StorageCraft continues vertical solutions strategy with StorageCraft for Education bundle

StorageCraft is now offering a standard bundle with special pricing for the education market. Later this summer, they will also be introducing more complex integrated solutions for their vertical markets as well.

Shridar Subramanian, StorageCraft’s vice president marketing and product management

Back in March, StorageCraft released StorageCraft for Law Enforcement, a solution specifically designed for the law enforcement vertical, to respond to the demands for massively increased storage capability created by increased use of 4K body cams. That solution has done well in the market. Accordingly, StorageCraft has released a second vertically-focused solution, StorageCraft for Education, which is designed to meet the increased storage demands of educational organizations, from K-12 through to higher education.

“We have been selling our OneBlox scale-out distributed object store appliances to the education vertical for quite a while,” said Shridar Subramanian, StorageCraft’s vice president marketing and product management. “It’s a reasonable chunk of our customer base. This includes the entire spectrum from K-12 through to higher education. These would be sold with our partners typically going to the customer site, sizing the deployment, deciding on the drives, and then coming to us with what they needed. It was very much an a la carte system.”

Like the StorageCraft for Law Enforcement offering, StorageCraft for Education is not a distinctly designed and optimized hardware and software package, but is distinguished from standard StorageCraft appliance offerings by the simplicity and the bundled pricing that is provided, rather than the a la carte approach.

“We now have a standard education bundle, and specific bundled pricing,” Subramanian said. “That is what makes the offering distinct – the preconfigured bundle, the special pricing, and the simplicity that this provides for both partners and customers.”

The bundle now being offering is a limited time one. The entry-level “StorageCraft for Education” disaster recovery configuration consists of two StorageCraft OneBlox 4312 appliances, with more than 190TB of effective storage capacity, assuming 3:1 data reduction, and starts at less than $USD38,000. It provides both on-premises storage and off-site remote replication, and can be installed and available in less than fifteen minutes.

“If they need more capacity, they can just add more drives, and the global file system expands automatically and non-disruptively,” Subramanian said. “Today, if they want to put together a more complex solution, to add a hybrid cloud capability or add on data replication, they buy the bundle and add those things on. However, we are taking some interesting steps forward there, and we will have some more interesting solutions by the August 20 time frame.”

This forthcoming late summer announcement will be an integrated solution rather than a bundle, Subramanian said.

“However, we do plan to add similar vertical bundles in the future, because the law enforcement one has had good success,” he said.

The limited time offer extends throughout this buying season.

“This is the time of year when education buyers make many of their buying decisions, so we have brought in this very aggressive offering for this buying cycle,” Subramanian said. “Based on the success of this, we will decide whether we want to continue to have this as a specific bundle.”

Subramanian said that he was very optimistic about this offering’s prospects of success.

“Schools are increasingly moving to rich media, and utilizing different methods of teaching that involve digital content, so the amount of data that they generate is exploding,” he said. “Their legacy systems are really expensive. Many public school districts signed up with the public cloud because of budget constraints, expecting to save a lot of money. But they found it became a big chunk of their budget if they wanted to access the data. Many of them, within two to three years, started bringing the frequently accessed data back, while they left a lot of the colder data sitting in the cloud. We collected these data from those customers who came to us, standardized them, and used them internally.” They indicate that StorageCraft for education can be up to 50 per cent less expensive than the public cloud, over a three year period.

“Districts also benefit from being able to start with a single node and a few drives, and add machines on the fly as capacity needs increase,” Subramanian added. “For a buyer on a tighter budget this is ideal, because they don’t have to pony up a huge amount of dollars up front. We allow customers to buy their own drives without our markups, and that benefits them as well.”