Cirtas, the San Jose based storage company, today announced the general availability of its BlueJet Cloud Storage Controller, an appliance aimed at solving some of the barriers to enterprises adopting cloud storage. As a vote of confidence in the approach, Cirtas announced today that it has secured $10 mill in funding from NEA,Lightspeed Venture Partners and Amazon, interestingly the first time that Amazon has invested in cloud storage startups.
The Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller is touted as a new breed of enterprise-ready cloud storage gateway technology. It joins a number of other products I’ve covered previously that all try to solve the public/private/hybrid cloud conundrum for enterprise – to bring the efficiencies and benefits of the cloud to the enterprise, but without having IT block all moves because of perceived risks. I spoke with Josh Goldstein from Cirtas who articulated the issue succinctly, “cloud storage is not a replacement for enterprise storage” he said.
So how is Cirtas’ approach different? Well in the same way that Google created it’s search appliance in order to bring benefits usually enjoyed outside the firewall to within the fold, so to does the Cirtas appliance try and find a happy point between speed, security, compatibility and capability. In effect it creates an onsite storage array that seamlessly moves data to different cloud storage point depending on specific parameters. All with a dahsboard to control the storage.
The idea that Cirtas is betting on is that enterprise customers will want the ability to use the cloud, but want their combined storage to work like their traditional local storage. The appliance itself combined RAM, SSD and HDD storage with multiple redundancies, adds in a gateway to the cloud and optimizes the cloud storage via integrated WAN optimization.
Obviously Amazon saw something interesting in the Cirtas approach, which is a little surprising given their previous focus on enabling cloud for enterprise via a virtual private cloud approach – it would seem push back from enterprise IT, together with concerns around the lack of optimization for cloud-served storage see them making a bet on an appliance approach to solving this problem.