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Office Modernization and the Windows Server Alternative

The release of Windows Server 2016 comes as IT organizations worldwide are making careful budgeting decisions for 2017. For us at CTERA, though, these types of Windows Server announcements always present opportunities to provide enterprises with new ways of looking at office infrastructure options.

To set the table for those new to the CTERA playbook, we offer an all-in-one appliance known as a cloud storage gateway that provides NAS storage, backs up servers and workstations to the cloud, and enables users to sync and collaborate on files across global offices.

In Microsoft terms, the gateway looks something like this:


As such, CTERA is regularly invited to big Windows Server / Storage Server replacement projects where organizations are seeking productivity and cost-savings improvements.

If your organization is one of those considering new, modern options against the same old Windows Server refresh, bear in mind these key benefits of the CTERA gateway:

1) Global File Access and Mobility for Enhanced Organizational Productivity

Only with CTERA can you eliminate the silos that Windows and OneDrive create, while also eliminating the need for complex tools like Distributed File System (DFS) technologies.

CTERA delivers a single platform for EFSS and gateways, offering cloud access to files anywhere, as well as faster, persistent local access to files via NAS access.


Users within an office work with shared cloud folders just as they do with any regular file shares. They benefit from the performance and simplicity of a local file share, and can access files stored within these shares from anywhere – using the CTERA Agent (an EFSS client) on their laptop or mobile device, or via a browser.



Live Nation Case Study: Live Nation’s IT Director Matt McQuoid explains how CTERA combines the best of all worlds: fast and simple local file services, compatibility with existing file protocols, cloud-based data protection, access to files anywhere, and streamlined collaboration.



2) Resilience: Instant Failover of File Shares from the Cloud

With CTERA, local drives can be mapped to the cloud in the event of a network outage, reducing restoration time from days to minutes. Organizations can keep offices running when their local storage is inaccessible – without having to buy a second server and mirroring data.


On the other hand, if the network goes down, the CTERA gateway continues to provide local access to office users. It’s the best of both worlds – only with CTERA.



The Carlyle Group Case Study: The Carlyle Group’s VP of IT Jeff Pisano explains how CTERA gateways enable business continuity for regional offices around the world.



3) Security On Your Terms

CTERA offers the only ROBO NAS appliance with a platform can be deployed 100 percent on your terms:

  • Behind your firewall
  • On your private or virtual private cloud of choice
  • Integrated with your Active Directory and other authentication tools
  • Where you alone manage your own encryption keys

Shared public SaaS services like Azure Backup or Iron Mountain can’t meet these enterprise requirements. Of course, CTERA can be deployed on virtual private clouds on Azure, or AWS, or any IaaS vendor, but the solution remains 100 percent private and secure.



Texas DSHS case study: Learn how a Texas state government agency deployed CTERA gateways at all of its offices to modernize its file server infrastructure while ensuring the greatest levels of data security and privacy.



4) Total Cost of Ownership:

Candidly, we think many enterprises aren’t capturing enough value on their file server investments. That’s why every CTERA cloud storage gateway comes pre-configured with an operating system (no hardware plus Windows Server fee) and pre-bundled with backup agents for servers and workstations free of charge. That amounts to big savings right there over Windows Storage Server and your backup software of record.


Of course, when multiplied over hundreds or even thousands of offices, those savings rise up into the tens of millions of dollars. Add that to the cost savings of the source-based, globally deduplicated CTERA platform, and we’re talking about massive TCO reductions, even up to 75 percent.



Analyst report: A leading analyst recently examined the differences in TCO between CTERA and Windows Storage Server; you can see the results for yourself here.


So that’s the quick pitch; check out the various materials within this post, and give us a call if you’d like to discuss how to be secure, productive, and economically smart in your next office infrastructure refresh.

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