Dan's Take

The 'Promise' of Safe, Secure Cloud Storage

Promise Technology thinks it has a better way.

Vijay T. Char, President of Promise Technology USA, came by to introduce his company, discuss high-performance storage and the promise of personal cloud storage.

Promise Technology is a supplier of high-performance RAID and other types of specialized storage products. Founded in 1988, the company has been focused on the development of storage for the entertainment industry, small to medium businesses, and Thunderbolt-enabled storage for Mac users. The company's focus on film and media storage and editing required that it learn, early on, how to create storage devices that perform well for editing and media sharing purposes.

What Is Apollo?
The company recently announced Apollo, a storage device designed to work with smartphones, tablets and both Windows and OS X-based laptops. The goal, according to Promise, is making it easy to manage photos, videos, documents and other data. The company understands that as technology evolves, it's likely that these files will both increase in size and number.

Apollo is a small (143x190x61 mm/5.6x7.5x2.4") device that houses a 4 TB 3.5" SATA drive.  Access to this device is managed by software making it possible for organizations or individuals to create lists of "members" and control what and how these members store and share information. By keeping the device inside the company's own firewall, customers can control who accesses the data and when.

It's necessary for members to install an Apollo App to access the device. The Apollo App is available for Windows, OS X, iOS and Android devices.

Dan's Take: What To Do When Available Cloud Storage Options Aren't Secure or Private Enough?
After having spoken to the folks of Nexsan (see Unified Storage That Can Sync and Share for more information about that conversation) and trying out one of their "Transporters," I've been looking at options designed to allow individuals, staff of mid-market companies or remote or branch offices of larger firms, to privately and securely share documents, presentations, spreadsheets and so on.

It's become clear that the available public cloud storage services, such as Apple's iCloud, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive may not satisfy some customer requirements for security or privacy.

When Kusnetzky Group analysts have conversations with customer executives, the topics of privacy and security often arise. These customers are often concerned about issues such as:

  • Who at the cloud service supplier is allowed access to their data and for what purpose

  • How the supplier is protecting their data

  • Whether storing proprietary or customer data in the cloud service would make it difficult for them to meet regulatory requirements or to meet their own data governance obligations.

Promise and several other "private cloud storage" suppliers are addressing this concern by placing the storage directly in the hands (and datacenters) of their customers. While this means that the customer is responsible for backup, recovery and other administrative tasks, the customer knows where and how data is being stored and who has access to it. I've persuaded Promise to provide one of their personal cloud storage devices and will write about my experience using the device.

If your organization needs to share files, documents, spreadsheets, presentations and the like and are concerned about the security and privacy provided by public cloud suppliers, it would be worth speaking with Promise about Apollo.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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