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StorageCraft Converges Primary, Backup, DR Storage For Midrange With OneXafe

StorageCraft builds on its Exablox acquisition and experience with data protection via its ShadowProtect technology to develop what it calls the first converged storage appliance built specifically for midsize business customers.

StorageCraft is taking advantage of last year's acquisition of Exablox to unveil a storage appliance that is not only its first to converge primary and secondary storage for the company, but one it says is the first from anyone to target the large SMB market.

StorageCraft Monday unveiled OneXafe (pronounced "one-safe"), a new storage appliance that combines scale-out storage with data protection for both physical and virtualized environments.

StorageCraft also introduced ShadowXafe, its next-generation data protection suite.

[Related: StorageCraft Acquires Exablox, Expands From Its Traditional Data Protection Focus Into Primary Storage]

The OneXafe appliance is based on StorageCraft's own legacy data protection technology combined with technology it received from its January 2017 acquisition of Exablox, a developer of scale-out, object-based storage appliances.

OneXafe provides converged, integrated data management and data protection, said Shridar Subramanian, vice president of Draper, Utah-based StorageCraft.

"It runs primary workloads," Subramanian told CRN. "And the data gets protected and replicated to the cloud for disaster recovery."

The amount of data SMBs and similar organizations are collecting is exploding, Subramanian said. He cited as examples police departments not knowing how to handle all the data from new bodycams, or health-care organizations and schools looking to better manage digital information.

"But these organizations don't have the expertise to manage all this data, how to protect it, how to replicate it for disaster recovery," he said. “They're managing not just the storage, but the servers and everything else in the data center as well. OneXafe does data management and replication. Customers send the data to OneXafe, and they know it's being protected."

Scale-out storage has traditionally been an enterprise-focused business, and the vendors in that market have developed offerings catering to enterprises that may then be downsized for the midrange, Subramanian said.

"But midsize businesses need enterprise capabilities built for the midsize business," he said. "We don't dumb down enterprise capabilities for the midsize-business market. We target midsize businesses, or departments in larger enterprises."

ShadowXafe, meanwhile, is the latest version of the company's data protection software suite.

Unlike the company's ShadowProtect, which is protecting over 1 million SMB and MSP servers worldwide with snapshot-based data protection, ShadowXafe is targeted at virtualized servers, Subramanian said.

ShadowXafe offers service-level-agreement-based data protection with simple, one-click orchestration, he said. It also provides flexible recovery of data protected with ShadowProtect, and works with both physical and virtual machines, he said.

ShadowXafe is available now as a perpetual license but by year-end partners will be able to offer it as part of a monthly subscription, Subramanian said.

StorageCraft's 100 percent channel focus will make the new offerings a way for partners to step up their business, Subramanian said.

"This really opens new opportunities for existing channel partners," he said. "We have traditionally primarily targeted the SMB with software-based solutions. But we're now opening partners up to the midsize enterprise business."

The new OneXafe appliance will be an opportunity to grow business with both existing and new clients, said Brandon Madsen, vice president of sales at VLCM Tech, a Salt Lake City-based solution provider and longtime channel partner of both StorageCraft and Exablox.

"We will be going upmarket with StorageCraft, which is now letting us address midrange enterprise customers," Madsen told CRN.

The converged part of OneXafe is unique to the midrange, Madsen said. "Others do a good job with cloud backups," he said. "But not at the same level and price that OneXafe does. OneXafe is targeting the cutting edge of the midrange."

OneXafe shows the power of StorageCraft's acquisition of Exablox, Madsen said.

"We were excited when we heard about the acquisition," he said. "Whenever we get products that work closely together, that's less products our teams have to go out and learn. We get one account team, and one management team. And we are seeing more innovation in OneXafe and ShadowXafe with the acquisition than if either company tried to do it on their own."

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