Connected Suite Spotlight Series –
The Enterprise Archive: Why Cloud-Native Delivers Best-In-Class Flexibility and Scale
This Connected Suite Spotlight Series focuses on development trends in enterprise information archiving - notably, native-cloud platform architecture.
The Enterprise Archive from Smarsh is the first of its kind – built on cloud-native architecture, enabling cloud scale and multi-cloud deployability. This is really a tipping point in the enterprise information archiving space because of the flexibility and scale that this platform enables for global enterprises that are making strategic decisions to future-proof their data platforms.
There are several topics that warrant discussion the first of which is definitional. By ‘cloud-native’, we are referring to the design of the archiving platform itself, and how it can be deployed in any cloud environment, public (such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure) and/or private. These attributes include:
- Modular, distributed archiving “microservice” components that can scale independently and horizontally to avoid performance bottlenecks and single points of failure;
- Archive execution separate “containers” that are more efficient than virtual machines;
- Continuous delivery via automation and agile methodologies to rapidly deploy into target cloud environments;
- The ability to scale resources up or down dynamically across multiple geographic regions and availability zones within each;
- DevOps for automation and collaborative development and operational best practices to deliver to changing business needs faster
Flexibility to respond to today’s dynamic multi-national regulatory environment
For multinational enterprises, cloud-native architecture and multi-cloud deployability are critical to avoiding lock-in and essential to build for the future. In contrast to cloud-native, first-generation archiving services architected before the emergence of public cloud were dependent on monolithic technologies originally designed for on-premises use. The results are all too familiar: costly delays in addressing performance issues and inability to deploy archiving services into new geographies. This led to costly and time consuming lead times to meet evolving regulatory, data privacy, and locality requirements. For multi-nationals with the need to meet GDPR requirements in the EU, comply with data residency requirements in Singapore, and address specify privacy rules in 12 other countries, this was unacceptable. With the flexibility provided by multi-cloud infrastructure, firms can enhance agility to move as their business moves, without introducing additional legal, regulatory, or other compliance risks.
Video: Enterprise Archive: the Public Cloud – The Footprints of Giants
In this video Smarsh VP/Product Strategy Adam Miller-Howard and Chief Product Officer Greg Vesper describe the changes from old, monolithic infrastructures that cannot scale inexpensively, or reliably, to today’s multi-cloud reality. This modern, flexible infrastructure is the only way to truly build for the future. Adam and Greg highlight how organizations can leverage the enormous investments of Amazon, Microsoft and Google – enabling firms to focus on their services, not their servers.
"For so many of our customers and prospective customers, we see the pain that has been caused by their legacy archive solutions. What we’re trying to do is make sure they never have to go through that pain again."
Cloud-native archiving: why it matters
With the cloud-native Enterprise Archive our customers experience rapid and seamless data ingestion, access and responsiveness with unmatched scale and performance to perform complex supervision and e-discovery tasks in seconds. Multinational customers that need to store data and run services in multiple geographic regions are no longer limited by historical providers’ data center locations.
The investment in public cloud infrastructure should matter to individuals responsible for managing regulatory compliance, litigation, or investigative work for multi-national organizations. Their concerns are typically centered on managing regulatory or discovery burdens against a growing volume and variety of communications and collaborative data. The answer to these questions can be summarized as follows:
- Triple-active availability: the Enterprise Archive runs simultaneously in multiple data centers distributed across three availability zones with fully elastic capacity, creating high availability and super durability. This triple-active deployment eliminates the cost and complexity of a traditional disaster recovery site, while effectively reducing recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) to zero. The data sources that firms depend upon to meet regulatory inquiries or court deadlines must be highly available. Interrupting a major discovery exercise for an unplanned service outage can have significant consequences. If and when these events occur, firms should not face lengthy delays in fail-over to a secondary passive site, or recovery of data once the primary site is back on-line. Investment in an archiving platform that one depends on for business-critical tasks should deliver the resilience that AWS and other leading cloud infrastructure providers offer.
Video: Enterprise Archive: The Public Cloud – Triple-Active High Availability
Adam and Greg contrast old active-passive disaster recovery with triple active, horizontally scalable data clusters. We particularly enjoy the way Greg explains triple active and what it means today for smooth running data services.
"You can't just take an on-prem path or traditional 3-tier design, chuck it into the cloud and expect it to be triple-active. It’s not going to be. You have to have an architecture that is cloud native that allows you to spread out the data and the processing without a single point of failure."
- Limitless scale & performance: scale is not just about delivering against a search SLA for the first, single page of search results; it is ensuring that large projects can be completed without delay – from start to finish. This means ensuring that additional resources can be easily deployed to manage the ingestion of large volumes of historical content, that they can be efficiently search, reviewed, and preserved, and ultimately be delivered to its next step in the legal or compliance workflow at whatever volume is required to satisfy the request. Adding capacity to any individual component should be achievable without impacting performance of other components of the system.
- Geographic flexibility: for multi-nationals, flexibility typically means the ability to quickly respond to geographic or regulatory changes. This can often entail the deployment of a new archiving location to respond to the need to maintain data within a specific geography, such as Singapore or Brazil, without forcing you to use the next closest available location. However, it can also mean the ability to quickly add new content sources to enable support for new collaborative, messaging or other content source. The flexibility provided by standards-based cloud infrastructure will enable firms to move faster and better address the needs of their clients.
"Deploy equally on different cloud infrastructures across regions. Choose one cloud provider for one region and another cloud provider for another region. You pick what works best for your regulatory, security and data locality policies."
In The Forrester WaveTM: Information Archiving Cloud Providers, Q1 2019 report, in which Smarsh was cited as a leader, Forrester noted that, “Vendors that are entirely dependent on their own data centers may be caught short if clients demand in-region storage and processing, while vendors that partner with large public cloud providers can react more nimbly to regional demands.”
Security is a growing focus and cannot be compromised by old, aging infrastructure
Smarsh data security practices, combined with the continuous security investments of the world’s leading providers, enable enterprises to strengthen their security postures across areas such as: data immutability, intrusion detection, Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) mitigation, multi-level data encryption and key management, continuous monitoring and audit logging, and identity and access control.
We will continue to produce additional assets that highlight the benefits offered to our customers that result from our multi-cloud strategy, including an upcoming webinar with Forrester Principal Analyst Cheryl McKinnon, who will provide insight and considerations for enterprises making information archiving infrastructure decisions.
Sign up for our webinar Infrastructure Considerations to Future-Proof Your “Next-Gen” Electronic Communications Archive – November 12, 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET
View the press release here.
Visit Enterprise Archive Product Page here https://www.smarsh.com/products/connected-archive/enterprise-archive/
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Archiving and Compliance Blog
Our Blog explores the news, trends and best practices in electronic recordkeeping. It’s about managing and getting value from your electronic communications data. It’s about satisfying legal and regulatory obligations. It’s all about turning compliance liability into business insight.