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Panzura enables greater expansion of global file system controllers

Panzura unveiled a new line of cloud storage controllers with global file system and high-performance data cache to help users collaborate across locations.

Panzura has upgraded its hybrid cloud storage controllers, launching a new series with more capacity and the ability to expand to handle multiple workloads.

The new 5000 hybrid cloud storage controllers replace Panzura's previous 4000 series. The Panzura controllers, along with Panzura's Global File System and SkyBridge software, allow organizations to put storage in the cloud while data that is frequently used is cached locally.

The 5000 controllers come in three models. The 5100 for branch offices has a data cache that scales up to 1.7 TB and up to 100 TB of capacity in the cloud. The 5300 scales up to 35.5 TB of cached data and up to 1.5 PB of cloud storage. The 5500 scales up to 38.4 TB of cached data and 2 PB of cloud storage.

Each system supports both solid-state drives and hard drives. The 5300 and 5500 can scale flash or disk capacity by adding the 5000 expansion shelf. Panzura's 4000 series customers had to add new controllers to scale capacity. The 5000 controllers can be centrally managed with the Panzura CloudFS Console.

"Before, we would have to upgrade the box," said Barry Phillips, Panzura's chief marketing officer. "Now it's expandable. You can add drive packs within the controller, and then add additional drive packs with the expandable shelves."

Common Panzura workloads include real-time collaboration for software development, files for computer-aided design and NAS filers.

The expandability allows a customer to purchase a cloud controller for one use case, such as backup and archiving, and over time add tasks. Common Panzura workloads include real-time collaboration for software development, files for computer-aided design and NAS filers. Panzura's global file system allows file locking for users collaborating remotely.

The Panzura Global File System works with object storage from Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, EMC Atmos and IBM's Cleversafe.

"Today, we are seeing strong acceptance of the cloud," said Panzura CEO Patrick Harr. "There's a very disruptive model that can be put in place where you store your hot data locally then take advantage of the cloud for capacity expansion. That simply unlocks a lot of value of that data but also significantly reduces the moving parts of a traditional or a status quo type of storage on-premises."

Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said Panzura aims to move from using the cloud as another storage silo and instead leverage it as the central storage repository with high-performance cache on-premises. The use of a data cache on-premises, storage in the cloud and a global file system reduces infrastructure requirements.

"The old model of the cloud is just another copy of the data," he said. "In this case, you use it as the central storage repository. This way you reduce on-premises capital and operational expenses. You have all sites working with one central copy rather than each site having yet another copy of the data," he said.

The 5000 series is the second product release for Panzura since Harr replaced Randy Chou as CEO in May. The vendor added SmartSync file synchronization on top of its global file system in June. Harr's goal is to double Panzura's revenue in his first year as CEO.

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