Three cloud storage gateway startups are running neck and neck with near-equivalent funding and no sign of a breakaway by either CTERA, Nasuni or Panzura.
Interestingly, all three were started up in 2008.
CTERA is an Israeli startup led by co-founder Liran Eshel. Nasuni’s CEO is Andres Rodriguez, also a co-founder, while Panzura’s CEO Patrick Harr took on the role in May 2016. That was after the co-founding CEO Randy Chou left in February that year.
Yesterday CTERA gained $30 million fresh funding to build out its infrastructure, taking total funding to $100 million. Nasuni’s total is $120 million and Panzura stands at $90 million.
The pattern of funding events for the trio is similar too, remarkably so given the vagaries of venture capital.
How do they differ? Broadly speaking, CTERA focuses on security, Nasuni on helping customers find the best cloud for their files and Panzura on large file set distribution, synchronisation and sharing, such as electronic design automation files. It has also added its Vizion.ai SaaS data manager which indexes and manages a customer’s global file estate.
There is an overlap between cloud storage gateways and file sync and share suppliers such as Box and Egnyte. The storage industry is wrestling with customer desire to store frontline file data in the cloud and access it at the speed of local storage. The solutions, so far, revolve around edge appliances used for on-premises caches and technologies to reduce network bandwidth needs and speed network transit time.
Overall, the problem area is hybrid on- and off-premises file storage and access. Cloud storage gateway is a means to that end, not an end in itself and newer file system suppliers such as Elastifile are working in the same area.
The question arises: are cloud storage gateways features or products?
The future of feature
Elastifile’s technology has an elastic file system that merges on-premises and public cloud worlds. Cloud storage gateway functionality is required to move data between the two but this is part of Elastifile’s offering and not the core product feature.
If cloud storage gateways are features then cloud storage gateway suppliers have to move up stack and into hybrid file data management services. How well CTERA, Nasuni and Panzura respond to that challenge will determine if they can make a successful break away.