New Panzura console interface designed to make it easier to manage global cloud storage

The new CloudFS Console provides a Google Maps view of all controllers and connectivity between them, and is intended to further Panzura’s vision of having customers use cloud storage as their primary storage, by making it easier to use.

Panzura CloudFS UI-1

The new Panzura UI

Campbell CA-based cloud storage gateway vendor Panzura has formally announced the availability of its CloudFS Console, which is free to all customers with current support contracts. Panzura says this will make it significantly easier for customers to manage a global file system — and thus make it easier for them to use cloud storage as primary storage.

“We’ve upgraded our console to add a global view of the entire file system,” said Barry Phillips, Panzura’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Customers needed a unified view of all controllers working together. We provide a single name space which looks the same across every single office, and we dedupe across every single file in every tier of storage at every location. Customers needed a single view of that with the ability to drill into each controller as a separate piece.”

Panzura enables cross-site collaboration between controllers , separating metadata from file data, and sending it to each controller, which makes every file seem local. Customers use them for hot data, and have the theoretical capability to use the cloud for all their storage. The new UI makes it easier for them to actually DO this however, by providing a unified, global view of their unstructured file data.

“People think of cloud storage as the data you DON’T use, but we catch the files that you are using, and in that sense, we are pushing the envelope,” Phillips said.

The CloudFS Console is Google Maps-based, providing a Google Maps view of all controllers and connectivity between them. It gives the ability to view activity, status and alerts going back in time up to 14 days across the entire Panzura deployment. It is facilitated by a sophisticated statistics collection system within the product that compiles all the data from across the controllers to present that information, which was added into the product about a year ago.

Phillips said the new console’s ease of management will encourage more customers to use cloud storage as their primary storage just by making it easier to use, thus allowing them to capitalize on what they can clearly see is an inexorable trend to the cloud.

“Customers read about these things,” he said. “They see that on-prem NetApp went from 2 to 6 in the market while AWS went from 6 to 2. They  understand you can’t compete with the scale and economics of the cloud, and people are tired of being on the enterprise storage treadmill. The cloud hasn’t had the enterprise performance and features they want, but we enable them to use it as their primary file storage without sacrificing features and performance.”

The new console came into production through a soft launch and a third of Panzura’s customers already have it.

“There is really no downside to deploying it, but rather a lot of benefits,” said Dan Boggs, Director of Product Management at Panzura. “Some customers do, however, have a more methodical rollout process than others, and so have not deployed it yet.

The new UI is also a big deal for partners, even though they won’t make money directly off it.

“We have a lot of different type of partners, which include  a lot of AutoDesk resellers, and this global view of a global file system helps them because it’s much more helpful to be able to show this view than the individual locations,” Phillips said. “Most infrastructure VARs see the writing on the wall, see the rise of AWS and Azure, and know they have to be able to make money off the cloud as well as infrastructure, and this helps them do that.

“This can help the VAR from a sales perspective because some people are visual learners,” Boggs said. “It makes an abstract concept very tangible and real, especially for someone who may not be that familiar with technology.”