Sphere 3D, a Canadian virtual application and data management software company, took the wraps off SnapCLOUD, a virtual storage platform that extends enterprise network-attached storage (NAS) functionality to the cloud.

Based on the company’s GuardianOS software, which also powers Overland Storage’s SnapServer line of NAS systems, the software allows businesses to use public cloud resources to deliver enterprise file services. Overland Storage is a subsidiary of Sphere 3D.

SnapCLOUD connects with deployments of Overland SnapServer and SnapScale, the company’s clustered NAS product line to unify the management of on-premise and cloud-based NAS capacity. “Whether customers require a public, private or hybrid cloud model, the ability to address their needs for data growth, high-availability, back-up, and disaster recovery has never been easier,” remarked Eric Kelly, CEO of Sphere 3D in a statement.

Features include file-level and block access, snapshots and data replication. SnapCLOUD also includes a bevy of mobile-friendly capabilities, including built in file sync and share, obviating the need for third-party cloud services that can add complexity or run afoul of an organization’s data safekeeping efforts.

On the management front, SnapCLOUD integrates with SnapServer and SnapScale’s web-based orchestration tool, Snap Server Manager. The tool’s control panel can now be used to centrally manage an organization’s physical and virtual storage assets, locally and in the cloud, according to the company.

All told, SnapServer customers can have their new, mobile-friendly hybrid cloud storage infrastructures up and running within minutes, the company claims. SnapCLOUD will work with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing and storage platform when it is released in July. It supports up to 32 terabytes (TB) of SnapCLOUD-managed cloud storage per instance, available in 1 TB increments.

Terri McClure, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, an IT research firm, observed that Sphere 3D’s approach helps customers avoid the tangle of compliance and security issues that can arise when they engage with third parties to build out their hybrid clouds in response to the rise of mobile work styles.

“While many IT organizations want to embrace the cloud, 90 percent of the organizations we surveyed have policies in place that restrict certain types of data from being stored in a third-party cloud,” said McClure in prepared remarks. “These organizations are looking for hybrid cloud solutions to fit these needs, rather than adopting multiple point products.”

SnapCLOUD fits the bills, McClure said. With the introduction of the its SnapCLOUD technology, “Sphere 3D appears to be addressing customers’ needs to be able to centrally manage and deliver all of their enterprise data, regardless of whether it is on premise, in the cloud, or which device employees prefer to use for work,” she asserted.

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