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Ctera Extends Hybrid Cloud Storage Offering

A new storage appliance and updated firmware offer bare-metal backup and recovery, including to virtual machines, and live backup of Exchange, Active Directory and SQL Server.

Ctera C400, C200 And CloudPlug
(click image for larger view)
Ctera C400, C200 And CloudPlug
Ctera Networks has announced a hybrid cloud solution that provides local and cloud backup, at disk and file level, for PCs, servers and roaming laptops. The release expands the company's on-premises, cloud-oriented data storage and protection offerings for SMBs. Ctera claims it's "the first hybrid cloud solution incorporating server backup and bare metal backup"

Using both local and cloud storage, Ctera products can provide online services like online backup, remote access, file sharing, as well as local NAS-type ones like FTP serving, and file sharing with various protocols. The new features in firmware version 2.5 include:

-- Bare-metal backup and recovery: Incremental, disk-level backup of live workstations and servers, stored both locally and in the cloud, and recovery to a virtual machine

-- Server agents: Backup and recovery of Microsoft Windows servers, including live backup of Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Active Directory

-- Collaboration: Inviting others to view, edit or share selected files and folders stored in the cloud or on the local appliance

To support collaboration, "Cloud folders provides the ability to read and write files like a virtual drive, and share it with others," says Rani Osnat, vice president marketing, CTERA. Similar to file-sharing services like YouSendIt or DropBox, "If you already have the files in the cloud, the download will be fast, versus having to go to the appliance and do a slower upload first."

Ctera also launched the C400, which joins the company's other local/cloud storage and data protection products, the CTERA CloudPlug and the CTERA C200 Cloud Attached Storage appliance. All of Ctera's appliances can be remotely managed, using Ctera's Portal, allowing them to be available through MSPs and VARs as a fully managed service.

The C400 is a 4-bay rack-mount cloud-attached storage appliance, supporting up to four hot-swappable 3.5" SATA drives. The C200 is a 2-bay appliance, supporting two 3.5" SATA drives; both the C200 and C400 can also use external USB drives. The CloudPlug lets an external USB/eSATA drive be used as a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. According to Ctera, the C400 supports RAID5/6, and a single appliance "is capable of supporting sites ranging from 50 to 200 users and acts as a gateway for secure, performance-optimized cloud services."

The Ctera products offer secure cloud backup, remote access and collaboration services, and let user share and synchronize files on a local network. The C200 and C400 are intended for small/branch offices through enterprises, and also provide folder synchronization over the network. Reflecting the growing trend in storage solutions to provide both local premises backup and off-site backup, all three Ctera hardware devices work both with local storage disks or devices and act as gateways to cloud-attached storage.

Version 2.5 firmware and the C400 are available now. Existing appliance users that are connected to the CTERA service will be upgraded to the new firmware automatically. Pricing for Ctera hardware or bundle depends on the amount of data involved and also the reseller.

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