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Panzura controller, OS updates extend cloud options

The new Panzura controller has a bigger cache and an improved operating system with enterprise features. Hybrid Cloud Controller model also offers new enterprise support options.

Panzura has launched a new Hybrid Cloud Controller model, beefed up its software with additional enterprise features and public cloud support options, and introduced a new support program.

The Campbell, Calif., company's products are designed to help IT departments replace their NAS or file systems using cloud storage, as well as to reduce the networking infrastructure required for replication.

Panzura's Global File System (GFS) runs on its Hybrid Cloud Controller. The vendor sells its controller three ways: as a hardware appliance, as software that can run as a virtual machine (VM) on customer-supplied hardware and as software that runs as a compute instance in the cloud.

The new Panzura GFS-5550 hardware appliance is part of the 5000 Series. The GFS-5550 introduces 1.6 TB SSDs and offers a maximum raw capacity of 38.4 TB to cache active data and metadata for the cloud-based object storage. Barry Phillips, Panzura's chief marketing officer, estimated the minimum usable cache capacity at 16 TB after data protection.

He said the system requires SSDs for metadata, but customers can choose SSDs or hard disk drives for active data. Most purchase all-SSD machines, he added. Customers can also buy internal expansion packs and additional shelves for external expansion.

"Once you size these controllers correctly, essentially all your growth happens inside object storage, which is less expensive than on-prem and ever-expanding," Phillips said.

The GFS-5550, the largest available model, has the potential to address a total object storage footprint of 3 PB of active and inactive data with a single Panzura controller, according to the company.

A CPU upgrade to all GFS models -- the 5100, 5300, 5500 and 5550 -- provides a performance improvement, resulting in a throughput increase of 40%, according to Panzura. Phillips said the CPU upgrade speeds the encryption and decryption process. The Panzura controller is Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2-certified, with AES-256 bit encryption.

Virtual Panzura controller expands cache limit

Panzura also updated the Hybrid Cloud Controller's operating system to address the needs of larger customers. The company increased the maximum cache size for the largest VM controller to 36 TB, a 350% increase over the prior limit of 8 TB for the GFS-VM model.

"We continue to see more and more interest in the use of public cloud services. However, I see organizations still need the performance of on-premises infrastructure," said Scott Sinclair, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass. "So, a solution that's able to blend those two capabilities together in a simple deployment model definitely creates a tremendous amount of value."

Sinclair cited Nasuni as a chief competitor to Panzura.

New OS features

Panzura's new 6.3 version of the OS also simplifies high-availability failback to assist with disaster recovery planning. Another new feature is single-pane-of-glass analytics for storage, network and performance monitoring.

With the OS update, Panzura added support for IBM Cloud, IBM Cloud Object Storage and Dell Technologies' Virtustream. The new version also lets customers write to multiple cloud storage providers.

On the product-support front, Panzura is adding a new Technical Account Manager program to provide planning and operational assistance to enterprise customers. The TAM would serve as a liaison to Panzura's internal technical teams and resources, monitor the customer's controllers, and oversee all support activity.

Pricing was unavailable by publication time for Panzura's new products and services.

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