Cloudian’s latest offering — a managed service provider (MSP) program — targets two lucrative markets: cloud storage and managed cloud services. It enables MSPs to offer cloud storage and services such as data management and disaster recovery built on Cloudian’s S3-based storage.
Within the public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market, cloud storage services revenues are expected to reach $20 billion in 2019, and more than double to $44 billion in the next three years, according to IDC.
Cloudian’s platform stores object and file data across on-premises data centers and in public clouds in a unified manner. In August 2018, the company closed a $94 million Series E funding round, bringing its total haul to $173 million.
“Since then, we’ve had some great momentum in the marketplace and S3-based object storage has really accelerated in its adoption,” said Jon Toor, chief marketing officer at Cloudian. His company’s seen significant momentum, too, he added. “We’ve now passed 300 customers in our deployments, and about one-third are services providers, which is part of the impetus to what we’re doing today.”
These service provider customers range from well-stablished MSPs, to value-added resellers (VARs) moving into the MSP sector, to startups that want a piece of the market. One Cloudian customer, Florida-based Hayes, got its start as an MSP because the state needed storage that would stay within the Florida lines, Toor said.
Hayes uses Cloudian’s HyperStore platform as the foundation for its ProtectCloud service because the storage provider’s S3 compatibility gives it “the flexibility to fully support our customers whether they want to keep all their data with us, retain some of it on premises in a hybrid cloud model, or have us integrate with another cloud service such as AWS Glacier” cold storage, said Jeff Chaffin, director of cloud and sales operations at Hayes, in a statement.
The new MSP program helps service providers do two things, Toor said. “One is just to get up and running faster,” he said. In addition to providing the infrastructure for scalable storage, this includes integrated management tools such as billing and quality of service controls; consumption-based pricing; online training and support; multi-tenancy options; and choice of configurations including software-defined storage (SDS) and pre-configured appliances.
The second thing: “we’re making our ecosystem of alliance partners available to them,” Toor said. Partners include Cisco, Commvault, Nutanix, Pure Storage, Rubrik, Splunk, Veeam, and Veritas. Cloudian’s MSP program customers are ensured compatibility with technology partners’ software for data protection, big data, backup, archive, and data management.
“Our MSP customers can get aligned with those partners so they can offer their software-as-a-service,” Toor said. “If you want to offer backup-as-a-service, for example, you can work with every backup vendor your customer is likely to prefer, whether Rubrik or Veeam or Veritas, and you can provide them with a target that will plug and play with that [vendor’s] software.”
Big data-as-a-service is another use case that MSPs can offer using Splunk’s software, Toor said. “Splunk is being very widely adopted. Now Splunk has an S3 connector so you can direct that into an S3 repository and you’ve opened up another line of sales. Instead of saying ‘we’re yet another S3 service,’ you can say ‘we’re big data-as-a-service.’”
Similarly, Pure Storage offers an S3 connector for its flagship flash-storage arra, so MSPs can use Cloudian’s partner program to snapshot data from a Pure Storage array directly to an S3 storage location.