Universal Data Plane demo: Multi-cloud clusters spanning AWS and Azure

By Avinash Lakshman | | Cloud

Today we made two big announcements: our vision for a Universal Data Plane and the related Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform Version 2.0 release. Both illustrate our progress and traction with top-tier enterprise customers like BNP Paribas CIB.

For those of you who know me well, I’m a technologist at heart. That’s why I’m most excited to do more than just talk about these advancements. Today we’re demonstrating that they’re a reality.

First, let me share my thoughts on the Universal Data Plane, which has been my technical vision for the storage market since we emerged from stealth last year. It’s the idea that you could have a single, programmable data management platform that spans any workload, any cloud, and any storage tier. The most compelling element of our vision, though, is the concept of true multi-cloud capabilities.

I believe enterprises will get out of the business of managing their own data centers entirely. The journey to the public cloud is inevitable. But getting there is difficult and, once there, extricating yourself (at least your data) is very cumbersome. We believe a Universal Data Plane mitigates those challenges. It supports VMs, containers, and public clouds. It can be orchestrated by VMware, Microsoft, Docker, OpenStack, Mesos, or Kubernetes. It’s a reimagining of the data layer in the modern IT stack. Think of it as a virtualized abstraction layer that enables any workload to store and protect its data across any location.

I expand on the vision and the multi-cloud aspect in this two-minute video (bonus points for anyone that can leave a comment at the bottom of this blog identifying the T-shirt I’m wearing):


But enough of the vision. Is the Universal Data Plane real today? Yes. Below is an eight-minute demo of our software running in two scenarios:

  • Hybrid-cloud: Private datacenter + Amazon Web Services (AWS). In the first scenario, we demonstrate the most common request we get: Can you create a single cluster that spans my private data center and AWS? Our software is designed to run across any number of private and public sites, so we’re just demonstrating a two-site scenario.
  • Multi-cloud: AWS + Microsoft Azure. In the second scenario, we show a true multi-cloud where data is actively replicated between AWS and Azure. This is a common request from companies that were “born” in AWS and are looking to either mitigate cost or avoid vendor lock-in by having their applications span multiple public cloud providers. This is particularly interesting for containerized apps, where app and data portability across clouds is easier.


This is just the beginning for Hedvig. We believe a Universal Data Plane is an IT industry vision and many vendors will compete for the best way to architect it. Stop by our Universal Data Plane resource page to learn how we’re executing against this vision today and get updates as we continue to innovate. Our goal is to make hybrid- and multi-cloud architectures a reality.