Zadara Beefs Up Technology, Partnerships For Enterprise Storage-As-A-Service

Enterprise-class private storage cloud developer Zadara Storage has expanded its offerings and partnerships in a series of recent moves the company said will increase its ability to offer storage as a service regardless of how customers use it.

The enhancements make Zadara Storage the only provider of cloud storage that works with all existing enterprise applications and can be consumed via a cloud or on-premise infrastructure by the hour or by the month, said Noam Shendar, vice president of business development for the Irvine, Calif.-based company.

While enterprise storage is usually thought of as big iron that will be used for years once purchased, and while storage-as-a-service has traditionally been more focused on ease-of-use for individual consumers, it is possible to have both, Shendar said.

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"We say it can be both," he said. "It can be easy to use while supporting enterprise applications. Storage can be flexible and acquired as a service with no upfront purchases and no guessing about whether enough capacity was purchased in advance."

Zadara Storage can be deployed in front of public cloud storage from such providers as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Dimension Data, Equinix and CoreSite, Shendar said. It can also be deployed on commodity x86-based servers as part of a private cloud.

In either case, the company's Virtual Private Storage Array last month was enhanced with enterprise storage capabilities such as zero-impact snapshots, thin provisioning, remote mirroring and SSD caching, Shendar said.

Since then, the company has further expanded opportunities for solution providers via a partnership with storage vendor NetApp to take advantage of NetApp's close relationship with AWS.

Zadara's Virtual Private Storage Array service is also now available as part of the public cloud storage offering of both CloudSigma, based in Palo Alto, Calif., and Zurich, Switzerland; and Eircom, based in London, England, and Dublin, Ireland.

The Zadara Virtual Private Storage Array represents a good opportunity for telecoms, hosted data center providers and other solution providers looking to add storage as a service, said Christopher Cassidy, unified communications product manager at Capella Telecommunications, a Peterborough, Ontario-based distributor for the telco and broadcast industry and provider of enterprise infrastructures.

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While Capella has only recently signed with Zadara, that vendor's technology seems to fit well with the storage needs of a wide range of customers, Capella's Cassidy said.

"Zadara scales well from smaller to larger companies," he said. "It allows the sharing of resources between different parts of an organization."

For on-premise, private cloud solutions, the Zadara Virtual Private Storage Array can be deployed with no up-front investment, Zadara's Shendar said.

"Customers can sign a six-month trial contract, with zero up-front costs," he said. "We manage the appliance. Customers get storage-as-a-service, but it's secure and under their own control."

That arrangement makes it easy to deploy the Virtual Private Storage Array for any customer, Cassidy said.

"Customers can ask for any specific capacity, and we'll deploy it," he said. "Customers can bill the capacity back to specific departments. This is all done with no huge CapEx [capital expenditure] outlay. And from a management perspective, as the capacity is used, it grows automatically. Or if a business is seasonal and the capacity is no longer needed, it shrinks."

Cassidy called the Zadara Virtual Private Storage Array a good first step into the managed storage solution business.

"In traditional storage environments, when customers have shared storage or burstable applications, they can quickly run out of capacity," he said. "So while they may need, say, 50 TB today, but expect to need 100 TB later, they better buy 100 TB now. With Zadara, they can pay for 50 TBs now, and grow the capacity as it's needed."

Shendar said Zadara likes to think of itself as a storage-as-a-service-everywhere company.

"Public cloud?" he said. "We have it. Co-lo? Yes. On-premise for private clouds? We have it."