As promised in June, the Lightbits Cloud Data Platform has been made available in the Azure Marketplace as a managed application.
Lightbits software uses public cloud ephemeral storage instances to provide block storage that is faster and more affordable than Azure’s own block storage instances. These are Azure Disk Storage ones with its Ultra Disk Storage, Premium SSD v2, Premium SSD, Standard SSD, and Standard HDD options. Lightbits creates a fast SAN in the cloud by clustering virtual machines connected by NVMe over TCP. It’s capable of delivering up to 1 million IOPS per volume and consistent latency down to 190 microseconds, and performance scales linearly as the cluster size increases.
This means tight SLAs for important apps, that otherwise could not be moved to the Azure cloud, can be met. Kam Eshghi, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Lightbits, said in a statement that customers “get the highest performance possible on Azure at a lower cost than native cloud storage, plus hands-off operations as a managed service. Now they can migrate all their workloads to the cloud and be confident that they won’t have to repatriate them back on-premises due to skyrocketing costs.”
Lightbits Cloud Data Platform software is already available in the AWS Marketplace and is now in preview in the eu-west, us-east, and us-west Azure regions. A Lightbits on Azure launch event is scheduled for September 29, 2023.
There are four suppliers providing block storage in the public cloud based on ephemeral storage instances: Dell (PowerFlex), Lightbits, Silk, and Volumez. They compete against the cloud providers’ native block storage instances and against block storage array providers, such as Pure Storage with its Cloud Block Store, which have moved their array controller software to the cloud. NeApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides block, file, and object storage in AWS, Azure, and the Google Cloud.
The advantage for NetApp and Pure customers is their customers having the same block storage environments on-premises and in the public clouds. The cloud block stores are based on the cloud providers’ native block storage and don’t use ephemeral storage instances. That should give the four suppliers above both performance and cost advantages for their products but they lack the on-premises/public cloud environment consistency that NetApp and Pure provide.