Appliance gives SMBs a cost-effective way to store data locally for speed, then replicate it in the cloud for disaster recovery.
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Cloud storage vendor Ctera is looking to bring high-speed, easy-to-use, distributed storage to the small and midsize business (SMB) market with its cloud storage gateway appliances. Ctera is leveraging a concept where storage is provided both locally and replicated out in the cloud to meet multiple business needs. The local appliance provides high-speed access to data and backups, while the cloud-based replicated data offers geographic distribution in case of a loss of facility or other major disaster.
Ctera's concept is not hard to fathom and has been attempted over the years by numerous vendors. However, complicated technical hurdles often derailed those attempts. Ctera is taking a slightly different approach, incorporating several technologies into its appliance to create an all-in-one cloud and on-premises storage solution that supports a variety of cloud models, ranging from private to public to hybrid.
According to Raj Mehta, CEO of Infosys International, a Plainview, N.Y.-based solution provider, cloud storage solutions like Ctera's are sorely needed. "Today's cloud-based storage is far too expensive for most small businesses," he says. "The cost per gigabyte far exceeds the cost of on-site storage, yet small businesses need the advantages offered by offsite backup. Ctera's approach combines the speed and economy of local storage with the viability of offsite data preservation, something that small businesses need today."
Ctera has indeed stumbled upon a need centered on disaster recovery. Research firm Gartner says that, despite the high cost of downtime, only 35% of SMBs have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place.
However, it is Ctera's approach that makes its offering somewhat unique--a uniqueness that proves important with a plethora of vendors playing in the online backup and storage space.
With its latest offering, the C800 appliance, Ctera has created an all-in-one NAS, file server, and backup appliance that synchronizes data among individual PCs on the network and the C800 drives, then efficiently backs up using Ctera's integrated online backup service. Files can be restored anytime, anywhere using a Web-based interface or from Ctera's Virtual Cloud Drive, an applet that assigns drive letters to cloud storage folders.
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