COVID-19 Accelerates Adoption of Global File Systems

The future is remote: work, data centers, collaboration, and IT.

Great presentation by Liran Eshel, Founder and CEO of CTera Networks for IT Press Tour #34. CTera exists to connect sites and users to any cloud securely and with improved performance. The traditional storage market is transforming into a combination of hyper-converged edge systems with hyperscale storage.


According to Gartner, and this was before the COVID-19 outbreak, by 2024 40% of infrastructure and operations leaders will implement at least one hybrid cloud storage architecture, 4X greater than the 10% doing so in 2020.


There are four keys driving the transition from NAS to a global file system: 1) seamless scalability; 2) the ability to keep data close to users; 3) facilitate collaboration; and, 4) reduce costs by 80%. As well as four keys why companies are adopting software-defined, multi-cloud strategies: 1) decouple software from infrastructure; 2) control where data resides; 3) prevent cloud lock-in; and, 4) comply with regulations.

Liran shared his thoughts on how the response to COVID-19 situation is accelerating the global data sharing among data scientists and medical researchers to solve the problem. They are getting data from all over the world streamlined and normalized for analysis.


He also believes the post-Coronavirus business world will be impacted with new travel restrictions, office restrictions, data distancing pushing data to different regions, business continuity plans, and pandemic regulations.


The future will be remote. The technology industry is in shock with 80 to 90% of people working remotely. After things begin getting back to normal, he expects 50% to 60% of workers to continue working remotely from home offices and branch offices. There will be remote data access from files, servers, and remote desktops. Remote collaboration will take place with file sharing and co-editing. While remote IT will have centralized management with no on-site workers.


IT is facilitating the transition to remote work in near real-time with video conferencing, file services, VPN, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), mobile, remote IT support, DevOps, and Cloud. Companies now see the need for all of these solutions and are adopting them quickly. This creates a tremendous opportunity for IT solution providers.


Use Cases:


Schuco, a 70-year-old construction company in Germany has 5,000 employees in 20 branches around the world. They wanted to replace their legacy NetApp NAS for CAD and office files, improve business continuity and disaster recovery, and enable data access from the cloud for all their employees and branches. CTera provided a unified platform for branch and endpoint file services, 100% in-firewall, seamless migration with full access control limit enforcement, for 80% less total cost of ownership (TCO) than the legacy system.


A top-5 credit card company wanted to replace their legacy NAS with a secure desktop drive service for 100,000 users with a single namespace for desktop and VDI users, with superior security compliance. CTera provided a scalable platform to handle 100,000+ users on a single namespace, 100% in-firewall, with full VDI support, two-factor and multi-factor authentication, and private branding. The company realized dramatic cost savings since object storage is $.01/GB/month while SSD is $.10/GB/month. They are able to move to 100% remote in one day at 10% of the cost.


McDonald’s wanted to eliminate their aging datacenter and move to hyper-converged infrastructure and improve business continuity and disaster recovery (DR). CTera provided a unified platform replacing NetApp filers, backup software, and file transfer tools. It was 100% in-firewall, active directory connected, deployed on VMware. Private management is connected to encrypted scale-out Azure storage. There’s a stateless local cache for accelerated access with cloud DR. All with an 80% reduction in TCO versus the legacy system.


WPP, the world’s largest advertising group with more than 250 subsidiaries and 130,000 employees wanted a creative content management system for thousands of agencies worldwide with a scalable, performant, secure, and compliant cloud solution. CTera provided seamless cloud integration from traditional NAS with media-specific enhancements for mac-OS and Adobe applications, and advanced internal and external collaboration options.


COVID-19 is accelerating the adoption of remote working solutions and global file systems become increasingly important as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) become the working model for forward-thinking companies in all industries.


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