to research the most viable option for their business. Without such a vision, and understand of storage availability throughout the global enterprise, companies will frequently run into performance problems, including slow file sharing and data coherency issues. After all, these large-scale enterprises possess and store massive amounts of data, with more being created every day. The vast majority of this information is not essential on a daily basis, and can be archived. At the same time, though, it needs to remain accessible when needed.

Hybrid cloud storage with StorSimple
Microsoft delivers a hybrid approach to its Microsoft Azure cloud platform, by bringing data closer to the organization. The Microsoft StorSimple solution provides a cloud-base tiered storage platform which helps businesses to store the bulk of an enterprise's archived data in its Azure cloud. StorSimple then utilizes a hybrid approach to keep the most active data set "on-premise" or easily retrieves it from the cloud. This combination results in maximized cost efficiency while ensuring that users can access the information they need at any given time, with minimal wait times.

However, these benefits only apply to a single data center. For a distributed enterprise with multiple branch offices, such an approach is not sufficient, in and of itself. The problem is that users at the various branch offices will need instantaneous access to a subset of the "active" data set when they try to access the centrally stored data. In those scenarios it's simply not practical to establish and maintain a separate data center for each small to mid-sized branch office.

FAST™ benefits
That's why Talon FAST™ is so essential for enterprises looking to craft and benefit from a global Microsoft Azure cloud strategy.

testTalon FAST™ brings cloud storage benefits from cloud to the data center and into the branch office.

In essence, Talon FAST™ applies the same concept, tiering the "Active" data set where your users would need it, that make Microsoft StorSimple and Azure so effective on the data center level. Thanks to CloudFAST™ Intelligent File Caching, branch office employees will be able to access and utilize the data they depend on quickly and easily, regardless of where they are or where the corporate datacenter is located. Users can enjoy the speed of local file storage while the company benefits from cloud storage's affordability and scalability. This holds true whether the offices are separated by just a few hundred miles or by the Atlantic Ocean.

Just as importantly, Talon FAST™ guarantees coherence among the enterprise's cloud-stored data as a result of its central file locking technology. Multiple users at different branch offices can access a single file simultaneously, without worrying that they will make alterations that contradict others' work.

Talon FAST™ accomplishes all of this while overlaying on top of the Windows Server operating system. This makes the shift to cloud-based storage, including Microsoft StorSimple and Microsoft Azure platform, easier and less intimidating for enterprise IT personnel. If they are familiar with the Windows Server Operating System, they'll have no problem deploying and managing Talon CloudFAST™.

Altogether, Talon FAST™ is the easy - and necessary - choice for any distributed enterprise looking to embrace Global File Sharing and Collaboration, utilizing the Microsoft Azure cloud on a global scale.

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