Connected Data augments NAS with Transporter Network Storage Connector

The free Connector front-ends a NAS device, allowing the Transporter appliance to sync important files and folders seamlessly to users’ laptops and mobile devices, to overcome NAS’s limitations with mobility.

NAS ConnectorSanta Clara-based Connected Data is introducing its Transporter Network Storage Connector, which extends Transporter’s sync and share ability with NAS systems, providing secure access to mobile data without the need for a VPN.

Connected Data makes appliances which provide the same functionality as Dropbox, and are designed to provide the same kind of user experience. Unlike Dropbox and its cloud competitors, Transporter is a turnkey appliance, designed to have a cheaper TCO than the commercial versions of the cloud products, while providing superior security. The company began by selling $400 appliances into what they anticipated would be the prosumer and small business markets – and then found that enterprises were doing much of the buying. Accordingly, they began to produce product more specifically designed for this market, to be sold through channel partners — 10 TB and 20 TB rackmounted devices that came out last fall, and then 6 TB and 9 TB desktop appliances for remote locations and smaller companies this February.

“We have sold close to 100 enterprise systems in 5-6 months, and have 40,000 active users, including the original products designed for prosumers,” said Tony Hampel, Connected Data’s Senior Director of Product Marketing. “We have a total of 24 PB of storage deployed.” Hampel said a key part of their value proposition is that their appliance is sold entirely with an upfront CAPEX cost, and that break-even time on street price is typically about one year. Since there are no monthly costs, unlike on cloud solutions, after that time they have a major cost advantage.

Hampel said that the Network Storage Connector is intended to strengthen Connected Data’s presence in the enterprise, by making NAS systems more suited to today’s mobile data needs.

“The problem here is that the way users manage data has been evolving with the growth of the public cloud, and the difficulty of VPN for it,” he said. “Users want to use their mobile devices without VPN, but traditional NAS systems are hard to use for mobile access, so users go rogue. Companies have dealt with that by moving data into the public cloud, but then IT loses control of the data.”

The Transporter Storage Connector addresses this issue by allowing the Transporter appliance gives users to sync important files and folders seamlessly to laptops and mobile devices from any location, while the data remains private and secure behind the firewall.

“The DropBox-like UI lets us get rid of VPN.” Hampel said. “We front-end a NAS device, and create a path from Transporter on an existing NAS machine. The users access Transporter, and admins and users can select the folders they want mobile access to without VPN.”

This ability to use the Transporter Storage Connector to set a path provides a great plug and play story, Hampel said.

“It lets customers protect their investments in existing NAS machines, and eliminates the need to go to the cloud for a better user experience,” he said. “It breathes new life into the NAS environment by providing mobile access to users simply by front-ending existing infrastructure. It is a non-destructive addition to the data centre.”

The Transporter Storage Connector will ship on the two rackmount models, the Transporter 75 (the 10 TB) device and the 20 TB Transporter 150. It’s a free feature on new purchases and a free firmware upgrade on appliances that have already been purchased. It is available now.

“The smaller models, the Transporter 15 (6 TB) and Transporter 30 (9 TB) are still selling into the enterprise market, as a low entry device to understand the concepts we are using, but they then purchase the 75 and 150 for greater deployment,” Hampel said.