I am here in Las Vegas to attend AWS re:invent this year, and I have been thinking about how AWS S3, their object storage service, has gained traction over the years. The power of AWS S3 lies in its API and how easy it is for developers to use it in their applications. The simplicity of the API and seamless scalability offered by the service opened up some interesting use cases, helping users in today’s world of ever-increasing data storage and consumption. As an industry observer and researcher who sees patterns in how technology market evolves, I got excited about the role Minio can play in the market. In this post and a series of posts in the coming weeks and months, I want to highlight various use cases with Minio in helping organizations retain their flexibility to innovate to meet the Modern Enterprise needs.
Retaining the flexibility to innovate
As technology evolves rapidly, enterprises are forced to embrace a Continuous Innovation strategy which emphasizes on enabling the developers to meet the business needs rapidly. This requires a loosely coupled architectural approach and Portable APIs becomes critical in retaining the flexibility to innovate in a Multi Cloud world. The abstractions offered by the portable APIs allow applications to run on any cloud or on-premises without having to rewrite the applications.
Minio as the cloud native object storage
Minio is the cloud native object storage for the multi cloud era object with Amazon S3 compatible API. This allows developers to use Minio API for object storage and make it work across multiple clouds. This flexibility allows organizations to break down data silos while empowering their developers to take advantage of various services offered by different cloud platforms or providers. Since this is AWS re:invent week, I want to talk about using Minio with AWS S3 in the context of a modern enterprise.
Let us consider a typical hybrid cloud use case where an enterprise uses AWS as an extension to their on-premise private cloud. Minio helps them retain the flexibility to innovate rapidly as well as reduce costs with the caching feature. In this section, I will highlight how modern enterprises can use Minio as a part of their cloud strategy.
Portable API for multi cloud
Minio is S3 compatible. By writing your applications to talk to Minio API, you retain the flexibility to seamlessly move the application between AWS cloud and On-premise private cloud. This abstraction can also be leveraged to deploy the apps in any other cloud while still maintaining the compatibility with AWS S3.
Typically, using an abstraction over a native service requires compromises over a least common set of features across various clouds. But Minio takes a different path and helps users have an S3 like developer experience on any cloud including on-premise private cloud. This allows developers to pick any environment needed for their applications without worrying about how and where their objects are stored.
Storage at the edge of the private cloud
The other use case I want to highlight involves using Minio servers at the edge of the private cloud while using AWS as an extension. With this set up (highlighted in the image below), applications can leverage the data stored in AWS S3 while providing a seamless user experience to the end users.
This takes into account the caching feature offered by Minio. Minio caching works are similar to data caching with Minio servers sitting at the edge of the private cloud. The application talks to the Minio server which caches the data locally while a background process moves older data to AWS S3. This helps deliver data faster to the applications without being impacted by any bottlenecks on the path to the S3 service or a sub optimal response from the S3 service.
Some of the advantages with Minio on the edge of the data center talking to AWS S3 are:
- Faster Response Time: The data generated by the applications are cached inside the network, providing a faster response time. This helps provide a superior user experience to the end users while also taking advantage of Amazon cloud service for the storage needs
- Cost Savings: Applications generate tons of smaller files which are saved by Minio servers at the edge of the private cloud. These files are collated into one big file and moved to AWS S3 for storage. This allows organizations to optimize the storage costs and bandwidth costs much better than an on-premise application talking directly to AWS S3
- Handling Cloud Failures: The key to success in the cloud comes from how applications are designed to handle the cloud failures. Suppose if AWS S3 goes down (which has happened in the past), applications should be able to handle these outages gracefully without failing completely. One way to ensure this is by using Minio at the edge of the private cloud and tapping into its caching feature to ensure application availability. When the cloud service becomes available, Minio client will back up the data to AWS S3. Application resiliency is at the heart of modern enterprises and Minio provides an option to developers to ensure this resiliency
Object storage is going to be an important part of modern enterprise puzzle. The key to innovation lies in the flexibility to use the right set of services for modern applications. Minio is one such portable API which allows organizations to use any cloud or on-premise private clouds for their application needs. Even in a hybrid environment involving a private cloud and AWS, using Minio offers significant advantage than tying into the native storage APIs.
Disclosure: Minio is a client of Rishidot Research