Posted by John Murphy

Move Establishes Value of Cloud Storage as Collaborative Fabric Rather Than Cheap Digital Attic

CAMPBELL, CA. – July 9, 2014 – Despite expectations of the cloud storage gateway market reaching $3.5 billion by 2018, a staggering annual growth rate of 80 percent, Panzura, recently cited by the 451 Group as having “leapt over legacy and emerging competitors to take a strong lead for in-use selections as the enterprise gateway of choice,” announced today it is completely commoditizing this massive market opportunity by offering a free cloud gateway virtual appliance.

Panzura’s free Cloud Gateway provides cloud storage access for disaster recovery, backups and archiving. The company made this bold move to emphasize that rather than a cheap repository for bits of data, the real value of cloud storage is as a collaborative fabric that connects distributed offices, making them function as a single office.

As part of this strategy, Panzura worked with Google Cloud Platform to provide two terabytes of free storage for a full year for users of Panzura’s cloud gateway. As the performance, usability, and economics of cloud storage continue to improve, the move to the cloud becomes ever more compelling. By enabling businesses to continue to use traditional on premises storage protocols while seamlessly moving data to the Google object store in the cloud, Google and Panzura are removing the barriers to cloud adoption.

“Most industry analysts consider the cloud gateway market as a nascent market,” said Randy Chou, CEO and Co-Founder at Panzura. “Although it is relatively early in market maturity, the cloud gateway market is, in fact, a commodity market whose benefits are subsumed by globally distributed file systems, especially with the advent of global file locking. Furthermore, with the 65 percent drop in the price of cloud storage and the announcement of a ‘Moore’s Law’ pricing strategy going forward, it’s apparent that cloud storage will become a commodity. Today we’ve taken the market for the simple protocol conversion provided by cloud gateways to access cloud storage immediately to zero.”

Cloud storage adoption has been hastened by solutions like Panzura’s Global File System, which uses patented locking technology to enable cloud storage across a Wide Area Network to behave the same as on-premise storage arrays across a Local Area Network. This allows users in distributed offices to collaborate as though they are in the same room while companies take advantage of the economics of the cloud.

In a recent report, Gartner Research Director Gene Ruth said, “IT leaders that want a highly collaborative environment beyond FSS [File Sync and Share] should consider global namespace and file-locking capabilities when selecting a solution. Global namespace enables customers to create a logical structure for multiple storage devices across distributed locations so that the location of a share or file is no longer defined by the physical device that it resides on and helps maintain data integrity. File-locking capabilities ensure that files distributed across locations are protected against data corruption issues that can be caused by simultaneous access.”

“As demonstrated by our recently announced growth of 1,200 percent quarter-over-quarter in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction [AEC] market, the real benefit of cloud storage is not the cost savings from disaster recovery, backups and archiving, but rather the cross-office collaboration that is achieved with a global locking file system that connects offices using cloud storage and on-premise controllers,” said Chou. “Disaster recovery, backups and archiving may help justify the cost of a global locking file system, but collaboration is what drives the need for cloud storage.”

“Panzura has combined cloud storage, flash-based controllers, and global file locking into a global file system that enables our users with latency sensitive applications to collaborate across distributed locations, which just was not possible before,” said David Neumann, Director of IT at GRAEF. “While replacing our on-premise storage gave us the budget, it was the cross-site collaboration from the global file locking that solved our problem.”

Another recent report from Gartner spells out the economies of cloud storage versus on-premise file storage. The report, “How to Calculate the Total Cost of Cloud Storage,” cites the average Total Cost of Ownership of on-premise file storage over three years at $219,771, while citing the cost of a similar amount of storage in a hybrid cloud deployment at $129,003 – a savings of 41 percent. The report recommends that organizations “apply distributed cloud storage integrated environments using cloud storage gateways as an alternative and cost-effective method to support branch offices.”

In addition to providing its Cloud Gateway virtual appliance for free, Panzura will continue to offer (at a cost) its Cloud Controllers, which are part of a Global File System and enable collaboration across sites using Panzura’s patented file locking technology.

More Information and Availability
Customers will be able to load the free virtual appliance on a VMware hypervisor and connect the Panzura Cloud Gateway to their accounts with the top public cloud storage providers (Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage or Microsoft Azure Storage) or to their private cloud storage providers (EMC Atmos or Cleversafe). A free support forum is offered and full support options are available for purchase. To download the appliance, or for more information about the Panzura Cloud Gateway or Panzura’s Cloud Controllers, visit: www.panzura.com.

About Panzura
Panzura is the catalyst in the transformation of cloud storage into high-performance enterprise file systems. Panzura’s revolutionary global locking file system seamlessly combines the flexibility, performance and productivity benefits of distributed storage with the manageability, security and economics of centralized storage.

With Panzura, the cloud – public or private – not only serves as every tier of storage, it becomes the fabric that enables globally distributed teams rapid file access and easy collaboration. Panzura delivers one file system across hundreds of offices that allows users to work together as if they were in the same room. For more information, visit www.panzura.com.