PROMISE Technology launches FileCruiser private cloud solution

The long-time maker of RAID controllers and subsystems embarks on its first venture in the cloud, and its first software application venture, with plans to expand it into a hybrid cloud offering.

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FileCruiser on a smartphone

Taiwanese-based PROMISE Technology, a long-time maker of RAID controllers and subsystems, has charted new terrain with the unveiling of its FileCruiser Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution. It is designed to allow both enterprises and SMBs to build their own private cloud storage service.

“FileCruiser is PROMISE’s first venture in the cloud, and our first software application venture,” said Elaine Kwok, Product Marketing Manager at PROMISE.

FileCruiser is clearly a move outside PROMISE’s long-time area of focus, but it was a move Kwok said the company needed to make.

”We were always looking for new ways to grow, looking for new markets, and looking for new ways to embellish commodity hardware,” she said.

The software used in FileCruiser was developed in-house by PROMISE, from the assets of a Taiwanese company they acquired. It functions like Dropbox, with more sophisticated access permissions for specific permissions rather than one big bucket, and has greater ability to scale. It is, however, entirely deployed on the customer’s premises, unlike Dropbox and other FSS services. All hardware and data thus remain in the in the user’s physical location.

FileCruiser deals with the BYOD issue, intelligently syncing files across all of a user’s devices, and giving anytime, anywhere data access. It has an app for both iOS and Android. It also offers FTP replacement for file sharing, team collaboration tools and email attachment integration. Kwok said that FileCruiser supports up to 10,000 accounts easily, and gives IT administrators control by allowing them to set limits on the size and types of files users can upload and sync.

“It is good for SMBs and small workgroups, and for mid-size enterprises,” she said. A university would be an ideal customer, where it would want to share relatively small files with the student body, although FileCruiser can sync large-sized files as well.

FileCruiser can be deployed on multiple hardware platforms, including a 3U-16 bay Intel x86 server-storage appliance, which is suitable to be deployed by SMBs. In addition, if performance demands it, FileCruiser can be implemented on multiple Intel x86 1U servers connected to PROMISE storage.

Kwok said that FileCruiser will be extremely price competitive.

“What’s key to making it cost-efficient is it is a perpetual license,” she said.

While right now, FileCruiser is a pure private cloud offering, there are plans to expand it.

“Going forward for the next quarter we will support Amazon, and will become a hybrid cloud solution,” Kwok said.

FileCruiser is just the first of a series of cloud-based solutions PROMISE has on the road map to address rapidly expanding data storage and access needs for businesses and organizations. Next on the road map is the PROMISE H1970, the company’s first scale-out cloud storage appliance for Virtual SAN, which is planned for release this fall. It consists of 70 hard disk bays with two independent server nodes that provide high availability, high storage capacity and high networking throughput. When combined with VMware Virtual SAN technology, the H1970 can consolidate free disk space in different servers into one virtual storage pool and can be used as a VDI appliance and Virtual Appliance.

“We believe the H1970 will be deployed mainly for Big Data analytics,” Kwok said. “It will also be sold primarily through our OEM channel, but there may be niche channel partners who are interested too. In the long term though, the channel will benefit from this because this virtual storage approach is the road map for our next generation of products. That versatility with virtual storage pools is something we are looking at across all our storage systems.”