Case Study: Five Ways a German Data Center Lowered Costs while Boosting Efficiency17 min read
European storage firm Impossible Cloud recently opened a new data center in Frankfurt, Germany, to add to an existing network that includes centers in Los Angeles and New York as well as multiple colocation partnerships around the world. The company claims that its design delivers cloud storage services as much as 75% cheaper than competitors while adding various other benefits such as efficiency and compliance.
Here are five of its core features:
Modern Storage Infrastructure
The company offers enterprise-grade, native cloud storage that is Kubernetes-friendly. Using AWS S3-compatible object storage, it is available throughout Europe and other regions with more than eight petabytes of initial raw storage capacity. More is on tap via additional data centers and colos. Durability is said to be beyond 11 nines. In addition, Impossible Cloud data centers feature N+1 power as well as cooling redundancy.
The company firmly believes that object storage is a better format than file or block storage.
“Object storage offers nearly infinite scaling at higher performance as well as the ability for clients to adjust their storage capacity based on actual need along with the benefits of decentralized web3 technology,” said Daniel Baker, CTO & Co-Founder of Impossible Cloud.
When it utilizes colos, the company leverages a server configuration optimized for increased performance and low latency with 13 servers per data center spread across multiple racks.
Decentralization also extends to data. A feature shared between its many data centers is the avoidance of data concentration in one geography. This ensures that any data stored has no single point of failure.
The company is rigorous in qualifying the colos it works with. They must be top tier data centers that are comfortable with demanding requirements. After all, the company’s clientele lives in a world where compliance with regulations and international standards is a necessity. ISO27001, SOC-2, HIPAA, GDPR, ISO22301, NIST 800-53/FI, PCI DSS and others must be part and parcel of the service.
Data sovereignty, in particular, is typically a key part of any contracts. As well as the European General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR), there are similar laws in other geographies around the world such as New Zealand and California with more on the way from other regions.
Thus, Impossible Cloud must balance the convenience of the cloud and its ability to host data anywhere in the world with what would be considered the illegal movement of data out of a region. The consequences of doing so are grim, both for the cloud provider and the client. Just look at the way GDPR fines have ramped up recently. Hefty fines have been commonplace for the last few years, but they have now gone to a whole new level. Meta/Facebook, for example, has been fined more than 2 billion Euros in the first few months of 2023. That’s equal to the amount of money levied in penalties in all the years of the GDPR to date. Clearly, regulators are hunting down violations like never before.
Impossible Cloud has a largely European-centric customer base and so is very aware of the dangers of cloud storage when it comes to data sovereignty. As an added safeguard, the company implements geo-fencing to ensure their data is stored within the EU (or, if required even only within Germany), for any clients that require it.
“This is our way of guaranteeing cloud autonomy in accordance with the European Data Alliance’s goals,” said Baker.
As well as complying with the various international standards and data privacy mandates, the Impossible Cloud platform comes with a variety of security features built in. This includes an orchestration and security software layer to deliver triple encryption, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and cross-origin resource sharing (CORS), which guards against cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks and other types of malicious activity.
Further security protections include versioning, object lock and immutability for retention of all stored files in their original version. In addition, identity access management (IAM) capabilities enable the creation of multiple users, access keys, sub-users and groups via API/CLI.
Just as important as the above categories, Impossible Cloud data centers and services are designed to integrate with just about any other technology stack in use by customers. Baker claimed that this can usually be accomplished by inputting one line of code.
To simplify the transfer of large amounts of data, the company also provides migration tools and support services. These are said to streamline the movement of existing large data sets currently stored with vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and other providers.
Baker added that the platform delivers flexibility, efficiency and greater control. This is accomplished via a decentralized infrastructure, where the location and ownership of data are dispersed among many places, rather than a few.
“This approach translates into lowered costs for end users, sometimes up to 75%,” said Baker.
Real-time monitoring, data-driven optimization.
Immersive software, innovative sensors and expert thermal services to monitor,
manage, and maximize the power and cooling infrastructure for critical
data center environments.
Real-time monitoring, data-driven optimization.
Immersive software, innovative sensors and expert thermal services to monitor, manage, and maximize the power and cooling infrastructure for critical data center environments.
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