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The Future of File Storage - Our Webinar with GigaOm

5 Game-changing Insights Shaping the World of File Storage

The world of data storage is evolving at breakneck speed, and keeping up with the latest trends can feel like trying to catch a bullet train. But fear not, intrepid data traveler! We’ve distilled the wisdom of industry experts into a digestible countdown of the top 5 insights shaping the future of file storage, gleaned from a recent webinar hosted by CTERA and GigaOm.

Before we dive in, we’d like to share some key points raised by Howard Holton, CTO of GigaOm as the webinar began:

  • GigaOm’s Radar for Distributed Cloud File Storage highlights key distributed cloud file storage vendors, with CTERA placed in the top leadership position, and being deemed an ‘Outperformer’ based on our ongoing innovation and promising roadmap.
Picture of GigaOm's Radar for Distributed Cloud File Storage

GigaOm 2023 Radar for Distributed Cloud File Storage

  • These report cards of the market are created by engineers with personal knowledge looking at the practical capabilities of the technology, as opposed to other firms that rely on data analysts.
  • Close to the center is best in terms of company rankings, as this shows a solution that is complete and robust.
  • Companies on the platform play side (x-axis) are solving for the 80th percentile while those on the feature play side are less mature in function.
  • The y-axis represents maturity vs innovation, a measure of where the focus of the platform is, that is, maturity focused on stability of look and feel.
  • The colors of the businesses represent those companies that are moving forward, fast or outperforming.

Leader and Outperformer is the winning combination. CTERA is clearly out front. We expect in next year’s report for the same thing to hold true.

Howard Holton, CTO, GigaOm

Now let’s drill down into the top 5 insights shaping the future of file storage:

#5: Multi-Cloud: Freedom and Flexibility Without the Headache

The allure of multi-cloud is undeniable. Imagine the flexibility of seamlessly moving workloads between different cloud providers, avoiding vendor lock-in, and optimizing costs. But as Howard Holton aptly put it, traditional multi-cloud storage can be a “nightmare,” akin to navigating a house where all the furniture has been mysteriously rearranged.

“The cost of moving data between clouds can be astronomical,” Holton added. “But with a multi-cloud file storage system, that’s no longer a concern. You have all your data available in all your clouds, significantly reducing complexity and cost.”

CTERA’s CTO, Aron Brand, echoes this sentiment, likening the ideal relationship with cloud providers to an “open relationship” rather than monogamy. “Being tied to a single provider gives them all the bargaining power,” Brand says. “Multi-cloud gives you the flexibility to choose the best option and negotiate better rates.”

CTERA’s global file system takes multi-cloud to the next level, allowing you to access the same information across different clouds, on-premises, and in different regions, all while maintaining security and performance. This approach, Brand argues, empowers businesses with agility and bargaining power, breaking free from the shackles of single-vendor dependence.

#4: Security: Building a Fortress Around Your Data

With data breaches and ransomware attacks becoming increasingly common, security is paramount. But as Holton points out, traditional security solutions are often a patchwork of products that don’t work well together, leaving gaps for attackers to exploit. Data breaches and ransomware attacks are a constant threat, and the old “fortress” approach to security is no longer enough.

“Storage vendors need to take ownership of cyber resiliency,” Holton asserts. “They need to provide a foundation that helps customers protect their data, not just leave it as ‘someone else’s problem.'”

CTERA takes this responsibility seriously, building its solutions from the ground up with a security-first mindset. “Data privacy and access controls are at the core of everything we do,” Brand emphasizes. “We were the first in this space to be certified by the Department of Defense for top-secret data, and we continue to invest heavily in security features and certifications.”

#3: Data Governance and Sovereignty: Navigating the Regulatory Maze

Data privacy regulations are becoming increasingly complex, and ensuring compliance can be a daunting task. But as Holton reminds us, the consequences of non-compliance can be severe, and the impact can stretch far into the future.

“Some data needs to be retained for decades,” he says, highlighting a particularly striking example: “Asbestos data, for instance, must be kept until the death of the second generation. That means if your father worked in a factory that had asbestos, the company is required to retain that data until you pass away.”

This example is not just about complying with current regulations, but also anticipating future needs and ensuring data is managed responsibly for generations to come.

Holton emphasizes that medical data also falls under this long-term data retention umbrella. “Medical data is required to be saved for the life of the patient,” he explains. “So when we talk about data retention for 100 years, it’s not just an arbitrary number. It’s a reflection of the real-world requirements and regulations surrounding sensitive data.”

According to Brand, CTERA’s global file system provides the tools organizations need to navigate this complex landscape. With granular control over data access and storage location, CTERA empowers organizations to comply with even the most stringent data sovereignty regulations, ensuring data is protected and accessible for as long as it’s needed, even if that means a century or more.

#2: Performance: When Speed Matters

In this fast-paced world, slow data access is simply unacceptable. But with data distributed across multiple clouds and on-premises locations, maintaining high performance can be a challenge.

“Performance is a top-three requirement for anyone reviewing these systems,” Holton states. “It’s essential for ensuring application responsiveness and a positive user experience.”

CTERA tackles this challenge with its innovative caching technology and CTERA Direct protocol. Caching filers keep frequently accessed data readily available at edge locations, while CTERA Direct optimizes data transfer over high-latency networks.

“Building a system that can handle over 100,000 concurrent users while maintaining performance has been one of the biggest challenges of my career,” Brand admits. “But with these innovations, we’ve achieved just that.”

#1: Cyber Resiliency: Bouncing Back from the Brink

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and traditional backup and recovery solutions are no longer enough. Organizations need to be cyber resilient – able to not only recover data but also minimize the impact of an attack.

“Cyber resiliency goes beyond backup and recovery,” Holton emphasizes. “It’s about proactively identifying threats, mitigating their impact, and enabling rapid recovery while ensuring you’re not restoring malware along with your data.”

CTERA’s Ransom Protect leverages AI to detect and block ransomware attacks in real-time, while its continuous replication and instant recovery capabilities ensure minimal downtime and data loss.

“We go beyond traditional backup solutions,” Brand explains. “We allow you to roll back specific files or folders to a specific point in time instantly, even if you’re dealing with terabytes of data.”

The Journey Continues

The future of file storage is exciting, and these five insights provide a glimpse into the trends shaping the landscape. As we move forward, collaboration and transparency will be key to combating cyber threats and ensuring data security and accessibility.

At CTERA, we’re committed to providing innovative solutions that address these challenges and empower organizations to thrive in the ever-evolving world of data storage. Join us on this journey, and let’s build a future where data is secure, accessible, and always at your fingertips.

You can access the full webinar below.

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