The cloud specialist's gateway provides cloud storage access for disaster recovery, backups and archiving. Panzura said it decided to offer the freebie to emphasise that rather than a cheap repository for bits of data, the real value of cloud storage is as a collaborative fabric that connects distributed offices, making them function as a single office.
As the performance, usability, and economics of cloud storage continue to improve, the move to the cloud becomes ever more compelling, according to Panzura. By enabling businesses to continue to use traditional on premises storage protocols while seamlessly moving data to the Google object store in the cloud, Google and Panzura hope to remove the barriers to cloud adoption.
Randy Chou, CEO and co-founder at Panzura, said: "Most industry analysts consider the cloud gateway market as a nascent market.
"Although it is relatively early in market maturity, the cloud gateway market is, in fact, a commodity market whose benefits are subsumed by globally distributed file systems, especially with the advent of global file locking.
"Furthermore, with the 65% drop in the price of cloud storage and the announcement of a 'Moore's Law' pricing strategy going forward, it's apparent that cloud storage will become a commodity. Today we've taken the market for the simple protocol conversion provided by cloud gateways to access cloud storage immediately to zero."
Cloud storage adoption has been hastened by solutions like Panzura's Global File System, which uses patented locking technology to enable cloud storage across a Wide Area Network to behave the same as on-premise storage arrays across a Local Area Network. This allows users in distributed offices to collaborate as though they are in the same room while companies take advantage of the economics of the cloud.
In a recent report, Gartner research director Gene Ruth said: "IT leaders that want a highly collaborative environment beyond FSS (file sync and share) should consider global namespace and file-locking capabilities when selecting a solution. Global namespace enables customers to create a logical structure for multiple storage devices across distributed locations so that the location of a share or file is no longer defined by the physical device that it resides on and helps maintain data integrity. File-locking capabilities ensure that files distributed across locations are protected against data corruption issues that can be caused by simultaneous access."
Chou added: "As demonstrated by our recently announced growth of 1,200% quarter-over-quarter in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction [AEC] market, the real benefit of cloud storage is not the cost savings from disaster recovery, backups and archiving, but rather the cross-office collaboration that is achieved with a global locking file system that connects offices using cloud storage and on-premise controllers.
"Disaster recovery, backups and archiving may help justify the cost of a global locking file system, but collaboration is what drives the need for cloud storage."