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Platform Updates Designed For The Multi-Cloud Era

As I’ve discussed in a previous post, CTERA’s customers are increasingly looking to reduce the amount of friction related to storing their data in private and virtual private cloud environments. The pace of cloud innovation is so rapid, one of the only constants we can glean from our customer conversations is ‘optionality’. For a variety of reasons – ranging from cost considerations, to data privacy, to business continuity strategy, and even to a broader application agenda – customers are continually evaluating their cloud strategy and optimizing their deployment models based upon an evolving set of priorities.

Today, CTERA announced a significant update to our data management and service orchestration system, the CTERA Portal. The updates are the result of extensive work we’ve done with some of the world’s largest cloud builders and cloud users who are focused on increasing cloud platform optionality, increasing user security and lowering overall total cost of ownership. Here are all of the features you need to know about:

Cloud Data Storage Migration

Using new storage migration tools in the CTERA Portal, organizations can now migrate data across different object and NAS storage systems without experiencing system downtime or end user service interruption. By seamlessly migrating data across storage nodes of any type or location, the CTERA Platform enables applications and data to easily and securely flow from one data center to any other data center. The result:

  • No cloud-modality lock-in.  No vendor lock-in.
  • Painless transition across cloud platforms.  Easy upgrade to new and refreshed storage platforms.
  • Optionality to make smart changes that enable the best cloud economics & data security/privacy.

Intelligent, Service-Aware Cloud Storage Tiering

Storage purists will know this feature as Information Lifecycle Management (ILM). Here, CTERA adds a little twist to ILM. To understand what we’ve done, it’s important to understand the two different styles of I/O that find their way into the CTERA Portal:

Backup Files that are inherently dormant. CTERA’s Platform is designed to house an unlimited number of endpoint and cloud storage gateway snapshots.  For this data, cloud egress is infrequent once the backup data has landed on cloud storage… Therefore, the data is well-suited to low-cost storage tiers, even if these tiers have a high cost of retrieval.

Synced Files are much more interactive in nature.  These files can be synced out of the cloud to CTERA endpoints or gateways just as much as they are synced into the cloud. As a result, sync data is well-suited to be stored on more general purpose storage offerings that are not financially prohibitive when it comes to serving data out of the cloud.

Using intelligent object metadata tagging, the CTERA Portal classifies data according to its use case (backup, sync) and intelligently routes data to the appropriate tiers using the underlying object storage tiering mechanisms. We’ve partnered with two storage leaders to bring this solution to market – NetApp with their StorageGRID offering and AWS with the various classes of S3 storage.  Both feature the ability to tier data according to smart application-defined tags.  This integrated and tested solution is optimized for two use cases:

  • Tiering by Storage Class:  CTERA’s platform is often deployed into environments that feature multiple storage classes.  With this solution, global administrators can define storage allocation policies according to use case markers.  So,…
    • A NetApp StorageGRID system can allocate sync data to high performance local storage tiers while backups can be sent straight to a high-capacity, globally erasure-coded lower cost storage tier.
    • An AWS user will be able to define S3 storage tiering policies by use case, and whereas sync data can be directed to S3 Standard, backup files can be directed to S3-Standard Infrequent Access, which can save customers up to 60% less than S3 Standard.
  • Hybrid-Cloud Configuration:  Using the multi-cloud data management and ILM tools inherent in NetApp StorageGRID, it’s also now possible to build a CTERA Portal that federates its backend data between an on-prem and public cloud environment.



New User Identity Management Tools

On a topic slightly less sexy than cloud migration or cloud storage tiering, it’s also important to note that CTERA continues to evolve its global security management story. As the only company to combine remote and cloud based file shares into one truly unified system, the role of CTERA’s platform in the context of the enterprise CIO’s and CISO’s priorities continues to grow. As CTERA’s founding team came from Check Point Software, it’s also important to note that security is in our DNA.

With this new release, we’re announcing that the CTERA Portal:

  1. Now supports user authentication through the platform’s new SAML 2.0 capabilities. With our SAML integration, IT organizations can centrally manage corporate user identity management and provide SSO login capabilities for file and backup access.
  2. Integrates with leading Single Sign On (SSO) offerings to simplify user access across multiple devices. CTERA has now certified compatibility with leading SSO offerings, including Microsoft ADFS 2.0, Okta, OneLogin, and Ping Identity.

So, there you go.  With this new release you can (simply) expect:

  • More Security
  • Optimized Storage TCO
  • Cloud ‘Optionality’

CTERA’s platform was designed from the ground up to empower the cloud ‘builder’.  In order to do so, we’ve decided to bring the best tools to the discussion and enable organizations to more easily re-think how they deploy cost-effective, application-aware and secure data infrastructure.

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we liked pulling the product release together!



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