By Kevin Komiega
-- CTERA Networks has turned its Web portal into a cloud storage services delivery platform that lets Internet service providers (ISPs) and managed service providers (MSPs) offer hybrid NAS and cloud storage services to small businesses and branch offices.
The CTERA Portal is equipped with tools for remote provisioning and centralized monitoring of storage appliances, managing and optimizing cloud storage, and running online backup services.
There are two versions of the CTERA Portal – the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Edition and the Datacenter Edition.
The SaaS Edition is primarily for resellers who want to manage the customer-facing side of cloud storage services without having to invest in and build their own storage infrastructure.
With this model, resellers can brand cloud storage services as their own while CTERA runs the infrastructure.
The Datacenter Edition is aimed at partners with existing resources who want more control over the physical infrastructure, namely service providers who have already invested in hosting and storage infrastructures, according to Rani Osnat, CTERA's vice president of marketing.
CTERA came on the scene last year with the debut of the CTERA CloudPlug, a local NAS device that works in concert with online hosted storage services to create a hybrid backup infrastructure (see "Startup combines NAS with cloud storage services").
The CloudPlug, which is about the size of the average AC power adapter, turns external USB flash drives into NAS devices with automatic backup capabilities.
The company subsequently launched the CTERA C200 appliance for small businesses and branch offices. The C200 is a two-bay RAID-capable network storage appliance with automatic online backup. It supports dual hot-swappable SATA drives, and automatically backs up clients and servers to the cloud.
The latest version of the company's firmware provides secure remote access to files, local snapshots and support for Active Directory, NFS, iSCSI, the Apple Filing Protocol, Apple Time Machine and Windows shell integration.
The CTERA Portal and version 2.0 of the CloudPlug and C200 firmware are available now. Existing appliance users that are connected to the CTERA service will be upgraded automatically.