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Ctera to enhance multi-cloud after $30m funding boost

Ctera does “NAS replacement” on object storage in the cloud, but wants its customer on-premises hardware to be smarter to allow tiering of data to multiple private and public clouds

Enterprise file services platform provider Ctera plans to put a recent $30m funding win into product enhancements to boost its multi-cloud storage functionality, among other things.

Ctera bills itself as “NAS replacement”, and allows customers to migrate files in traditional formats – such as network file system (NFS)and common internet file system (CIFS) – to private and public cloud object storage formats and to access them from those locations.

This is affected by use of customer on-premises filers and gateways – or apps for mobile devices – that connect to a Ctera portal and object storage in private clouds or virtual private connections to public clouds, specifically those from Amazon, Azure and Google.

This is popular with customers with relatively small data volumes at remote sites, and Ctera includes McDonald’s, the US Air Force, marketing giant WPP, the NHS, Renault and Unilever among enterprise customers. Telcos that offer these services to third parties are another important client base.

Claimed benefits are that Ctera can help reduce infrastructure costs and improve management of unstructured data, for example.

Key areas for investment following the recent funding announcement will focus on multi-cloud, with data management and classification upgrades, said Oded Nagel, chief strategy officer at Ctera.

“We do support multi-cloud, but we’re halfway there, with no data classification or tagging. The Ctera portal can point to multiple clouds but the gateways statically point to one cloud,” he said.

“We want more smart decision making and advanced policies to decide where data is stored,” he added.

The drive towards multi-cloud operations is a rising trend, with the aim being for organisations to be able to tier data to multiple clouds and migrate between them to gain best value from the range of cloud services available for their workloads.

Currently, however, the holy grail of seamless multi-cloud operations, with quick and easy data interoperability between clouds is some way off.

Other areas of investment for Ctera will include expansion of teams in Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe.

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