Cloud Storage Service Buying Guide

By Drew Robb

Smaller Cloud Storage Providers

The big public cloud providers don’t have it all their own way. Several smaller companies have rolled out object-based high volume storage using a hybrid or private cloud approach, or even piggybacking on the big public cloud providers with value-added services. Here are a few of the options:

Zadara Cube

Zadara Storage has released Zadara Cube, a packaged storage as a service (STaaS). It offers the same performance, reliability and data management features as standard Zadara Storage VPSA arrays, but with simplified provisioning. With fast ordering and configuration via the AWS 1-Click Launch interface, cloud storage managers can use the Zadara Cube for automatic creation of new storage instances. It comes in five flavors including NAS (file) and all-SSD (block) arrays, from 1.6 TB to 30 TB of capacity. It is compatible with Zadara’s private cloud for those desiring hybrid cloud storage.

“It is possible to gain the flexibility and features you want in a cloud-deployed storage application, whether it’s support for file, block or object in a public cloud, private cloud on premise, hybrid or multi-cloud,” said Kevin Liebl, vice president of marketing at Zadara Storage.


Object storage is heavily used by the major cloud providers. Scality’s software-defined storage RING allows users to store and access billions of objects or petabyte-sized objects across standard x86 hardware. It can be used in public and private clouds and is already used to store more than 800 billion objects.

“The concepts of cloud storage and object storage are becoming very closely aligned,” said Jerome Lecat, CEO of Scality. “If we look at the largest cloud storage services on the market today such as AWS S3, Azure Storage and Google Cloud Storage, we see that they support the object storage model for large-scale, unstructured data storage. The main advantages of object storage as a basis for cloud storage include scalability, and the native use of the web HTTP protocol as the mechanism to perform actions against the storage service.”


The premise of SwiftStack is to provide the benefits of the big public cloud storage providers in your own environment. The core engine is OpenStack Swift, which is used to drive private clouds for the likes of Comcast, Time Warner, and Wikipedia, as well as public clouds like Rackspace, NTT and IBM SoftLayer. The latest version includes an integrated load balancer, metadata search, and SwiftStack Drive (an optional desktop client that mounts object storage containers on Mac or Windows desktops).

“Almost any application involving unstructured data can be a good candidate for a private coud, without the control and latency limits of public cloud,” said Joe Arnold, founder and chief product officer, SwiftStack. “Private cloud storage options are beginning to support native file access to their products, enabling migration of workloads to scale-out storage without the need for support of cloud storage APIs in order to get the benefits of cloud storage.”


Nutanix has announced new platform capabilities to mirror the public cloud while retaining enterprise security and control. Acropolis Container Services (ACS) enables containerized applications and emerging microservices architectures to be deployed on the Nutanix platform with persistent storage. Acropolis Block Services (ABS) enables databases running on servers to leverage the Acropolis Distributed Storage Fabric for high performance and availability. All-flash nodes are also available across all Nutanix appliances. This is all part of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform.

“A true enterprise cloud platform delivers a consumer-grade consumption and operations experience across all applications,” said Sunil Potti, chief product & development officer, Nutanix.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on July 07, 2016

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