Panzura targets NAS with Freedom product family

Panzura’s family of three offerings offer progressively more functionality, and all are geared to let customers leverage cloud storage while still having all the performance and features of local storage.

Campbell CA-based Panzura has made reached another stage in its push into the cloud NAS space with the announcement of the Freedom product line. Freedom Archive, Freedom NAS, and Freedom Collaboration add progressively more degrees of hybrid cloud storage functionality, and allow customers to use the cloud rather than NAS to store colder data, without the latency and performance issues associated with the cloud.

When Panzura came out of the gate, it made cloud storage gateways, and as that area become congested, they began to differentiate themselves by emphasizing their strength for collaboration, particularly in the VDI market. In 2016, Panzura embarked on a strategy for their next phase of growth. The original CEO was ousted and Patrick Harr, who had done stints with VMware and HP, was brought in. Harr defined that next stage of growth as broadening Panzura’s markets, particularly into the cloud NAS space. The new Freedom product family is squarely designed to do just that.

“Organizations have been dealing for some time with a massive amount of unstructured data, which is growing out of control,” said Barry Phillips, Panzura’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Much of it hasn’t been touched for long time. At 6 months, only 10 per cent of data is active. So most companies are paying for three copies of vastly growing, and largely cold, unstructured data.”

Phillips said that while Panzura still has some major advantages that no one else has on the collaboration side of things, they also have strong data locality capabilities which are well suited to the unstructured data problem.

“This will appeal to people who don’t have a collaborative use case, but who are tired of capacity planning and overprovisioning,” he stated. “People would love to take advantage of cloud storage, where you just pay for what you use, with no capacity planning. However, there is a problem with latency and performance, and that’s what we solve. We allow organizations to leverage all the goodness of object storage and cloud storage, but have the performance and features of local storage.”

The three solutions all build on each other, so a customer will only have one a time, and upgrading simply requires a new software license.

“They allow a continuity, and add more functionality as you go along,” Phillips noted.

Panzura Freedom Archive, which went into GA in December, is best suited for single sites.

“Freedom Archive is an extremely simple cloud and cache model,” Phillips said. “Many IT organizations now have a mandate to see if they can put things in the cloud before they, and this is a really good way to handle that cloud-first initiative. The machine cache can sit behind an archiving application. It provides high-performance local cache for high speed data ingest, while also giving on demand access to cloud storage for inexpensive archiving.”

Both Freedom NAS and Freedom Collaboration are brand new, and just going into GA. Freedom NAS is designed for multiple sites. Local users have full read-write abilities with the global namespace while users at offsite offices can read data from a central cloud repository. Freedom Collaboration builds upon both Freedom Archive and Freedom NAS, providing full cross-site collaboration of project files regardless of where they are located. It eliminates the need to wait for files to open or sync before receiving instant access to application data. All files are read-write accessible at every site as though on a local, locking filer and all of the data is backed by a central cloud data repository.

All three Freedom products work across all major public cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, and IBM Cloud as well as private cloud object storage providers including IBM and EMC. They are all available now. A free, 30-day trial version of Freedom Archive is available at