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TwinStrata Enhances CloudArray Storage Gateway

TwinStrata has enhanced its CloudArray storage gateway. Version 3.0 of the product, which can run either as software or on an appliance in several form factors, now offers support for file-based storage such as network-attached storage, direct-attached storage or a storage area network, in addition to the public and private cloud integration that the product already offered. Other new features include a rapid three-step initial configuration, dynamic cache sizing, new management and monitoring tools, Amazon S3 regional storage support for organizations that want to control where their data is housed and support for Nirvanix. It is also compatible with any hypervisor.

Joe Kempenich, VP of IT for National Lloyds & American Summit Insurance, began using TwinStrata six months ago with Amazon Web Services for its staff of about 150 people and a number of other external independent agents who need to look at images associated with the Waco, Texas, company’s insurance business, he says. He went with TwinStrata after a series of incidents where storage vendors kept discontinuing the hardware his company was using, he says. "We didn’t want one that used proprietary hardware because we couldn’t rely on that," he says. While he’s not sure whether the company will make use of the private cloud feature, he is planning to use TwinStrata for backups, which will increase the company’s data use to 5 Tbytes to 10 Tbytes over its current 2 Tbytes, he says.

The company’s CloudArray product, now in its third generation, provides a scalable, multisite, multitenant environment, says Nicos Vekiarides, CEO and cofounder of the Natick,
Mass., company. The appliance comes with from 2 to 24 Tbytes of storage, with different types of storage ranging from solid-state disk to Serial Attached Technology Attachment, and with connections ranging from two 1-Gbit Ethernet connections to four 10-Gbit Ethernet interfaces, he says. All use the same software stack and dynamic caching that enables users to grow the amount of storage they use, he adds. In addition, the software supports compression and post-processing deduplication, as well as at-rest and in-flight 256-bit encryption.

TwinStrata offers IT administrators two advantages, says Joseph Martins, managing director of the Data Mobility Group. First, it provides an abstraction layer above the cloud, which helps reduce the perception of lock-in to a specific cloud storage provider. Second, it gives CIOs the ability to provide employees with cloud resources safely using self-service acquisition tools, he says. Anyone looking to manage storage as a cloud, whether existing arrays, private cloud and/or public cloud, now has a convenient, affordable and scalable way to do backup, tiered storage and disaster recovery, because TwinStrata's solution works transparently with many public clouds and existing arrays, says Mike Kahn, managing director at The Clipper Group.

CloudArray 3.0 is available now for prices starting at $4,995 for the CloudArray virtual appliance and $8,995 for the entry-level physical appliance. The company also intends to support RackSpace and
OpenStack public and private clouds by the end of November, Vikiarides says.

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