Seagate's Cloud Builder Alliance partners continue to make pivotal contributions to cloud storage, offering enterprises cost-effective, high-performing alternatives to proprietary and legacy solutions. Moreover, these vendors are making it increasingly viable for organizations to manage multi-cloud environments, leveraging private infrastructure as needed to maintain security and compliance.

Seagate's partners are also leading contributors to open source initiatives such as OpenStack and the Open Compute Project, which between them are creating new possibilities in how cloud computing software and hardware solutions are designed. Let's look at what some of them were up to this April.

Silicon Mechanics adopts NexentaStor 4.0
Nexenta has long been a leader in the software-defined storage space, providing solutions that empower companies to realize significant savings in hardware procurement. Its most recent release, NexentaStor 4.0, features key improvements such as faster performance, petabyte scalability and reduced failover times, as well as integration with the ilumos kernel, Microsoft Windows, VMware and OpenStack.

NexentaStor is an alternative to hardware-centric storage strategies that can become costly and unwieldy, especially as enterprises have to deal with rising data volumes and oversee analytics projects. Rather than tie buyers to specific appliance-operating system pairings, NexentaStor permits them to run whatever OS they want on their appliances.

Another Seagate partner, Silicon Mechanics, announced in early April that it would be taking up NexentaStor 4.0 The solution will be available on Silicon Mechanics unified storage appliances.

"The latest version of Nexenta reflects the close relationship that Nexenta has with our channel partners and joint customers as we add features and functionality to help businesses save time and money, and eliminate any storage hurdles that they may face," said Don Lopes, director of channel and inside sales at Nexenta. "We will continue to work closely with partners, such as Silicon Mechanics to disrupt the storage market and provide more customers with access to enterprise-quality SDS solutions at a significantly lower cost than legacy storage vendors."

HopTo supports Egnyte file sharing platform
Egnyte's file management platform has garnered increasing interest from enterprises as they move more assets into the cloud. Even as the cost of public cloud storage has precipitously declined in recent months, economics alone aren't enough to make some organizations give up their on-premises systems.

As Egnyte co​-founder and chief executive Vineet Jain noted for VenutreBeat a while back, enterprise cloud storage requires attention to more than just cost – scalability, security and administrative capabilities are also important. Organization aren't going to sacrifice all of that just to save a buck or two.

Enterprise mobility is also becoming a leading concern for many companies. To that end, mobile productivity suite hopTo has confirmed that version 2.2 supports Egnyte's file sharing technology. HopTo already provides access to Microsoft Office documents from cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, all from an iPad application. Integrating with Egnyte enhances the flexibility and security of hopTo, enabling users to safely work on critical documents from anywhere.

"We understand the need for businesses to provide employees with secure access to 100 percent of their files so they can work seamlessly anytime and anywhere," said Rajesh Ram, Egnyte co​-founder and vice president. "This integrated offering gives companies of all sizes the ability to create and edit content from a secure mobile connection, which will give them a true competitive edge in today's always-on and constantly-connected market."

Cloudscaling introduces Cloud Concierge Services to streamline OpenStack enterprise deployments
OpenStack is one of the world's largest and most versatile open source software projects, with thousands of contributors and many leading vendors and service providers on board. To date, however, it has been mostly limited to hyperscale operators, such as co-creator Rackspace Hosting, and financial institutions such as Bank of America.

There's been plenty of discussion of the difficulties of setting up OpenStack, implementations of which have been compared to snowflakes because each one is unique and not bound to a reference architecture. Additionally, OpenStack migrations have had a reputation for being "backbreaking" due to the need to shut down the entire system. The recent Icehouse release was a big step forward on this front, since it incorporates rolling updates and many new features such as the Trove database-as-a-services APIs.

Cloudscaling, a Seagate partner, unveiled its Cloud Concierge Services for OpenStack at the Interop show in Las Vegas. This solution makes OpenStack deployment reliable and predictable. It works with any OpenStack version and can be applied to new clouds built from scratch as well as existing infrastructure.

"Many IT professionals today are unsure how to adopt OpenStack or leverage it for business and IT transformation," said Azmir Mohamed, vice president of products at Cloudscaling. "We created Cloud Concierge to reduce the complexity of deploying OpenStack and enable IT teams to gain the skills and insight required for operating in the modern cloud era. Our Solution Architects take an organization from zero to full-production cloud in less than six months, all at an all-inclusive price with no costly surprises, and in a way that makes sense for their particular business."

Enterprises can work with Cloud Concierge Services all the way from pre-production to post-production. Some of its key capabilities include:

Supermicro shows off new appliances at NAB show
At the National Assembly of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas, Seagate partner Supermicro showed off its NVIDIA Iray Visual Computing Appliance. This product is a 4U SuperServer with 8 GPUs, which together provide cutting-edge performance for pre-rendering of computerized models.

At the same time, Supermicro showcased its 4U FatTwin, SuperBlade solutions, storage servers and high-bandwidth (10Gb Ethernet) top-of-rack switches. Supemicro's offerings have the power, performance and scalability to meet the rapidly evolving needs of media broadcasters, without costing them too much along the way.

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