The lines between primary and secondary storage infrastructures are blurring. Today’s typical backup and disaster recovery workloads require faster performance while production workloads demand growing amounts of capacity. IT requires as consolidated a storage infrastructure as possible for simplicity. At the same time, new compliance requirements and cyber-threats, such as ransomware, place additional demands on storage infrastructures. These demands also include immutability and the ability to comprehensively support a wide range of environments, such as endpoints and physical servers, on backup, archive and disaster recovery implementations.
StorCentric was formed as an equity investment firm in the summer of 2018. In August 2018, it acquired storage array vendors Drobo and Nexsan. Drobo and Nexsan are complementary from the perspective that Drobo targets prosumers and small and midsized businesses (SMBs), whereas Nexsan targets larger-scale enterprises.
Drobo offers a range of scalable direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) systems for backup and for data-intensive production use cases. It differentiates primarily around data protection through its BeyondRAID technology, which provides greater flexibility in terms of protection levels as well as ease of use compared to traditional RAID architectures.
Nexsan offers its E-Series and BEAST block-based backup and recovery systems, its Unity unified and hybrid production systems, and its Assureon archive and long-term retention systems. The portfolio is designed to provide a blend of capacity, high performance and reliability, and density. Recent portfolio developments, including the July 2018 launch of Assureon and Assureon Cloud Transfer technologies, have built on Nexsan’s existing traction in compliance-heavy industries such as healthcare and the public sector. Their focus is on serving new compliance regulations such as the EU GDPR’s right to be forgotten.
StorCentric is keeping the Drobo and Nexsan brands somewhat independent for the sake of more focused portfolio department and go-to-market initiatives (which are conducted primarily through channel partners). At the same time, it is investing in some software interconnect points to better help smaller-scale customers to scale, and to better address enterprise departmental use cases.
StorCentric Acquires Retrospect
StorCentric has now acquired Retrospect, a provider of a data protection software platform for prosumers and small businesses. Retrospect will enhance StorCentric’s ability to deliver comprehensive, bundled storage solutions to prosumers and SMBs. Retrospect facilitates incremental backups and automatic authentication of backup servers. All major operating systems and virtual environments are supported, and the customer can backup applications, endpoints, email services and servers alike. According to Retrospect, it seamlessly integrates with more than twenty cloud storage providers, with upload speeds up to 350 Mbps, and no lock-in. Retrospect also supports data archiving capabilities, including policy-based retention. Restores can be overseen centrally from a single-pane-of-glass management console.
Storage Switzerland will be publishing a separate, more in-depth briefing note regarding the Retrospect portfolio specifically.
It is still early days in terms of its execution. But StorCentric’s approach positions the company to serve a host of organization sizes and industries, as well as storage use cases, well. It accomplishes this by enabling its various acquisitions to continue focusing on serving the markets that they serve well, and developing integration points as appropriate. Blending performance, scalability and reliability was an early focal point of the company. With the acquisition of Retrospect and ongoing portfolio developments – most notably with the continued development of the Assureon line – there will be a deeper focus on continuous data availability as well as data security. StorCentric has a number of developments on its roadmap, including Assureon-based services and blockchain capabilities. These will augment its ability to serve the multi-cloud environments that have become today’s norm, and help IT to better withstand new security threats such as ransomware.