Credit Unions Gain New Managed Storage Choice

By Doug Barney

Credit Unions looking for a new approach to storage can toss out their file servers and tape backup systems, or so says new partners Bluepoint Solutions and CTERA Networks.

CTERA is cloud storage company, while Bluepoint specializes in serving financial institutions with content management and payment tools, and will now offer CTERA gear and services to its customers, of which Bluepoint counts some 1,400.

CTRERA offers a hybrid cloud storage system that exploits the company’s cloud storage gateway appliances. These NAS appliances protect data by combing local storage with backup in the cloud, which is how customers can ditch their tape.

CTERA uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud provider.

Under the system, local storage is ideal for sharing data and offers solid performance, and is operated with the help of managed agents. The cloud tier not only offers offsite backup, but allows users to get their data from anywhere.  

Some hybrid cloud storage solutions just use the cloud for backup, but not end-user data access.

"Our customers require high standards of data protection and fast recovery in the event of a catastrophe or equipment failure," said Andrew Tilbury, CMO at Bluepoint Solutions. "Until recently, robust backup and recovery solutions were expensive and complex, and tape does not provide the reliability our customers need. Now we provide a service that replaces both tape backup and file servers in a single, cost-effective and robust solution."

Credit Union Needs

As financial institutions, credit unions have an astonishing array of regulations to meet. Storage is critical to insuring that key records are saved, and secure storage is critical to insuring that key records are kept private.

Unlike their larger banking brethren, credit unions tend to be small, with fewer employees and smaller IT staffs. That’s where managed services come in. The MSP replaces the need for dedicated IT resources, at least in part, and should keep the data safe and secure.

A number of MSPs provide specialized services for banks and credit unions. One such provider is Computer Services Inc., which can secure, support and monitor banks’ technology infrastructure over the cloud.

CSI revenue grew 4.2 percent in its latest quarter to $49.6 million.

Two years ago, it bought Heit, an MSP already aimed at financial institutions.

The market, at least as far as Gartner is concerned, is blowing wind in the partners’ sails. Public cloud services are poised to grow nearly 50 percent annually through next year, with financial services being one of the biggest buyers.

Trouble with Tape

Tape has traditionally ruled the backup roost. But the storage market is changing fast. Not only is tape not the cheapest way to go; its pricing problems help bring to light other concerns such as long backup windows, and the fact that data is not always recoverable from tape.

Recently, ATA drives, which are cheap and fast, have replaced tape in many shops. But the cloud is better for many because you no longer have to manage the physical storage infrastructure.

Partners are pushing the latter. "Our hybrid architecture and ability to work seamlessly on Amazon's S3 cloud storage infrastructure enabled Bluepoint to deliver a secure, optimized and cost-effective solution to this demanding market," said Clay Rogers, director of channel development at CTERA.

Edited by Braden Becker

MSPToday Editor at Large

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