Connected Data has expanded its Transporter portfolio of private cloud file-sharing appliances for business users with the ability to link to existing network attached storage (NAS) assets that the organisation already owns and share the data stored on these.
Due to be available from 22 June, the Network Storage Connector will be delivered as a feature in Connected Data's Transporter 75 and Transporter 150 private cloud appliances aimed at enterprise customers. It will also be available as a firmware update for existing users.
The Transporter portfolio includes consumer and business products, but Connected Data said it has seen huge demand from the corporate sector since its launch, as the platform offers the file-sharing capabilities of cloud services such as Dropbox, but enables organisations to keep their data on-premise and retain control over it.
The new Network Storage Connector takes this further by making a local area network connection to an existing shared folder on a file server or NAS device and synchronising the data to the Transporter, from where it can be accessed remotely by users working with a variety of endpoint devices including Windows PCs, Macs, iPhone, iPad and Android tablets.
"Network Storage Connector provides secure mobile access for data kept behind the firewall because it connects through a path to an existing NAS or primary network storage device, and [customers] want the ability to leverage existing on-premise infrastructure because they've paid for it," said Tony Hampel, senior director of product marketing for Connected Data.
This provides workers with the convenience and ease of use of a service such as Dropbox, but the data is retained on the organisation's own network where the administrator has control over the encryption keys and who can access the data, the firm said.
However, Connected Data also claims that Transporter is a more cost-effective solution for businesses than using cloud-based storage services. The Transporter devices are named (and priced) according to the maximum number of users each supports, so that the Transporter 150 supports up to 150 users.
Hampel claimed that in each case, the Transporter device would break even in about a year compared with paying for cloud-based storage for the same number of users, as it is a one-off purchase rather than an ongoing expense.
"For a while Opex was all the rage over Capex, but as you add more and more users and more and more storage to a public cloud solution, the monthly subscription fees go up and up and up, so now the Capex model is starting to look a lot better," he said.
Transporter is designed as a scale-out solution that enables customers to add more storage or support more users by adding another appliance. User authentication and access control is managed by linking with corporate directory services such as Active Directory.
The Transporter appliances themselves are powered by Intel Xeon processors and feature dual load-balancing gigabit Ethernet ports.
Prices for the Transporter 75, which features 12TB of raw storage, is €10,669 (£7,700), while the Transporter 150 with 24TB of raw storage costs €20,269 (£14,650).
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