CTERA Rolls Out Channel-Friendly Cloud Storage Portal

By Steve Wexler  |  Print this article Print

There is no shortage of vendors offering cloud-based storage solutions, including Asigra, EMC, i365, IBM and Symantec, but CTERA believes its new portal offers the channel everything it needs to get up and running quickly and profitably.

Hybrid cloud-based storage and data protection vendor CTERA Networks is reaching out to service providers, including MSPs and resellers, with a cloud platform that is a turnkey solution for delivering cloud-based storage and data protection services, from creating service plans to remote maintenance of appliances, including the CloudPlug and C200.

Available immediately in SaaS and Datacenter editions, CTERA Portal includes easy-to-use tools for remote provisioning and centralized monitoring of storage appliances, managing and optimizing cloud storage, and running online backup services.

CTERA CEO Liran Eshel tells Channel Insider service providers are the Israeli-based company's natural partners for delivering Cloud Attached Storage services. "What we hear from the market is that the channel wants to have more control over the services they offer. CTERA Portal makes it possible for our partners to deliver their services quickly, cost-effectively and with deployment options that suit their business needs."

In addition to control, the channel is looking for more flexibility, adds Rani Osnat, vice president of marketing. "What we're trying to do is really provide a very flexible way for resellers to offer cloud services. If you use it as software as a service, you have nothing to invest in up front." Partners can be up and running in hours, he says.

For partners looking to control all aspects of the online service, the Data Center edition is the choice. "We see both flavors as relevant in the market because both kinds of channel partners exist."

The company is also launching a major firmware upgrade (2.0) to its Cloud Attached Storage appliances—the CloudPlug and the larger C200 appliance—that combine local network storage with off-site cloud storage and backup. The firmware includes a host of new enterprise-grade and unique features: Secure Remote Access to view files over the Web and manage the appliance remotely, from any PC or mobile device, no client software needed; Local Snapshots for instant access to previous file versions stored on the appliance, an additional layer to the snapshots available in the cloud backup; Laptop Backup, optional managed agents that enable backup of devices outside the office LAN; and additional features like Active Directory support, NFS, iSCSI support, Apple Filing Protocol, Apple Time Machine support and enhanced Windows shell integration.

According to Roy Miehe, president and CEO of MSP Portal, CTERA’s technology provides an ideal path to the cloud: "It’s easy to integrate, flexible and a step ahead of the competition."

IDC's Brad Nisbet, program manager for storage and data management services, states SMBs are facing the same pressure to store, manage and protect growing volumes of digital information of larger organizations. "Cloud storage is rapidly gaining adoption within the SMB space, and solutions that focus on delivering cost-effective and user-friendly managed services, such as those powered by CTERA, will continue to fuel the fire."

The portal can either be run by CTERA (SaaS edition) as a cloud service, offering the quickest and cheapest way for partners to offer managed storage services, or installed in-house (Datacenter edition). It allows the creation of both prepaid and pay-as-you-go service plans, user self-provisioning, real-time monitoring and reporting, efficient storage management, integrated billing and credit card payment, and integration with other systems via open standards. CTERA Portal can use third-party cloud infrastructure such as Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud Files as its back-end cloud storage, as well as direct-attached and SAN storage.