Storage Soup

Feb 20 2013   1:58PM GMT

Barracuda partners with Drobo to enter online file sharing market

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Barracuda Networks has jumped into the crowded online file sharing pond, and today enlisted Drobo as a partner to help get started.

Barracuda’s Copy cloud file sharing service launched as a private beta last year, and will enter public beta this year. The security/data protection vendor will offer customers of Drobo’s new 5N SMB/prosumer NAS box 5GB of free cloud file storage on Copy. Drobo customers can license additional capacity from Barracuda.

Besides seeding its cloud with potential customers, Barracuda general manager Guy Suter said the partnership can make for a smoother interaction between on-premise and cloud storage.

“To us, the Drobo looks like another device that we synch files to,” he said. “Having local storage and cloud storage interact with each other seamlessly helps your workflow a lot.”

For Drobo, the deal gives its customers a quick way to use the cloud as a complement to the storage inside the box. Erik Pounds, Drobo VP of product management, said he expects customers to embrace the cloud even after they buy on-premise storage. The cloud can serve as backup of critical files.

“A lot of data stored in remote or home offices is inhibited by the four walls of that home or office,” he said. “We’re not afraid of the cloud because the amount of data that needs to be stored and shared is massive. The average data on Drobo storage is 3 TB, so there’s a lot of desire to use both.”

Copy is also available as a standalone service, but Barracuda can use the help from Drobo in making its way among dozens of competitors already in the market, including Dropbox, Box and EMC-owned Syncplicity.

Suter points out the cloud file sharing market is young, and current contenders are still grappling with the best way to serve both users and companies. He said the goals for Copy are to facilitate “easier sharing, and to make it more secure than what’s out there, and company friendly.”

Under the company friendly category, he said Copy gives administrators the ability to create separate areas to keep proprietary company data. “Users can have an area for personal data, but there’s another areas for company data,” he said. “Companies can revoke access to company data.”

Barracuda is known mostly for its firewall products, but it does offer a hybrid backup service based on technology gained when it bought backup software vendor Yosemite Technologies in 2009. Some of that data protection technology is used for Copy.

And you can expect Barracuda to go deeper into data protection. BJ Jenkins joined Barracuda as CEO last October after running EMC’s backup and recovery division.

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