As it rebrands itself as a hybrid cloud data platform provider, SoftNAS launched three products that it says make it faster and easier to migrate applications to the cloud and provide cloud backup and recovery.
CEO and CTO Rick Braddy founded the software-defined storage startup in 2012. SoftNAS launched its first product, called Cloud NAS, a year later.
The cloud-based object storage supports public clouds — specifically Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure — as well as VMware-hosted private clouds. It allows enterprises to replace hardware-based storage and on-premises network attached storage (NAS), storage area networks (SANs), and file servers with cloud storage.
But over the past few years “we’ve seen this massive explosion of business data,” said John-Marc Clark, VP of product marketing for SoftNAS.
Meanwhile this data is no longer confined to traditional, on-premises data centers as companies increasingly move to the cloud, operating in hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.
“It’s a perfect storm coming together,” Clark said. “And SoftNAS is positioning itself to be the cloud data control layer in the cloud stack. Our roots come from being a NAS filer and we’re evolving to being a hybrid cloud data platform.”
SoftNAS Cloud Data Platform
The three cloud-native software products are SoftNAS Cloud Essentials, SoftNAS Cloud Enterprise, and SoftNAS Cloud Platinum.
“It’s not so much that the three products constitute the cloud data platform, it’s the functionality,” Clark said, explaining that the products’ components make up the company’s cloud data platform.
“We’ve been the harmonizer for storage needs, working across public and private clouds,” Clark said. “Now we’re saying we’re the cloud data control layer in this stack and we have the components that make up a cloud data control layer. You need to be able to store any kind of data. Encryption and core security functionality is key. And also it’s got to be extremely fast.”
The first product — the Essentials object storage software — uses the company’s ObjFast technology, which it claims accelerates input/output (I/O) performance up to 400 percent faster than previous SoftNAS Cloud versions. “It’s almost the same level of performance as block storage but at the object storage price,” Braddy said in an earlier interview.
This product targets secondary data. Use cases include cloud backup, disaster recovery, and cloud archive repositories.
The Enterprise product (formerly called Cloud NAS) is SoftNAS’ mission-critical and primary data storage and management software. It incorporates enterprise-grade NAS features such as cross-zone high availability, dual-controller high availability, deduplication, compression, encryption, thin-provisioning, and scheduled snapshots with rapid rollback.
Its use cases include migration of applications to the cloud (aka lift and shift), data center consolidation, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) enabling applications.
“With SaaS enablement, a number of our customers are being challenged to take existing non-cloud applications and make them look and feel like cloud applications,” Clark said.
The third product, SoftNAS Cloud Platinum, is in beta. This software targets high-performance hybrid cloud computing at petabyte scale. It combines software-defined storage with built-in design and configure hybrid cloud data management.
It uses the company’s patent-pending UltraFast technology, which SoftNAS says increases data transfers speeds up to 20 times faster than standard TCP/IP networks. This means much faster data migrations for cloud backups.
The product also enables IT to lift and shift live data from an on-premises NAS or file server to the AWS, Microsoft Azure, or a VMware-hosted cloud, and then perform a live migration.