FreeStor, a unified data services and storage management offering from FalconStor, is making it easier and more cost-effective for customers to extend their storage environments to the public cloud.

Today, the company announced an array of new enhancements, including a new, more predictable pricing model. Formerly, the company changed for all of the capacity under FreeStor management at a rate of approximately three cents per gigabyte per month, according to Tim Sheets, vice president of Global Marketing and Enablement at FalconStor.

Now, FalconStor is “only charging for the primary copy of the data being managed by Freestor,” not the total amount of storage capacity consumed by replicated copies and the like, Sheets told InfoStor. The new pricing plan better aligns with FreeStor’s aim of helping organizations flexibly and economically use the public cloud for their enterprise storage workloads by lowering the costs of data migrations – a particularly common cause of sticker shock for cloud customers according to Sheets – and keeping copies of data for disaster recovery and long-term retention purposes.

To further enable seamless hybrid-cloud storage management for businesses, the company has added cloud connectors for the leading public cloud infrastructure providers, said Sheets. FreeStor supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Google, IBM Softlayer and Oracle, along with OpenStack and all the major hypervisors, he assured.

Moreover, IT departments don’t have to disrupt their tried-and-true workflows, added Sheets. Storage admins don’t “have to figure out a new set of gateways,” Sheets said. “It enables them to use the common set of tools they’re already using on premise.”

In a move that improves the security and compliance capabilities of multi-tenant cloud environments, FreeStor features integrations with Microsoft Active Directory and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), allowing organizations to securely access and audit their cloud storage resources. Building on its existing analytics capabilities, the platform offers insights that enable organizations to optimize their hybrid-cloud storage setups and proactively manage of service-level agreements (SLAs).

Behind the scenes, FreeStor includes several new enhancements, including NVMe support for complaint flash storage components. Other performance-enhancing tweaks include the company’s application acceleration and workload portability technologies and Linux 7 compatibility.

“Storage is a vital component of any cloud infrastructure whether it’s private, public or hybrid,” remarked Gary Quinn, president, and CEO of FalconStor, in a statement. “All organizations, including CSPs [cloud service providers], need to unlock on-premises enterprise storage to support their cloud journey and create the data centers of the future.”