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VMblog's Expert Interviews: CTERA Explains Its Latest Edge X Series Solution - Marrying Hyperconverged (HCI) and Multi-cloud Data Management

 

CTERA Networks is a proven global leader in secure edge-to-cloud file services, and the company just recently announced the availability of their CTERA Edge X Series.  The company said its new flagship model represents the industry’s first unified edge solution combining out-of-the-box hyperconvergence and multi-cloud data management.  To find out more, VMblog spoke with industry recognized expert and Chief Strategy Officer at CTERA, Oded Nagel.

VMblog:  We can sense the excitement from CTERA on the recent announcement of the Edge X Series.  You call it a first; the first hyperconverged cloud gateway.  What does it do?

Oded Nagel:  The CTERA Edge X Series is a first-of-its-kind unified edge solution that marries hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) with multi-cloud data management to bring enterprises the best of both worlds. 

The X Series enables enterprises to consolidate a wide range of edge infrastructure - hardware, distributed file services, applications, and more - into a single system that delivers the highest levels of local performance, efficiency, and redundancy.

VMblog:  How big of a deal is this for enterprises?

Nagel:  It's a big deal for enterprises implementing IT modernization and consolidation initiatives.  Multi-cloud data management and HCI are two highly complementary technologies: both deliver significant efficiency, performance, and cost benefits from infrastructure consolidation and centralized management.  Together in a unified system, the Edge X Series delivers everything needed for the distributed enterprise, from built-in edge compute and file services to always-available data and all-flash performance.  

VMblog:  What are the pain points CTERA is addressing?

Nagel:  IT environments are more complex than ever, and enterprises are looking for ways to modernize and simplify how they manage their infrastructures. HCI deployments are a popular approach to consolidating various IT infrastructure, but it remains a challenge to unify edge deployments, ensure secure data access and availability across locations, and comply with data sovereignty and industry regulations.

The CTERA Edge X Series integrates our cloud storage gateway technology with HPE SimpliVity appliances to solve these challenges. First, it allows IT to consolidate servers and applications at the edge into a single hyperconverged system that's easier to manage and is more cost-effective.  Second, the X Series provides end users at edge locations local access to cloud-based file data, and through advanced caching in a global unified namespace, also enables secure movement of data across locations, including multi-cloud environments as desired.

Organizations can sync and tier data from edge locations to core data centers and/or cloud environments through a hyperconverged gateway with a single hardware and software platform to satisfy both compute and file services requirements.

VMblog:  Can you discuss a use case and illustrate how the CTERA Edge X Series will optimize current functionality?

Nagel:  Consider the traditional ROBO (remote or branch office) environment.  Depending on the number of users, there are various paired servers running Tier 1 applications; NAS/file servers (with extra disks on hand to combat unstructured data growth); local servers for network applications; backup appliances; and so on.  The Edge X Series consolidates all these silos into a single system that reduces both costs and IT headaches.  This effect is multiplied at scale, in a distributed enterprise, when IT can consolidate infrastructure across 10s, 100s, and even 1,000s of remote sites into unified ROBO IT systems.

Another great use cases is a VDI environment.  In this case, the CTERA Edge X Series serves as the local storage target for VDI clients and exposes a CIFS connection to user desktops and profiles to deliver a high-performance user file experience.  Additionally, the system's local and cloud deduplication reduces storage capacity requirements, and its multi-cloud data management capabilities enable data tiering offsite. This can drive a massive impact on the ROI of a VDI deployment.

VMblog:  Could you explain the Edge X Series specific architecture?  Does the CTERA solution reside on the level of the VMs?

Nagel:  The Edge X Series is sold as a dual-node/2 x 2U system.  VMware ESXi is included, enabling management of multiple third-party applications, including the CTERA Edge Filer virtual appliance.  The X Series offers triple redundancy for always-available data (all data is synchronized across a pair of highly available local nodes, with additional asynchronous replication to off-site private cloud storage.  See the architecture diagram for further information.

 

VMblog:  What is a typical Edge X Series configuration?  How will it be sold?

Nagel:  CTERA Edge X Series filers are delivered in a 2-node cluster configuration, with options for 9 or 12 SSD drives per node. Usable local caches range from 24 TB to 40 TB (after inline deduplication).  The system delivers 192GB memory, 4x1GbE and 4x10GbE (copper) ethernet connections, and supports up to 5,000 users.

VMblog:  When is the CTERA Edge X Series available?

Nagel:  All configurations of the CTERA Edge X Series are available today.  Visit ctera.com/x-series for more information.

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Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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