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VMblog's Expert Interviews: CTERA Networks Talks Recent Momentum, the Cloud and Tech Market Trends

CTERA Networks, a global leader in secure enterprise file services, recently announced record results for fiscal year 2017, more than doubling its enterprise software subscription revenue year-over-year. To find out more, I spoke with the company's VP of Global Marketing, Sabo Taylor Diab.

VMblog:  CTERA Networks recently released a momentum release highlighting its achievements over the course of 2017.  What stood out as one of the main factors that kept the momentum on the upswing for the company?

Sabo Taylor Diab:  While the versatility of our platform lends itself to several different verticals and company types, it's the security and performance characteristics of our solution that enable enterprises around the world to modernize their file services infrastructure and delivery.  Security and performance are the two biggest concerns in evaluating cloud-based services.  When it comes to global organizations, and when the adoption of cloud is steadily growing, the need to have a trusted and proven solution that eliminates these challenges is a major factor.  CTERA's platform is built to solve these challenges and enable a seamless and secure cloud adoption for many organizations with priorities on data security and data privacy, and many organizations, like the U.S. Air Force, choose CTERA as the most secure file services platform without scarifying performance. 

VMblog:  One of the items you mention is your "unique position in the market...enabling the transition from legacy to secure cloud based file services."  Tell us more about how CTERA views its role in its target market, and about the problem you are solving for your customers.

Diab:  The challenge CTERA is solving for customers is largely three-fold. 

One, organizations are more highly distributed than ever before, with users based in corporate offices, working from home offices, or traveling and on the road constantly. The challenges here come in the form of: 1) data silos and lack of centralized management, 2) access to the data from anywhere 3) file collaboration around different users and different sites, 4) and protecting that data so any type of user or office can recover from any data loss event.

Two is security and data governance: CTERA's technology answers modern data security and data privacy questions, such as: how can enterprises avoid the data breaches that occur seemingly every day?  How can they ensure their data is never exposed to even a third-party cloud service provider, or co-mingled with another customer's data in the cloud?  How can they ensure certain types of files never leave the organization?

Three is performance: it's great if you can replace a legacy NAS or file collaboration method with a modern cloud-based solution, but can you ensure the same levels of file access speed and rely on the network performance?  Modern file services solutions are typically reliant on the WAN, but your users demand LAN speed access to keep their existing levels of productivity.

CTERA comes in with a unified platform that enables global organizations to solve these challenges.  CTERA's software-defined file stack combines with any cloud or object storage service to form a petabyte-scale global file system that provides enterprises with the security, performance and productivity across public, hybrid or on-prem cloud environments. Corporate users can securely access the service from any location and from any device using CTERA's smart edge connectors that perform end-to-end encryption and source-based deduplication for maximum network efficiency.  We enable the transition from legacy infrastructure and provide immediate business values to organizations that seek global collaboration with unprecedented security and data protection, and with no penalty on performance.

VMblog:  It's a different world from when you were founded ten years ago - especially with regard to the cloud.  How has the ubiquitous enterprise adoption of the cloud impacted your offerings and customer acquisition?  

Diab:  Cloud has become a critical component of modern-enterprise IT strategy, but customer requirements are evolving along with their expectations for secure and accelerated file services solutions.  That's why we've introduced new features and teamed up with leading technology partners to make it easier than ever for organizations around the globe to adopt cloud.  For example, in our most recent platform release, we added the ability to seamlessly migrate existing ACLs from legacy infrastructure, which means the same file permissions and system structures can be carried over to our modern solution. It might not seem overly significant, but it was a big deal to our enterprise customers who had 10-20 years of file access rights tied up in their legacy systems.  We also added certification for FIPS 140-2, which is important to our federal customers who require the highest levels of data encryption in file services.  We work closely with our customers to provide them with a platform that grants the modernization of their file services strategies.

VMblog:  Could you highlight some of CTERA's major wins (customer or industry recognition) for 2017?

Diab:  Most of our customer base consists of some of the most security-driven organizations in the world that we cannot share publicly.  But there were many notable wins, one of them being McDonald's, where CTERA was selected to power the cloud modernization initiatives at the restaurant giant's new headquarters in Chicago.

CTERA also was recognized in 2017 by the leading industry analysts, including Gartner, IDC, and Forrester. CTERA was mentioned as a selected vendor in Gartner reports across multiple categories, including cloud storage gateways, enterprise endpoint backup, integrated backup appliances and information dispersal algorithms, and was named by Gartner to the 2017 Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms.

VMblog:  We see you released a significant upgrade of your Enterprise File Services Platform in 2017.  Is there any news you can hint at that is upcoming for 2018?

Diab:  The release of CTERA 6.0 in 2017 was an important milestone for us, as we added caching technology to both our edge appliances and our endpoint clients, thus delivering the industry's first hybrid access model for a global file system. It's the only solution that provides both remote users and office environments access to centralized files in the cloud while always optimizing file server and endpoint access speed. Looking ahead in 2018, we'll announce further enhancements to the platform that world-leading customers are seeking as they move further on their Cloud journey.

VMblog:  What are your expectations for tech market trends, as they pertain to CTERA, for 2018?

Diab:  According to many market research reports, the adoption of the cloud for enterprises is moving beyond experimental phases to deeply strategic deployments. At the same time, the data generated in enterprises mostly resides at the edge, outside of the cloud, especially those coming from machine or the more common name, "Things."  I believe organizations will be looking more for tools that allow them to gain control of the growing amounts of unstructured data and collect them securely in the cloud but yet stay compliant with all of the data regulations popping up around the world.


Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President of Global Marketing at CTERA Networks, has more than 20 years of experience in leading the penetration of markets for medium and large startups. Prior to joining the team in CTERA, Sabo acted as vice president of international marketing at INFINIDAT , where he took major part in building and developing the GTM strategy for the company. His studies of marketing and communications took place in Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and Goldsmith University of London, UK. 

Published Friday, March 16, 2018 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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VMblog's Expert Interviews: CTERA Networks Talks Recent Momentum, the Cloud and Tech Market Trends - EMC VMAX - (Author's Link) - March 17, 2018 2:27 PM
VMblog's Expert Interviews: CTERA Networks Talks Recent Momentum, the Cloud and Tech Market Trends - EMC VMAX - (Author's Link) - March 17, 2018 2:27 PM
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