The 10 Coolest Enterprise Cloud Storage Offerings In 2017 (So Far)

Data Center Meets Public Cloud Storage

In IT, the story goes like this: Data center meets public cloud, data center likes public cloud, data center and public cloud fight, data center and public cloud realize they need each other, data center and public cloud get together.

In 2017, the IT industry is seeing data center and cloud environments transition from fight to needing each other. This is coming from a variety of directions including cloud storage gateways, data center hooks to the cloud, and data management applications that treat both sides equally.

Because of the diversity of offerings, enterprise cloud storage is a business seemingly made for the channel. CRN has gathered 10 new offerings highlighting that diversity that were unveiled in the first half of 2017.

(For more on the "coolest" of 2017, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.")

Barracuda Backup LiveBoot 2.0

Barracuda, Campbell, Calif., in March unveiled Barracuda Backup LiveBoot 2.0, an expansion of its Cloud LiveBoot offering that now includes the ability to rapidly spin up Microsoft Hyper-V environments in the Barracuda Cloud while reducing boot times to help minimize downtime in VMware vSphere and Hyper-V environments. The offering has also been enhanced with improved recovery of on-premises VMware environments in case the primary storage is no longer available, and now comes with a new VM Preview capability that provides a virtual machine screenshot to show when it is ready for use.

Commvault AWS Reference Architectures

Commvault in January introduced new reference architectures for Amazon Web Services to provide customers with a pre-optimized, easy-to-deploy and validated solution. The new reference architectures are available from Triton Falls, N.J.-based Commvault or via the AWS Marketplace. They provide enterprises with guidance on how the Commvault Data Platform can help organizations optimize their use of the AWS Cloud for backup, archive and recovery. The capacity managed by Commvault can be directed to specific AWS services including as Amazon S3, Amazon S3 Standard – Infrequent Access (Amazon S3-IA), and Amazon Glacier. Existing Commvault customers can apply their licenses to applications enabled through AWS Marketplace.

Ctera Zero-Minute Cloud Disaster Recovery

Ctera Networks, a New York-based developer of physical and virtual cloud storage gateways, in February added disaster recovery capabilities to those gateways to help distributed enterprises more quickly manage local storage outages. Those gateways, which include built-in cloud failover, hybrid backup, and file sync and share acceleration, can now be set for continuous cloud synchronization of file system structures and permissions. If needed, users can be redirected to secure direct-to-cloud access of data without redundant storage devices. The new capability came as part of a new release of Ctera's cloud file system, which extends Windows ACLs (Access Control Lists) from the office to the cloud across any choice of servers, mobile clients, and physical or virtual desktops.

eFolder All-Flash, Hybrid-Flash BDR Appliances

Denver-based business continuity technology provider eFolder in May unveiled its newest generation of eFolder Replibit BDR appliances featuring all-flash and hybrid disk and flash storage. The appliances are powered by the eFolder Replibit business continuity software platform, and provide MSPs with the ability to automate such tasks as daily automated virtualization testing. which helps eliminate the need to rebase or reseed backups. They scale in capacity to up to 36 TB in a single appliance. The appliances include Multi-Vault Replication, which allows them to concurrently replicate to an unlimited number of off-site vaults, including the eFolder cloud, a partner’s cloud, or a client’s satellite office, at no extra charge.

Infrascale Goes To Google

El Segundo, Calif.-based cloud backup and disaster recovery technology developer Infrascale in January became a Google Cloud Platform Technology Partner and started providing a fully managed cloud backup and disaster recovery service it said guarantees a 15-minute failover of critical business applications after a ransomware attack, server crash or sitewide disaster.

Infrascale's direct-to-cloud backup technology protects laptops, desktops and servers, and now takes advantage of Google Cloud Platform's scalability. Infrascale said its disaster recovery tests with the Google Cloud Platform showed that virtual machines can be booted in seconds.

Panzura Freedom 7

Panzura, Campbell, Calif., in June unveiled its new Panzura Freedom 7 family that aims to help businesses take advantage of flash storage performance and the economics of cloud storage to managed their unstructured data growth. The Panzura Freedom 7 family is based on the Panzura Cloud File System, which looks adn acts like an enterprise NAS but instead sits in the cloud where it keeps files synchronized across all sites. The new version offers increased performance and scale to meet user demands in both physical and virtual environments, higher performance, the ability to work on any platform or cloud, centralized management and cloud data protection.

SwiftStack 5

SwiftStack, a San Francisco-based developer of cloud storage technology based on the OpenStack Swift open-source project, in March unveiled SwiftStack 5, the latest version of its software that stores data in a cloud-native format, both on-premises and in public cloud buckets. SwiftStack 5 includes some big updates to its Cloud Sync capabilities including the ability to replicate data to other SwiftStack Clusters and new policy-driven archiving of data to Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage. Also new is simplified automation via the SwiftStack Controller appliance, as well as a new simplified SwiftStack Client for macOS and Windows users. The company expects to also soon add the ability to store hundreds of millions of objects per container or bucket.

Veeam Availability Suite v10

Baar, Switzerland-based Veeam in May used its VeeamON conference to unveil the Veeam Availability Suite v10. The new data protection software includes the new Veeam CDP, or continuous data protection, which provides for service level agreements of seconds to tier-one applications and mission-critical workloads. Also new is native object storage support that provides policy-driven automated data management to reduce long-term retention and compliance costs in Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure Blob, and any S3 or Swift compatible storage environment.

The Veeam Availability Suite v10 also includes the new ability to protect and recover Amazon Web Services applications and data in a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment, and a new Veeam agent for Microsoft Windows to protect workloads running on physical infrastructures or in public clouds.

Veritas Multi-Cloud Data Management

Veritas, Mountain View, Calif., in June built on partner alliances with public cloud providers Google, IBM and Microsoft with new offerings to help customers with multi-cloud data management. These include Veritas Information Map and its new Map S3 Connector to provide customers with a real-time picture and interactive view of their unstructured data assets residing in S3-enabled cloud storage repositories. Also new is Veritas CloudMobility, which allows complex workloads to be securely migrated from an on-premises data center to the cloud, and Veritas CloudPoint, which leverages snapshot-based data protection across multiple data center and public cloud environments.

Wasabi Cloud Storage

Boston-based cloud storage startup Wasabi Technologies in May came out of stealth mode with $8.5 million in venture funding and a promise to store customers' data in its cloud six times faster than can be done with Amazon S3 while charging only one-fifth of S3's price.

Wasabi's cloud-based object storage service securely stores customer data in its Virginia-based co-located data center. It is 100 percent compatible with the Amazon S3 API, which the company said eliminates vendor lock-in. Wasabi claims it can store customer data for $0.0039 per gigabyte, per month, compared to the $0.021 to $0.023 per gigabyte, per month that Amazon charges. Data stored with Wasabi cannot be accidentally or purposely changed.