As enterprises large and small look at cloud-based data storage services to augment their IT systems, they are discovering there are a great many choices of providers from which to choose. And they may not have heard of most of them.

Three-year-old new-gen vendor Zadara Storage might be one of those, not being a household brand name, yet it offers a level of service that nobody else has. The Irvine, Calif.-based provider of enterprise-grade private cloud storage on Oct. 23 launched its Virtual Private Storage Array service that provides a unified storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) cloud service.

The VPSA Enterprise Suite adds data center-grade SAN and NAS features that were previously unavailable in the cloud through any vendor. Zadara, through a colocation arrangement in partnership with well-known service providers Amazon Web Services, Equinix and Dimension Data, claims to be the first storage company to support Tier 1 primary storage for low-latency, high-IOPS applications such as databases and CRM in the cloud on dedicated drives, using virtual controllers and separated networking.

These features, previously available only in physical data centers, now can be obtained via cloud subscription and deployed as a private or hybrid cloud, dedicated colocation package or as a service provider offering.

Feature attributes of Zadara include:

–data protection options that include snapshots, clones and remote mirrors for enhanced business continuity;
–low-impact snapshots for quick and easy data protection and recovery;
–customized snapshot creation policies, allowing users to create data protection policies tailored to their specific business requirements;
–remote mirroring for disaster recovery and multi-geography collaboration;
–repository storage with high performance, for big data and media needs that fall in the middle ground between primary active and archival storage, using Zadara’s large repository drives colocated at AWS data centers around the world.

Zadara’s storage-as-a-service offering is available on AWS in the United States, Japan and in Europe, as well as at Equinix and Dimension Data Cloud (formerly OpSource) data centers in the United States.

Zadara enables customers to assemble their own storage configuration. IT managers choose the drives and controllers they need and can provision and change them online in minutes, managing them from a private, Web-based management console.

“First it was the server business, then it was networking, and now the staid world of data storage is being shaken up with dramatically better paradigms driven by the cloud,” said Ben Woo, longtime storage industry analyst and principal at Neuralytix.

“Zadara’s offering addresses a corner of the market for primary storage in the cloud that no one else has touched to date, with “as-a-service” features that make anyone who knows storage do a double-take. This is definitely a company to watch.”