Q&A: What is CTERA up to with HPE?

This month CTERA announced the debut of Edge X Series, a its hyperconverged file serving cloud storage gateway using HPE’s SimpliVity hardware.

This piqued our curiosity about the relationship between the two companies and so who better to ask than CTERA CEO Liran Eshel?

The Q and A

Blocks & Files: Are the local and cloud dedupe processes separate with, for example, HPE SimpliVIty doing the local dedupe, and CTERA doing the cloud dedupe? If they are separate processes do the local dedupe files have to be rehydrated so they can then be deduped again by the cloud dedupe process?

Liran Eshel: True. The processes are separate. However, the local dedupe is hardware accelerated, so the rehydration and dehydration takes place in real-time without creating disk I/O or consuming any temporary disk space.

The files are never stored in a dehydrated form. The dedupe algorithms are also different, the local one is tuned for high IOPS, primary storage use case, and to do so, relies on low latency directly connected flash.

In contrast, the cloud deduplication is optimized for WAN at high-latency, as well as providing the ability to perform global deduplication between multiple sites.

Blocks & Files: Is the CTERA Edge X Series only available on an HPE SimpliVity hardware/software base?

Liran Eshel: The Edge X is only based on HPE SimpliVity. The Edge V is a virtual edition that can run on any other server or HCI platform, and is certificated for the likes of Dell, Cisco and Nutanix.

Blocks & Files: What is the relationship between CTERA and HPE? Is CTERA reselling HPE SimpliVity systems? Do customers only buy Edge X Series systems from CTERA?

Liran Eshel: CTERA is reselling SimpliVity in the case of the X Series. In addition to that, HPE is selling the CTERA software portfolio as part of HPE Complete program on top of HPE HW and in combination with 3Par and Scality.

Blocks & Files: Did CTERA consider partnering other HCI vendors, such as Dell EMC with VxRail, or Nutanix with either vSphere or Acropolis?

Liran Eshel: CTERA is already partnering with Cisco HyperFlex and Nutanix (both vSphere and Acropolis), in a meet in the channel mode.

Blocks & Files: Where does support come from; CTERA and/or HPE? Does the customer have 1 or 2 throats to choke?

Liran Eshel: 1 throat to choke. CTERA takes front line for the X Series, with back-line support from HPE for all HW and HCI related matters.

Blocks & Files: How is data protection (backup) provided?

Liran Eshel: CTERA has built-in backup capabilities with customer defined interval, retention and choice of cloud.


HPE is an avid storage partnering machine, with relationships with Datera, Cloudian, Hedvig, Qumulo, Scality, and WekaIO. A common factor is that they involve HPE servers – Proliants and Apollos.

The CTERA relationship is based in SimpliVity hyperconverged kit which is ProLiant server-based. Nutanix doesn’t need to do this because it has its own File product. Ditto NetApp which has ONTAP filers available for its HCI products if needed.

HPE’s deal with CTERA could spark other HCI suppliers to addfile services from external suppliers. For example, Cisco, Pivot3 and Scale Computing might look to do something here.