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11/5/2012
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Twinstrata Unveils Cloud Storage Platform

CloudArray 4.0 adds network attached storage (NAS) capability, new appliances and support for additional cloud service providers.

TwinStrata, a maker of cloud storage gateway appliances, on Monday announced a new version of its cloud storage platform. CloudArray 4.0 now supports not only storage-area networks (SANs), but also network-attached storage (NAS) implementations.

First introduced in 2010, TwinStrata has also added a new appliance -- the CloudArray P300 -- which allows attachment of on-premises storage to cloud-based storage service providers such as Nirvanix and Amazon Web Services. Now the company has added Dell, Google, HP Cloud Services, IBM SmartCloud and SoftLayer to the group of cloud service providers that its CloudArray appliances work with.

Cloud Array 4.0 now supports the common Internet file system (CIFS) and server message block (SMB) and SMB2 protocols used in Microsoft networks, as well as iSCSI connections to the storage area network.

In addition to providing a connection to cloud storage providers, the P300 provides on-premises storage. The P300 series is a 2U (3.5-inch) high enclosure with 6 TB of hard drive and solid-state drive (SSD) storage capacity. The P300 is the largest of the TwinStrata appliances with support for 256 volumes and 50 PB of storage capacity. The P300 Series connects to the network with two 1-GbE and four 10-GbE connections and supports Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac and VMware vSphere and ESX, among other operating systems. It contains serial-attached SCSI (SAS) and optional SSD drives.

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While the market for cloud storage gateways is busy and TwinStrata competes with many vendors, including Nasuni, Panzura and StorSimple, the company's cloud gateway is the only product that supports both SAN and NAS configurations.

Our research at Storage Strategies NOW indicates that 77% of respondents to a 2012 Cloud Storage Survey are either planning to or have adopted cloud storage for backup applications, disaster recovery and content streaming.

Among TwinStrata's customers are Johnson & Johnson, University of California Riverside, Autodesk and Bechtle. The company, which was founded by CEO Nikos Vekiarides and CTO John Bates, has received $14.5 million in funding from Avalon Ventures. Both Vekiarides and Bates were at HP, which acquired their former company, StorageApps, which made a storage virtualization appliance.

TwinStrata is also making its platform available on a subscription basis, in which the appliance is bundled with cloud storage for $0.19/GB per month. TwinStrata cloud storage is also available on a perpetual license basis for $4,995.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

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