Enterprise storage delivered on-premises or in the cloud, as a service where you pay only for what you use. That is my one-sentence summary for Zadara. We know that storage management is hard, and multi-cloud storage management is very hard. Zadara’s business is to deliver multi-cloud, enterprise storage as a service. I was surprised to hear that they have product deployed on five continents, that means hardware shipped to and maintained on five continents. All that hardware is on Zadara’s books; their customers are paying a monthly fee based on their consumption and Zadara carries the cost and risk on the hardware.
Zadara is a scale-out storage platform using standard x86 servers with options for hard drives, SSDs, and NVMe flash including Optane. The hardware is shipped to customers; however, customers are only billed for the resources that they use: performance and capacity. Within a scale-out cluster, virtual arrays can be defined that have a dedicated subset of the overall cluster’s physical resources. These virtual arrays have dedicated hardware, so perform very much like a physical array and allow multi-tenant consumption of a larger cluster. Zadara maintains a service control plane that manages every deployed device down to drive level. This global control plane does not have access to customers data on the arrays; the data is encrypted at rest using customer-controlled keys. One unusual new capability is the ability to run Docker containers directly on the storage cluster; I’m sure that will drive some interesting use cases.
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