Table of Contents
- Market Categories and Deployment Types
- Key Criteria Comparison
- GigaOm Radar
- Vendor Insights
- Analysts’ Take
- About Max Mortillaro
- About Arjan Timmerman
File storage is a critical component of every hybrid cloud strategy—especially for use cases that support collaboration—and distributed cloud file storage that supports collaboration has become increasingly popular. These solutions are readily available and simple to deploy; they rely on the cloud as their backbone, making them geographically available nearly everywhere; and they are easy for end users to operate.
From a cost perspective, these solutions can also help organizations shift from a capital expenditure (CapEx) cost model to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model. Buyers no longer need to purchase infrastructure upfront for multiple physical locations and can instead pay only for the capacity they actually use without making massive investments.
The other major advantage of distributed cloud file storage is its ubiquity, which makes it perfect for remote work. Remote work was already on the rise before the global COVID-19 pandemic, but sudden, drastic measures taken to protect public health have had a significant lingering impact on everyday logistics for organizations and workers. In 2020, remote collaboration was suddenly no longer a matter of choice or policy, and organizations quickly needed to find ways to do it better. Although the worst stages of the pandemic seem to be over, its positive impact on work habits is a lasting one, along with the continuing need for remote data access.
The classic hub-and-spoke architecture that remote workers use to connect to their corporate network and access files on network-attached storage (NAS) is no longer scalable. Data must now be available everywhere, instantly and securely, and protected against threats such as ransomware. Organizations also need clear insights into their data: what data is generated, by whom, and how fast the footprint is increasing. They need clear visibility into the cost impact of data growth, ways to manage and clean up stale data, and the means to observe and take action in response to abnormal activities.
While distributed cloud file storage tenets are well-established and most solutions offer a solid distributed architecture, new challenges continue to arise. The most immediate of those are ransomware and other advanced threats, which can cause widespread chaos and irreparable damage to organizations. Already a hot topic last year, effective ransomware protection is becoming critical and requires not only foundational capabilities such as immutable snapshots from which organizations can recover data, but also proactive detection and mitigation of malicious activity.
Regulatory constraints also impact data governance. Consumer protection laws such as GDPR and CCPA give customers greater control over their data and impact the ways organizations manage that data.
Nation-states are also starting to understand that data is a strategic asset and are starting to impose strict data sovereignty regulations that require data assets to be physically stored within the given country’s boundaries. Data needs to be tracked, classified, and treated appropriately in order to comply with regulatory bodies of both governments and industries.
This is our fourth year evaluating the cloud file space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.
This GigaOm Radar report highlights key distributed cloud file storage vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating Cloud File Storage Solutions,” we describe in more detail the capabilities and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.
All solutions included in this Radar report meet the following table stakes—capabilities widely adopted and well implemented in the sector:
- Reliability and integrity
- Basic security
- Access methods
- Kubernetes support
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.