Introducing Lightbits on AWS

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Lightbits is on a mission to enable digital transformation by making high performance storage simple and accessible on any cloud. This means making the most feature rich, economically efficient, easy to use and fast storage we can imagine. I am proud to share our plans for extending our vision to the public cloud. But first, a quick look at the past.

Storage optimization has traditionally taken place in on-premise environments where one can control both the storage hardware and software. This has led to many innovations and the Lightbits Cloud Data Platform is no exception. With its ability to bring a new level of economic efficiency by running on almost any storage server, Lightbits has pushed the envelope beyond traditional block storage systems that utilize proprietary hardware and non standard interfaces. 

Our next act is to bring the goodness of Lightbits to the public cloud. As with most new product innovations, our journey started with customer interviews–both on premises and cloud operators. . Our goal was to understand how block storage in public clouds could be even better. Many things stood out in these conversations. Operators want the same enterprise features they enjoy on-premise. The economics of block storage, especially when considering high performance volumes, is a challenge. Ease of use is not negotiable. In addition we discovered that high performance databases and data analytic applications were two use cases that stood out as common applications for high performance block storage in public clouds. In addition there is a need to store data in a unified platform on multiple clouds: private clouds, edge clouds, and public clouds.

Armed with the feedback, we set out to adapt the many enterprise features in Lightbits to our public cloud partner  Amazon Web Services (AWS). The result was an impressive list of features that were previously unavailable in the cloud. Multi tenancy, quality of service (QoS), user defined replication, and failure domains are some of the key features that users can now enjoy in AWS. In addition, compatibility with operating environments like Kubernetes, VMware and Openstack is supported and easy to integrate. While REST APIs and CLI interfaces make adaptation easy.

Cloud economics can be a challenge to track but the basic cost structures are simple. For block storage it boils down to the cost for capacity, performance (input/output operations per second, IOPS), and the cost for snapshots / restores. Lightbits addresses these cost points through the efficient use of storage resources in EC2 storage instances with direct attached NVME SSDs. Features like compression, thin provisioning, automatic cluster scaling and no charge snapshots and restores ensure that you only use and pay for the storage you need rather than pay for the storage you provision. In addition, our architecture enables next level volume performance with over 1.5M IOPS per volume, almost 6 times more than existing solutions. With the addition of super low average and tail latency, we are confident that our storage volumes can withstand the demands of even the most IO intensive applications. With these features Lightbits on AWS can reduce storage costs by 90% in high performance use cases.

We understand that ease of use is a major draw for public cloud customers. With that in mind we set out to build the best Lightbits experience to date. Setting up a cluster is as  easy as entering a few clicks on the AWS Marketplace or kicking off a Cloud Formation script. All you have to do is start the process, grab a coffee, and 15 minutes later your super-charged Lightbits storaged cluster is ready to go in your own Virtual Private Cloud (VPS). We designed operation and maintenance of the cluster to be as easy as pie with features like automated load distribution and rebalancing, automated upgrades, and automated healing. All this ensures that you can focus on important tasks and not your storage.

Launching Lightbits on AWS brings us a step closer to realizing our mission. No matter where you store your data–on-premises, an edge cloud, or the public cloud–Lightbits offers a simple, flexible, efficient and unified platform that enables it. We have spent a lot of time building what we believe is the best block storage for any cloud. Now it’s ready for you to preview on AWS. We would love to get your feedback and hear about how you can take advantage of the enterprise features, efficient economics, and easy to use super high performance offered by Lightbits on AWS. To request a free trial  send us an email at cloud@lightbitslabs.com or ping us via our website https://www.lightbitslabs.com/aws/.

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About the Writer:

Chief Technology Evangelist, Lightbits Labs