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How to Simplify Cloud File Storage with Qumulo-as-a-Service on Azure

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In this article, I’ll provide a deep dive into Qumulo-as-a-Service (QaaS) on Azure – the file data management platform for the world’s unstructured data that is designed to simplify cloud file storage at scale, anywhere. 

From the very beginning, our customers have asked for hardware flexibility, so we’ve freed the file system from proprietary hardware and specific operating systems. And in doing so, we created a flexible foundation that unlocks choice for how and where you deploy Qumulo. Whether on-premises, at the edge, or in the cloud – it’s simple at any scale. Here’s how we did it.

Now, you can put your hyperactive data wherever you need it to be, easily.

Qumulo redesigned the file system from scratch, focusing on deployment flexibility, hyper-scalability, and management simplicity to enable you to meet today’s cloud file storage challenges for managing and using your unstructured data. And as with every Qumulo deployment, we’ve continued to deliver highly scalable file system technology, intelligent caching, and intuitive real-time data analytics to deliver high-performance file services, data insights, and simplicity at petabyte scales anywhere.

We have always aimed for simplicity, in the data center and in the cloud. Deployed as a native service from the Azure Marketplace and connected to your Azure subscription, Qumulo on Azure eliminates space limits and management challenges. You get the same Qumulo file system tools and features, including petabyte-plus scalability, without the complexity and guesswork of roll-your-own cloud file storage.

QaaS is available as a native service on Azure without the restrictions, complexity and costs that have held organizations back.

Now, Azure customers have access to hyper-scalable file services in the cloud. QaaS is available as a native service on Azure without the 100TB size restriction of other services. Our as-a-service model means you can simply subscribe to a Qumulo file system on Azure that meets your exact needs. But before I explain, here is a summary of the challenges that have held organizations back from cloud file storage before Qumulo on Azure.

Even though cloud-based file services have been available for years, the complexity and cost have held customers back. Deploying file services in the cloud required expertise in cloud compute, cloud storage, and cloud networking. Often, you’d need to engage with a support team from the cloud provider as well. 

It could take weeks of coordination just to bring all that expertise together. Then you’d still have to design the right cloud file system for you: map out the resources you’ll need – compute, client, connectivity, and capacity – then choose the  deployment region and storage tiers to meet capacity and performance needs. All of this can add even more weeks to the process.

Finally, there’s the question of how to get up and running in the cloud: do you spend days deploying and configuring  all those resources manually, or spend even more time writing the scripts you need to automate the deployment? Either option comes with risks: configuration errors that can cost you time or security errors that can impact your revenue and your reputation.

After all that, what do you have? Most cloud file services come with proprietary management tools and practices that don’t work with your on-premises NAS systems. And, until now, Azure-based file services maxed out at 100TB or less and imposed added licensing costs for less functionality than your on-premises NAS. In a nutshell, many enterprises have held off because:

  • capacity limits and proprietary management tools add complexity
  • getting data into the cloud adds cost
  • IT teams can’t afford to spend weeks on deployment 

These are the reason why many organizations have avoided cloud file storage systems to date. Qumulo as a managed cloud file storage service on Azure solves these challenges.

Removing the barriers – what we mean by simplicity at scale.

With our as-a-service deployment and support model on Azure, Qumulo has done the heavy lifting for you, removing the barriers that have prevented many organizations from adopting cloud-based file services. There’s no drawn-out planning or deployment. Getting a Qumulo file system for your organization is as simple as requesting one from the Azure Marketplace. 

You tell us how much capacity and performance you need. We take care of the infrastructure behind the scenes – the compute, the storage, and the networking. Then we’ll work with you to set up the VNET peering to connect your Azure network resource groups with your new Qumulo-as-a-Service (QaaS) file system subscription on Azure. 

QaaS on Azure – on-premises storage with the flexibility of the cloud

Managing Qumulo on Azure is exactly like managing Qumulo on-premises: the same intuitive web user interface, the same real-time analytics – all the same functionality that Qumulo’s customers are already familiar with, such as our  data services that are built into Qumulo Core file data platform. All this functionality – cloud file file storage at petabyte scale, data protection and security, data mobility, and data awareness – is built into QaaS on Azure. There’s no modular licensing or add-ons that increase your cost. Qumulo offers both native NFS and SMB data services for all your client needs.


  • Qumulo Scale was built to serve petabytes of data from a single namespace – meaning billions of files, millions of operations, and thousands of users. Scaling your Qumulo cluster is simple and seamless – new nodes are quickly discovered by the cluster, and can be added with a few clicks. Qumulo’s file system is so efficient you can use 100% of your cluster’s capacity without any performance loss.
  • Qumulo Perform provides intelligent caching to enable high performance for demanding workloads. Its flash-first approach enables high-speed data ingestion, and its ability to track overall activity lets it prefetch hot data into NVRAM before it’s needed.
  • Qumulo Aware visually delivers comprehensive data analytics across your entire cluster with data visualization, because effective data management at scale is impossible without real-time data visibility. See which clients and paths are most active on your cluster, track overall cluster throughput, predict growth trends, and plan for future requirements, based on real-time metrics from your cluster.
  • Qumulo Secure protects your data against external threats, through a combination of wire-level encryption for data-access protocols like SMB and FTP, as well as 256-bit at-rest encryption for all data on the cluster. Additional layers of protection come from Qumulo’s role-based access control that integrates seamlessly with your AD or LDAP service, and audit capabilities that work with your enterprise reporting platforms.
  • Qumulo Protect uses erasure coding to ensure uninterrupted service and automated recovery, whether you lose a disk or an entire node. It helps you protect your data against loss or corruption through local snapshots, snapshot replication, continuous replication, or snapshots with replication, using your backup solution.
  • Qumulo Integrate automates your data management workflows with its rich library of API calls and functions, lets you create and tear down data services and workflows, configure snapshot and replication tasks, and all other data-management operations, programmatically.

How to request Qumulo-as-a-Service on Azure

Qumulo’s subscription model shortcuts the long, difficult process of planning and building a cloud file storage system. It all starts with the Azure Marketplace, where you can simply request a new subscription. Then choose the plan and pricing option that works for your needs, and submit your request.

Qumulo will deploy a new instance using our Azure subscription, based on the capacity and performance requirements you submitted. Then our engineering team will work with you to set up the VNET peering to connect your Azure resources with your new Qumulo file system. There’s no infrastructure or deployment processes to plan. You get a fully functional file system without any of the complexity. 

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