We feel very proud and fortunate at Silk for the quality of organizations that choose to work with us, both as customers and business partners. We get to help world-class companies migrate and optimize business-critical workloads in the cloud. When you work with one of the top 10 retailers in the world to not just “survive” black Friday but to optimize it, you learn a lot about what organizations are demanding from the cloud.  

We also have a mature Microsoft partnership, having worked with them for years to optimize workloads and deliver new features for joint customers like Sentara and SimCorp. As Microsoft evolves Microsoft Azure, their product team and engineers work closely with Silk’s team so that Silk can take advantage of any few features. 

The latest release of Silk includes important advancements on both fronts, pushing extreme cloud performance with enhanced resiliency and manageability, and taking advantage of an important new offering from our partner Microsoft. Beyond product capabilities, we also introduced new packaging that makes it easy for mid-sized organizations to start taking advantage of the optimized cloud with Silk Express Pack. 

Supporting Microsoft Azure Premium V2 Disk

Microsoft recently introduced Azure Premium V2 Disk in public preview. Per Microsoft, this new disk offering provides the most advanced block storage solution designed for a broad range of input/output (IO)-intensive enterprise production workloads that require sub-millisecond disk latencies as well as high input/output operations per second (IOPS) and throughput—at a low cost. 

The Silk team has been working with Microsoft for months to integrate with this new offering, and we’re excited to introduce it to the market. The new release gives customers an option to deploy Silk Data Pods (SDPs) using Microsoft Azure’s Premium v2 disks. Based on Silk’s distributed, resilient architecture, the new offering will provide even greater availability and the highest degree of data consistency and availability for Azure Premium v2 disk users.   

While Microsoft Azure Premium v2 Disk supports failover and system continuity in the event of a single disk failure, the new release from Silk adds a layer of resiliency that can withstand multiple simultaneous disk failures without application disruption. Beyond that, Silk complements Azure Premium Disk v2’s native encryption-at-rest with Silk’s suite of Enterprise Data Services, including automated compression, deduplication, replication, thin provisioning, and instantaneous, zero-footprint snapshots. 

Silk’s Architectural Advantage

Silk’s architecture provides some unique advantages when delivering this kind of deep, storage-layer integration. Because data storage is so fundamental to any data processing activity, changing storage interfaces can create multifaceted risk – of performance degradation, lack of security, or instability. 

Thankfully, we architected the Silk platform from the start with a pluggable storage layer that uses virtualization to decouple cloud performance from capacity, so the storage layer can be adapted to an ever-changing cloud substrate without creating risk in the application layer. It also means that Silk can deliver breakthrough performance improvements without any hardware dependency. 

We constantly work to optimize our existing systems for our customers. In addition to making use of Azure’s Premium v2 disks, this release also includes several enhancements to our current architecture, streamlining our handling of reads, writes, and data compaction to further increase Silk’s performance.    

Integrating with The Enterprise

The new release also includes new capabilities that enhance security, manageability, and observability. 

Silk now supports SAML-based authentication, making it easy to integrate with existing directories and authentication systems including popular offerings like Okta. Silk also now offers native encryption-at-rest on all supported cloud platforms, and enhanced logging of users actions for more granular visibility. 

With this new offering we are looking to continue providing Microsoft Azure and Silk users with the most seamless and rich experience possible. 

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