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Panzura Launches Service-focused Global File System For MSPs

‘With a global file system, you can use the benefits of each cloud’s characteristics. So if you like Amazon Web Services compute, but do analytics on Google and use Microsoft Azure because of the Microsoft applications, you can do it with the same data set for all the hyperscalers,’ says Glen Shok, Panzura’s vice president of strategic alliances.

Global file system developer Panzura has launched what it terms the world’s first global file system-as-a-service, a new technology for MSPs looking to provide unified outsourced management of unstructured data across public and hybrid cloud environments.

The new global file system-as-a-service offering is Panzura’s response to the fact that the top hyperscaler cloud providers don’t like to admit anyone exists except themselves, said Glen Shok, vice president of strategic alliances for the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor.

“When you put data on one cloud, you can’t move it without copying it or ETL (extract, transform, load),” Shok told CRN. “With a global file system, you can use the benefits of each cloud’s characteristics. So if you like Amazon Web Services compute, but do analytics on Google and use Microsoft Azure because of the Microsoft applications, you can do it with the same data set for all the hyperscalers.”

[Related: 2021 Storage 100: The Data Conversation Starts Here]

Global file systems, which democratize data from the silos in which they might other exist, have been the center of Panzura’s technology, Shok said. The technology has been installed on-premises or in the cloud via virtual machines, and that will continue, he said.

“But for certain partners, their customers want to buy storage like they buy Uber services, by the mile,” he said. “So now we’re making global file systems available on a cost-per-gigabyte per month. It becomes an upsell opportunity for MSPs.”

Panzura developed its global file system-as-a-service with CCL, a New Zealand-based MSP, which wanted to offer a global file system paid for as-a-service for its healthcare clients, Shok said.

Another MSP, Datatility, has started working with Panzura’s global file system-as-a-service, said Jan Rosenberg, vice president of business development and co-founder of the Ashburn, Va.-based providers of cloud storage, network connectivity, and colocation services.

Datatility has worked with Panzura for about four years, and finds it global file system a perfect fits for its clients’ on-site and off-site medical image file storage, Rosenberg told CRN.

Panzura’s global file system-as-a-service checks all the boxes Datatility’s healthcare clients need, he said.

“The biggest selling point today is ransomware,” he said. “Being able to replicate data in the cloud has saved at least one of our hospital client’s rear-end. And it offers resilience by keeping certain data on-site and the balance in the cloud so that if an on-site server goes down, the hospital can recover everything off the cloud.”

The Global File System-as-a-Service is a great idea, and one that will catch on as clients know it is available, Rosenberg said. Datatility plans to use it in conjunction with the IBM Cloud Object Storage offering, he said.

“I see more and more customers asking for monthly services,” he said. “I can’t say if going to a service saves money. But it’s simpler. Clients get one throat to choke, and they’re not yelling at their on-site guys if there’s an issue.”

The combination of Panzura’s Global File System-as-a-Service and IBM Cloud Object Storage is a winner for Datatility’s support team, Rosenberg said.

“My internal tech guys love the combination of Panzura and ICOS,” he said. “ICOS never goes down. And Panzura has been rock solid as it moves into global file system-as-a-service.”

Panzura works exclusively via channel partners, including the hyperscaler cloud providers’ marketplaces, Shok said. “And if a channel partner wants to sell this service with the cloud, all the hyperscalers work with channel partners.”

Shok declined to discuss pricing for global file system-as-a-service. However, he said, the pricing of global file system technology offered by the hyperscalers varies widely, and Panzura will be competitive pricing-wise.

“We won’t compete on price, but we will focus on features,” he said. “Unlike what the hyperscalers offer, the Panzura service works across all three hyperscalers.”

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