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Zetta counts on replication driving cloud adoption

Zetta added disaster recovery to its enterprise NAS on-demand service by opening a second data center and giving customers the option of replicating between the two.

Zetta launched its On-Demand Enterprise Storage cloud last October, using its Santa Clara, CA data center to host customer data. On Tuesday it said it has opened a second data center in Secaucus, NJ, giving customers an option to store data on the West or East Coast. Whatever data center they choose for their primary data, customers can replicate to the other data center.

Zetta’s pricing for primary volumes starts at 25 cents per GB per month and it charges another 15 cents per GB per month for a replica copy.

Zetta claims replicated storage volumes appear as fully mounted and accessible read-only volumes, giving customers access to data from both data centers at once. If the primary volume becomes unavailable, the second volume assumes read and write status and customers can treat it as primary data.

Zetta automatically replicates data with no user interaction, and the startup claims replicated data can be mounted for immediate use when required.

“Usually when a company wants a replica of data, it has to sign up a new data center,” Zetta CEO Jeff Treuhaft said. “We give them a one-click route of replicating that data in a separate geo zone and separate facility. We think this will attract people to the use case of primary data in the cloud.”

Treuhaft says the second data center also lets companies in the eastern U.S. stay closer to their data, which he says can improve performance because read and write requests will take less time to complete.

Like other smaller companies trying to make it as a cloud provider, Zetta faces the challenge of taking on providers such as Amazon, AT&T and Verizon. But Zetta also faces competition from primary NAS vendors such as NetApp and EMC. Treuhaft says Zetta is growing its footprint of stored data between 6% and 8% each week, but declined to say how many customers the startup has.

StorageIO analyst Greg Schulz says Zetta has a well focused target market and could get a boost from the DR option.

“These guys have as much of a shot at making it as any of the others, perhaps even an edge in their approach that can be used for public or private deployment with integrated replication and data integrity,” he said. “Some of their competitors are off elephant hunting looking for big game deals while others are trying to play to the for free market as opposed to having a solution affordable to deploy with their cloud point of presence approach.

“They have some legs, let’s see if and how they can use them now to survive in a market sector about to undergo change and transformation in the not so distant future.”

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