FileShadow, which has key strategic partnerships with IBM and Google, has added a B2B component to their business to provide thin provisioned storage for VDI and DaaS systems.
Provo, Utah-based FileShadow has announced FileShadow for Windows Virtual Desktop, a new service designed to provides thin provisioned storage to companies using virtual desktops and desktops as a service [DaaS], reducing their costs and increasing flexibility.
Founded in 2016, FileShadow started out in the B2C market.
“What we did was built an archiving solution for mere mortals,” said Tyrone Pike, FileShadow’s President and CEO. “In our pasts, as individuals, we had built very large ones, for companies like EMC. But with FileShadow, we entered the business in the prosumer market.”
Their target audience was design-centred professionals who used a lot of storage, like photographers, graphic designers and other creatives.
“In this market, the average prosumer has 4-5 cloud storage accounts – and no idea where stuff is,” Pike said. “We served this market, and built clients for Windows and Mac. What we have done now is announced support for VDI, and the capability to project storage into those environments.”
Pike said that a traditional shortcoming of VDI solutions has been the necessity to bring the storage yourself – on your own data centre or colo.
“Traditionally, companies have dealt with this by placing the VDI in the data centre next to the filers, and mounting the shared storage next to the VDI,” he said. “That makes sense if you have the staff to do it, and the ability to set things up that way. The difficulty is when you need the VDI infrastructure in multiple places.”
Multiple clouds in a hybrid market are a major use case for this.
“The new cloud-based DaaS services need a way to project content into a virtual desktop, and that is what led us to make the move from B2C to B2B,” Pike said.
The FileShadow for Windows Virtual Desktop service aggregates files from multiple cloud sources, including collaboration tools like Box, DropBox and OneDrive, Windows Virtual Desktops, Windows PC and macOS desktops, Drobo networks and direct attached storage devices into one secure, reliable and searchable cloud vault.
“We pull in all this stuff to provide a more holistic way of managing storage, into a highly secure vault we have built,” Pike said.
The vault currently exists on two of the major hyperscale clouds.
“We have two hyperscale partners upstream of us, who are critical to us,” Pike said. “IBM Cloud and IBM Cloud Object Storage is where our vault is. IBM has been making a huge push in the state and local government, which is a major target market for this service, and we have been with them for a long time – since before we started this company.”
While Big Blue is at the more traditional end of FileShadow’s strategic partners, Google is at the other end of the spectrum.
“We have a wild and crazy edge condition of building a transitional solution to move things in,” Pike said. “People have doubts about Google’s storage integrity with back doors, however. So we decided it was better not to fight with customers about this. The result is that we use Wasabi for our vault with Google. It’s a Google integration, but Wasabi is the persistence layer.
“We are forming some very interesting partnerships, and more companies with AWS implementation connections are coming here,” Pike added.
At the other end of the partner scale are solution provider partners.
“The target market for this is what used to be the VAR market – the ones who built systems for SMEs and SMBs,” Pike said. “They serve people who are trying to get out of the IT business like regional governments and county governments, and markets that start at 30 to 50 desktops.
Currently, FileShadow has about half a dozen of these VAR and integrator partners, and are looking for many more.
“This adds another arrow in their quiver,” Pike said. “It provides them with a way to project storage into multiple virtual desktops.”
“Integrators have their own account structure, as does FileShadow, which required a secure way to align the accounts together without harming each other,” said Jeff Loomin FileShadow’s VP of Engineering. “We are working through these, to produce two authentication services, bound together, with single-sign on, but split apart so they still have their own full integrity.”
The FileShadow Service is free of charge for up to 100 GB of data. Subscriptions for FileShadow for Virtual Desktops are available for $USD 25/month for 2TB and each additional terabyte is $10/month.