The Possibilities Of Seamless Storage In The Cloud

This is a guest post written and contributed by Eric Thacker, senior director of marketing at Panzura, a Rackspace Cloud Tools partner. Panzura offers enterprise data storage management and distribution in the cloud.

I’ve attended a number of trade shows in the past few months. They have comprised very different audiences from various geographies. But the pain points and struggles that I heard from attendees were consistent. It doesn’t matter if it is a networking show, a storage show, a cloud show, etc.; a triple threat of forces are putting a massive squeeze on all of IT: increased dispersion of workforce, accelerating growth of data under management and finite IT budgets. More and more IT professionals are considering the cloud to help address these three forces, but they aren’t sure how to deploy it without considerable business, technological and operational risks. Simultaneously, workers are bypassing IT for the services that they want by using products like Dropbox and GDrive, which adds to the already massive IT headaches.

With 80 percent of data stored being unstructured, according to IDC, NAS spending growth is an obvious concern. One thing that comes across quickly in the conversations I’ve had is that IT administrators love the flexibility, security and features of local NAS, but they don’t love the exploding cost or the limitations of those benefits to a single site. What they want are the benefits of local NAS spread across sites and the flexibility and pricing of the cloud. One show attendee called this a “pipe dream” today.

Well, not really…

One major reason Panzura is experiencing tremendous growth and enterprise adoption is because we have unlocked the location constraints on local NAS while integrating with cloud storage like Rackspace Cloud Files. Panzura’s award-winning Global Cloud Storage System includes on-premise appliances (virtual or physical) that interconnect across sites and form a fully-functional global file system that allows any user to see and access any file created by any other user at any location at any time. That’s cool but isn’t that available from other vendors? Sort of, but we offer traditional NAS features on a global basis, including:

  • A consistent global file system and unified namespace
  • Global file locking
  • System and user-managed snapshots
  • Military-grade encryption with user control of the key
  • Global deduplication across sites
  • Up to 1/3 PB of local cache with data pinning capabilities
  • WAN acceleration
  • Cache options: SSDs for performance and/or HDDs for low cost
  • Full integration with a cloud platform like Rackspace Cloud Files for low cost and massive scalability

As I tick off our NAS-like features and describe our seamless integration with the cloud, I can see the show attendees get more and more interested in what we offer. Battle-weary IT executives are often initially skeptical when they’re told that they can have all the benefits of local NAS with all the benefits of a cloud like Rackspace Cloud Files. But as the questions flow and answers are returned, and we highlight the external recognition we’ve received, like winning Best of Interop and wins at companies like Relativity Media and Jazz Pharmaceuticals, that skepticism begins to wane. It’s been a lot of fun to see.

If you are looking for a robust file storage platform that combines cloud pricing and flexibility with use cases like local NAS; file sharing and collaboration; active archiving; and backup and disaster recovery, take a look at Panzura and Rackspace. See if our solution can help eliminate your storage concerns like it has for a growing number of enterprise customers.


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