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READ JACK MADDEN'S CLOUD CACHE BLOG

READ DAVID WILKINSON'S (WILKYIT) CLOUD CACHE BLOG

On May 2nd, FSLogix revealed our upcoming product, Cloud Cache. Cloud Cache was over a year in the making, and represents a new way to manage user data that gives desktop virtualization admins control they’ve never had before.

With the first release, Cloud Cache will enable organizations to save user profile and Office 365 data to multiple SMB file shares at the same time, keeping both locations in sync from the client side, without having to use traditional storage replication techniques. In the near future, we’ll also be adding support for Azure Page Blobs, which means you can not only maintain real-time copies of your user data on premises and at DR sites, but also in the cloud.

With Cloud Cache, you can make your user profile and Office 365 data globally redundant.

Cloud Cache opens up several use cases that weren’t practical or even possible until now, including (actual features and packaging will be determined at General Availability):

  • Storage Continuity – By using Cloud Cache, applications running on endpoints won’t notice short storage outages due to network disruptions or storage controller failovers. Cloud Cache will automatically start using one of the other storage locations or, in the event of a complete disconnection, gracefully handle a disruption until storage can be reconnected.
  • Cloud cost savings– Simply operating off cloud storage can prove costly, and pricing models differ between providers. In the case of Azure, which charges for capacity and activity, Cloud Cache will greatly reduce the amount of storage activity each user creates through typical usage that would go unnoticed on-premises. For example, Outlook opens the OST file 37 times each time you start the app, which in Azure terms is 37 “get” operations. With Cloud Cache, Azure only sees a single “get” operation. Additionally, because data is copied to the desktop on demand, load times are extremely fast and network consumption is minimized (as opposed to other solutions that copy the data locally first).
  • User data backup – FSLogix built their Profile Container to make user profiles portable while avoiding the challenges of traditional roaming or hybrid profile solutions. Our Office 365 Container product was built to add features to virtual desktops like Outlook Cached Exchange Mode and Windows Search that were not possible before it was released.

One challenge with both of these products is that since the containers are VHD files that are mounted and always active when a desktop is running, the VHD files themselves are locked and can’t be backed up. With Cloud Cache, there will always be more than one instance of a VHD to serve as a backup. You can take the backup storage location offline to back the VHD up as part of your backup process, and Cloud Cache will update the VHD when the storage location comes back online.

  • Disaster Recovery – In addition to backups, another challenge of desktop admins is maintaining user data in the event of a disaster. This can be accomplished with traditional means, but those solutions are often complex and prone to issues. FSLogix Cloud Cache Technology lets you place data in multiple locations on-premises or in the cloud so that the data is there when your users need it. This approach lets you create a truly global DR strategy for your desktops, able to weather any catastrophic outage.
  • Enabling DaaS – One of the major technical challenges of moving to the cloud is what to do with user data and profiles. Unless you move all your users at once, or if you’ll have desktops on-premises and in the cloud, your options are limited. You could place the user data in one location, but users not at that location will have poor performance. You could also replicate data to both locations, but keeping this in sync can be costly in terms of bandwidth and difficult to maintain.

    Because Cloud Cache Technology supports cloud providers like Azure and AWS, organizations can configure it to use both on-premises and cloud storage at the same time. This alleviates a major pain point when moving desktops to the cloud. With Cloud Cache, you can simply install it in your desktops and add the cloud provider as a storage location. The data will automatically be replicated there, and when you’re ready to move your users’ desktops to the cloud, the data will be waiting.

    Should they need to log in to an on-premises desktop again, the data will be waiting there, too. Because of this, Cloud Cache Technology is not only helpful for DaaS migrations, but also hybrid DaaS environments.
  • DaaS Backups – Something organizations moving to DaaS need to consider is how to back up the data that is in the cloud. Currently, the options are limited, and should a major outage occur at the DaaS provider, organizations without a local backup could be left high and dry. Using Cloud Cache Technology with your DaaS desktops allows you to keep your user data in sync between the cloud and on-premises storage locations, so you can back up the on-premises data and rely on it in the event of a problem.

 

Want to try Cloud Cache?

FSLogix Cloud Cache technology will soon be available via a limited Tech Preview. General availability is expected by the end of May, but you can get your hands on it sooner by joining our Tech Preview Program.

Qualifying Tech Preview program participants will receive pre-release access to our upcoming feature enhancements surrounding FSLogix Profile Container and FSLogix Office 365 Container, as well as add-on modules that bring simultaneous, multi-location storage to your fingertips. Your feedback is important to us, so we’ll open up a forum specifically for Tech Preview members to communicate with each other for tips/support.

To join the Tech Preview program, please fill out and submit the form. We’ll evaluate the responses and get back to you if you’ve been accepted.

 

**Please read the full Beta Participant Agreement prior to registration

 

Cloud Cache Tech Preview