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Start-Up’s Profile: Ctera Networks

With the smallest NAS never seen
By Jean-Jacques Maleval on 2010.10.04

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Company
Ctera Networks

Headquarters
Petach Tikva, Israel and Palo Alto, CA, offices in Madrid, Spain and Milan, Italy

Born in
2008

Financial Funding
First undisclosed financial rounds in 2008 and then 2009; privately-held company backed by Benchmark Capital

Main executives
Founders Liran Eshel, CEO, and Zohar Kaufman, VP R&D,
are seasoned entrepreneurs and software pioneers who previously led
SofaWare Technologies, a Check Point company, from early incubation to a
prime position in the small business network security appliance market,
partnering with the likes of Nokia, D-Link and Toshiba.

Number of employees
20

Technology

Ctera's Cloud Attached Storage technology combines hybrid cloud and
local storage, data protection, and collaboration in a simple, centrally
managed appliance-based solution. It protects PCs, roaming laptops and
servers with backup at both the disk and file level, stored both locally
and in the cloud.

startup_profile_ctera_networks

The Ctera Portal is a cloud service delivery platform that allows VARs
and MSPs to use their choice of cloud infrastructure (private or public
cloud) to create their own branded cloud storage and data protection
service, including service plan creation, provisioning, user account
management, billing, remote appliance management and integration
with third-party applications.

Products
Cloud Attached Storage consists of a line of hybrid appliances,
CloudPlug, C200 and C400, and a cloud services delivery platform, the
Portal, available in both SaaS and datacenter editions.
CloudPlug:
A tiny device that converts any external USB/eSATA drive into NAS with
secure cloud backup, remote access and collaboration services, and
allowing to share and synchronize files on local network, with one GbE
port, AES-256 encryption, incremental updates, compression, block-level
de-dupe, multiple snapshot capability. It also offers bare metal and
Microsoft server applications backup with agents.

startup_profile_ctera_networks_der_540
    CloudPlug, C200 and C400

C200: RAID-0/1 appliance with the same functionalities supporting two 3.5-inch hot swap SATA drives, two USB 2.0 HDDs.
C400: RAID-0/1/5/6 appliance with four 3.5-inch SATA drives, two external USB and two GbE ports.

Prices
On the Ctera' web site, CloudPlug is at $199 with one year online backup service. On its Web site, Statim Storage sells the C200 at $499 without HDDs and with one year of online storage. The C400 retails for $1,499.

Distribution
100% channel focused. Distributors includes Afina, Altimate (formerly
Distrilogie), EPA Systems, H.Y. Group, Interwork Technologies, ITWay,
Seneca and WhiteGold Solutions. Partnership with Mezeo Software.

Number of customers
Thousands

Market
SMBs and enterprise branch offices

Competitors
All NAS manufacturers for home or SMBs

Our Comments

It's incredible to have design a NAS (without HDDs) like CloudPlug into a volume a little bigger than an AC adapter, weighing 300g (10.5oz) and that you plug into the wall with USB 2.0 and eSATA and GbE ports, this latter to be connected to a router and in that way to the Internet. With this box, you can transform an external HDD into a NAS device with automatic backup.

The real competitor of Ctera is Cloud Engines with its Pogoplug (adopted by Seagate under a customized twin dock for HDDs named FreeAgent GoFlex Net costing $100). It's a bigger base unit without HDD and with USB only (but four ports) and no online backup service, but costing only $99.

But the best selling product is not the CloudPlug but the C200, for SMBs, according to the company, the C400 being announced last month.
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