With the cloud storage vendors caught up in a bloody, take-no-prisoners race to the bottom pricing war, Panzura wants to pour a little gas on the fire with a free cloud gateway virtual appliance. The developer of the next genenterprise-level storage infrastructure for the cloud era and coming off 400% year over year revenue growth, said customers can load the virtual appliance on a VMware hypervisor and connect the Panzura Cloud Gateway to their accounts with the top public cloud storage providers (Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage or Microsoft Azure Storage) or to their private cloud storage providers (EMC Atmos or Cleversafe). The gateway provides cloud storage access for disaster recovery, backups and archiving, and includes two terabytes of free storage for a full year for users.
Their announcement came the same day as Google’s offer of a free 2Tb for a year, powered by the Panzura appliance, a day after EMC said it was buying TwinStrata, a cloud-integrated storage vendor, and two weeks after Microsoft upped its free OneDrive storage offer from 256Gb to 1Tb for Office 365 subscribers. This is a hot market, that is just getting hotter, with Panzura saying the cloud storage gateway market is exploding at an 80% per year growth rate that is expected to hit $3.5 billion by 2018.
“Although it is relatively early in market maturity, the cloud gateway market is, in fact, a commodity market whose benefits are subsumed by globally distributed file systems, especially with the advent of global file locking,” said Randy Chou, CEO and Co-Founder at Panzura, in a prepared statement. “Furthermore, with the 65% drop in the price of cloud storage and the announcement of a ‘Moore’s Law’ pricing strategy going forward, it’s apparent that the cost of cloud storage is on the road to zero. Today we’ve taken the market for the simple protocol conversion provided by cloud gateways to access cloud storage immediately to zero.”
Referencing a Gartner report, How to Calculate the Total Cost of Cloud Storage, Panzura said the average Total Cost of Ownership of on-premise file storage over three years is $219,771, while the cost of a similar amount of storage in a hybrid cloud deployment is $129,003 , a savings of 41%. The report recommends that organizations, “Apply distributed cloud storage integrated environments using cloud storage gateways as an alternative and cost-effective method to support branch offices.”
In a recent interview with IT Trends & Analysis, Panzura’s Chief Marketing Officer, Barry Phillips, and Chief Strategy Officer, Rich Webber, said the company is not about selling cheap(er) storage, but about enabling collaboration in the cloud via their secure Global File System. “It’s a new way of doing collaboration,” said Phillips. It uses locking technology to enable cloud storage across a WAN to behave the same as on-premise storage arrays across a LAN, allowing users in distributed offices to collaborate like they are in the same room while companies take advantage of the economics of the cloud.
As significant as the pricing is, security is as important, if not more so, said Webber. “I believe we’re the only FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2-certified (Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules) developer out there.” He added that the Department of Justice had just deployed their solution. “A lot of our partners claim our data is more secure than on-premise”.
Looking ahead, Panzura, which already has a strong foothold in the AEC market, is eyeing other verticals where secure – and fast – collaboration across multiple locations struggling with sharing large files is critical. These include media, oil and gas, manufacturing, aerospace and legal. Basically, anybody that is facing massive problems with global collaboration, said Phillips.