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Inside? Outside? No. Its Time to Think Beyond the Box

Welcome to the inaugural post of the CTERA Networks blog. We’re here to establish an online platform that will allow us to easily share our thoughts and experiences as the worldwide demand for cloud storage solutions hits a fever pitch. To understand the momentum that the cloud has created across the IT market, look no farther than CTERA.  Today is the first day of many where we intend to take the covers off of what has become a unique cloud breakout story.

A picture says 1,000 words.

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As we enter 2014, it’s fair to say that this may well be the year of the ‘box’.  With a rumored imminent IPO from Box and all speculation around their more consumer-oriented competitor, dropbox, one would think that cloud storage is exclusively associated only with file sync and share capabilities. While there’s both pluses and minuses to our SaaS competitors’ approaches to cloud storage, the attention they are bringing to the $48.8B¹ (2018) cloud storage movement is welcome as it gives reason to have a discussion on the long range issues surrounding cloud storage adoption in the enterprise.

Online file storage and collaboration tools are, at the end of the day, only a component to a much larger story going across the enterprise and service provider marketplace.  Today, the IT world is undergoing a tectonic shift with cloud technology redefining the IT consumption and deployment model. Market analyst firm IHS Research recently projected that cloud-related spending will hit $235 Billion by 2018, tripling in size from 2011.  Data is at the heart of everything when it comes to deploying and leveraging cloud technologies, so today I’d like to share CTERA’s guiding principles that are offered here to help you deploy storage and data services in the cloud age.

Principle #1: Clouds Are Ubiquitous, Data Access Must Also Be

When considering the overall cloud usage profile, there is a still a significant workload that relies on file servers, endpoint backup and VDI and application storage that cannot be properly addressed by sync & share.

Principle #2: Choose the Right Cloud For You

Solutions that lock customers into fixed cloud storage backends, by definition, limit the ability to control and optimize your cloud investments. A true enterprise cloud solution should allow customers to select the right infrastructure, be it virtual or private based on performance, cost and privacy criteria.

Principle #3: Never Hand Over Your Keys

In a Gartner recent report, Gartner analyst Brian Lowans advisesDo not store keys or use keys in other jurisdictions, or use a third party; otherwise, the encrypted data could be accessed if the keys are available².
For highly sensitive data, our recommendation is to select a solution that allows you to control the firewall policy, either in your datacenter or on a virtual private cloud, and to use data-at-rest and in-traffic encryption for all sensitive data.

Principle #4: Cloud Storage Should Adhere to Cloud Principles

Traditional storage and even new forms of cloud storage are not built to be managed as cloud infrastructure – lacking proper multi-tenancy, true support for multi-site, multi-tier management, global authentication, etc.  Whether you are an aspiring IT-as-a-service-provider or an aspiring public cloud service provider – the leap to cloud services doesn’t need to be this difficult. Our recommendation is to select the right solution that provides at least two-tiers of multi-tenant management above the end-user self-provisioning tools.

Principle #5: Use The Cloud To Gain Insight, Not Lose Insight

eye color circle 500Our recommendation is to select infrastructure which supports all of your data services needs while also exposing the right tools and APIs that enable your organization to achieve the greatest insight into its corporate assets and how they are being used.  The right solution should enable management to instantaneously query its data, run security and e-discovery tools across a global data store and support next generation analytic tools to exploit the value of their corporate assets.

At the organizational level, adhering to the above cloud storage principles will enable your business to set a strong foundation for your long term cloud data agenda.  We invite you to rise above point-solution requirements, elevate the organizational agenda beyond the individual need and make smart decisions for your “as-a-Service” agenda.

At CTERA – our focus is on building the tools for you to extend the benefits of cloud storage at every level of your application and device hierarchy.  We believe that smart organizations will succeed by taking control of their infrastructure and their data security. With a unique platform-centric approach to cloud storage – CTERA is providing customers the keys to becoming their own storage as a service providers while also leveraging the power of the platform to enhance organizational insight, data protection and efficiency.

Again, welcome to our blog. You can expect us to expand on the above threads and explain how some of the world’s largest enterprises and cloud service providers have made the platform-first choice for their cloud storage offering.

Happy Reading!
Liran Eshel
CEO, CTERA Networks

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¹Markets and Markets: http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/cloud-storage.asp

²Simplify Operations and Compliance in the Cloud by Encrypting Sensitive Data, Gartner 2013

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