Comparing Panzura to CTERA

Reading Time: 7 minutes At Panzura, we’re a solution for enterprise-scale organizations frustrated by lack of security, visibility, and control into data. We de-risk your data challenges…

What is ransomware? Panzura explains

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At Panzura, we’re a solution for enterprise-scale organizations frustrated by lack of security, visibility, and control into data. We de-risk your data challenges by helping you know where your data is, how it’s growing, who is accessing it, how secure it is and how it’s being used. In this comparison, we take a look at complete cloud data management capabilities, how they work with each solution, and how the differences affect the way you can expect to operate.

Feature Panzura CTERA What it Means for You
Cloud Data Management
Global Centralized
Image Image Panzura provides a centralized multi-cloud management
view. CTERA uses a hub and spoke model for centralized
cloud-based management. Multiple required tiers
increase the data hops and data risk.
Global Data Services Image Image Panzura Data Services is a complete cloud data monitoring
and management platform. Holistic data governance provides
actionable insights into every aspect of how data is being
used, and includes ransomware monitoring, and smart
provisioning. Deep search and environmental analytics drive
admin productivity and simplify data management. CTERA
offers data analytics, health monitoring, alerts, analysis,
Cloud Data Protection and Security
Active Global Disaster
Recovery Architecture
Image Image Each Panzura node is a full active disaster recovery site,
offering business continuity with sub-minute RPO. By
contrast, if one CTERA appliance goes down, active data not
yet synced to the cloud is lost – it cannot be accessed or
recovered from another location.
Global and Local
Image Image Panzura provides dedicated global and local high
availability options on virtual machines. Cloud mirroring will
automatically failover to a redundant cloud storage provider
in the case of a failure of the primary provider, without
disrupting any front-end file services. CTERA does not
provide native local or global HA, or cloud mirroring.
Global Ransomware
Image Image Panzura data writes are immutable, preventing data
corruption and delivering ransomware resiliency with global
sub-min RPO. Due to their data consistency constraints,
CTERA has immutable snapshots to recover from
ransomware but the RPO will be 5 minutes multiplied by the
number of nodes that were serially synced.
Global Granular Read-only
Image Image Panzura’s unlimited global read-only snapshots can be
configured hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Each has
an independent retention policy, so files, folders or the whole
file system can quickly be restored to a given point in time.
CTERA does provide unlimited read-only snapshots every 5
minutes, serially.
Air-Gapped Solution Support Image Image Panzura supports dark site architecture - no inbound or
outbound connections to/from the domain. CTERA provides
similar support for dark sites.
Military Grade Security Image Image Panzura’s military grade AES-256-CBC encryption for data
at rest and TLS v1.2 for data in flight prevents third-party
and malicious actors from accessing your data. The solution
is FIPS 140-2 certified. Secure Erase makes it possible
to delete a file or folder so that the contents cannot be
restored, even using the most advanced technology available.
CTERA offers similar military grade security.
Cloud Data Performance
Global Performance
Image Image Panzura performance optimizations include separating the
metadata from data, compression and deduplication, multilevel snapshots, parallel streaming to the cloud, (no need
for additional WAN accelerators) and intelligent tiered read
caching and prefetching (automatic data movement based on
user behavior analytics). CTERA provides compression and
deduplication but lacks the full metadata catalog at the edge
that enables intelligent cache/prefetching for fast file access.
Accelerated Parallel
Image Image Panzura performs block level translation to object that
accelerates parallel streams to the cloud, instead of a serial
SMB/NFS stream. CTERA lacks the parallel streaming
from each node to the cloud that would allow for real-time
data updates.
Real-time Global Data
Image Image Panzura’s simultaneous 60-second data syncs to the
cloud object store, and full metadata catalog at each node
facilitating global file locking with peer-to-peer real time
exchanges of new and changed data, result in immediate
global data consistency for all nodes. This significantly
reduces data risk. CTERA only offers strict data consistency
and file locking at a single site. Eventual data consistency is
offered across sites, with no file locking.
Global Scalability Image Image Panzura scales globally without impacting immediate global
data consistency for existing or future users at any site.
CTERA claims high scalability, but the more sites added, the
longer the sync times, and the more chance there will be a
performance hit and a significant increase in RPO. Stub files
add more data risk and performance hindrance.
Hyperconverged Persistent
Block Storage
Image Image Panzura’s Cloud Block Store is an infinitely scalable, high
performance persistent volume for containers and readcache for cloud native deployments. CTERA doesn’t
inherently offer a similar product, yet.
Cloud Data Intelligence
Global Search and Audit Image Image Panzura Data Services finds any file with a powerful and
lightning-fast search portal that reaches across your entire
cloud network and integrates seamlessly with CloudFS,
as well as other file sources such as NetApp or Isilon.
CTERA’s Insight offers real-time monitoring and analytics.
Alerts can be created but it lacks a powerful search and
audit feature.
Global Intelligent Tiering
and Prefetching
Image Image Panzura’s SmartCache intelligently tracks and tiers hot,
warm, and cold file block structures for faster file access.
Auto pre-population automatically prefetches and precaches files based on ownership changes between nodes in
a CloudFS to provide the fastest global collaboration. CTERA
uses stub files to manage cold data, and provides manually
configured Quality of Service policies CTERA lacks the full
metadata catalog of the global infrastructure at the edge
that enables intelligent cache/prefetching for fast file access
and near real-time global file collaboration.
Global Real-time
Image Image Panzura’s global file and byte-range locking automatically
locks and releases in real-time, allowing geographically
distributed users to work collaboratively, without
overwriting each other or creating multiple file versions.
CTERA supports manual collaboration configuration of file
shares and policies centrally in the cloud where all the file
locks are kept – this is a single point of failure.

Cloud-Native Microservices
Image Image Panzura Data Services turns unintelligible data strings into
an easy-to-follow audit history for every single file, inherently
enabling cloud-native artificial intelligence, and machine
learning services to extract unstructured data for analytics
and reports. CTERA doesn’t inherently provide this
Multi-Cloud Functionality
Multi-Cloud Interoperability
and Mirroring
Image Image Panzura is interoperable with many cloud object store
providers, both on-premises and in the cloud. As
organizations increasingly employ multiple clouds for storage,
cloud mirroring helps by eliminating dependency on any
one vendor. CTERA is interoperable with many cloud object
storage providers but lacks the functionality to replicate
the complete file system to another cloud region.
Cloud Data Accessibility and Efficiency
In-Line Compression Image Image Panzura CloudFS uses a lossless compression algorithm
to break each file into 128kb blocks – the most granular
possible level. Each block is compressed in-line, in
memory, as it’s created. CTERA offers source-based in-line
Global Deduplication Image Image Panzura’s interconnected global file system stops blocklevel duplication before data gets synced to the object store.
Since only unique blocks across all sites are preserved by
the file system, data is deduplicated at the 128kb block level
before it is ever stored. CTERA’s source-based deduplication
is deduplication at the client device and compares new
blocks with stored blocks, removing redundant blocks before
transmitting data to the target. Deduplication is manually
configured per folder groups.
Global Namespace Image Image Panzura CloudFS is a true global filesystem, using a global
namespace without the need to configure volumes, or
restructure data to separate it into volumes. CTERA has a
legacy based volume management approach and volumes
are either local or shared. Independent global namespaces
can be created by sharing volumes.

This comparison has been compiled using the most up-to-date administration guide and architectural
documentation available. Every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, and it was last updated at the date shown below left.

This document is intended to provide a practical guide to key differences in approach, that affect the way that both solutions work in the real world, from making data available, to making it secure and easy to manage.

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