Panzura, AWS Ink Strategic Agreement For Data Management Offering

Sales done jointly with AWS will also go through Panzura’s channel partners, according to Panzura Chairman and CEO Jill Stelfox. ‘Partners don’t actually have to be AWS-certified because we are AWS-certified,’ she tells CRN.


Panzura Chairman and CEO Jill Stelfox

Hybrid architecture data management developer Panzura launched a comprehensive data management offering in conjunction with Amazon Web Services and plans to introduce a new technology aimed at preventing ransomware attacks.

Panzura signed a five-year strategic agreement with AWS where its products will use AWS to deliver the company’s software and services, said Jill Stelfox, chairman and CEO of the San Jose, Calif.-based storage vendor. Under the agreement, all of Panzura’s products will run on AWS or in AWS using the cloud provider’s S3 cloud but also some of its compute and other applications, Stelfox said.

The agreement also includes a go-to-market partnership where the two companies partner on customer accounts, she said.

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“And so it’s a great two-part relationship and significant certainly for us and, we believe, for AWS, which is trying to serve as many of the same customers we serve,” she said.

Panzura is a hybrid multi-cloud data management company, with that management done on data across on-premises, cloud and one or more hyperscaler public clouds, Stelfox said.

By “data management,” Panzura actually provides a lot of storage logistics and data insight, she said.

“In the world of storing and managing data, people have the ability to do things like search and audit—like where’s the file?” she said. “Or who was the last person to make this change? Or who deleted that file? That’s an often-asked question. So search and audit is a part of it.”

Panzura also has an offering called Panzura Data Services that allows businesses to see across everything that’s on Panzura and provide more detailed information, Stelfox said.

“It includes things like governance, are you managing it from a GDPR or a HIPAA perspective, or any of the regulatory requirements?” she said. “One of the reasons a lot of regulated environments use Panzura is that we can tell you whenever there’s a breach in your policy around moving data or files from a place where they should be to shouldn’t be. We can even prevent it. And then it has all kinds of information around what’s good data and bad data related to ransomware and ransomware.”

While the strategic relationship between the two companies is new, Panzura’s Cloud FS technology is already deployed on AWS, Stelfox said.

“Cloud FS has always been able to work between any hyperscaler and on any on-prem hardware,” she said. “What’s different is Panzura data services, our data management platform that sits on top of Cloud FS, has been in Google and it’s now in AWS.”

However, Stelfox said, there are no plans to bring the technology to Microsoft Azure.

“Growing 485 percent since May of 2020 like we did means you have to stay really focused because growing more than that is hard,” she said. “Growing that much is hard. And so we’re trying really to knock things down one at a time. In the case of AWS, we have a lot of joint customers. So it made a ton of sense. The other thing is we’re cleared for the AWS Gov cloud. And in terms of security and cloud, they’ve got the most secure [cloud].”

Panzura is a channel-first company, with approximately 99 percent of sales going through indirect channels, Stelfox said. As a result, sales jointly done with AWS will also go through Panzura’s channel partners, she said.

“Partners don’t actually have to be AWS-certified because we are AWS-certified,” she said.

Going forward, Panzura in January plans to introduce its Panzura Protect anti-ransomware technology via AWS as well, Stelfox said. Panzura Protect uses an AI and machine learning engine that looks at data to determine if some of that data is part of a ransomware attack, identify the type of attack and quickly provide information about the attack, she said.

Howard Wright, vice president and global head of startups at AWS, told CRN that security has been a big part of the AWS Marketplace as it has worked with over 200,000 startups.

“We provide access to our Marketplace, global marketing and our development team,” Wright said. “All of that helps Panzura and other startups get to market faster while providing agility and security. But for a company like Panzura, it’s their intellectual property. We hopefully help accelerate them and get them access to the Marketplace.”

Panzura having a strategic relationship with AWS brings “comfort” to customers looking to work with Panzura, said Neal Terracciano, principal architect at Softchoice, a Toronto-based services, consulting and integration channel partner of both companies.

“For us, it creates a little more conversation with our clients,” Terracciano told CRN. “It broadens the audience for us and helps raise visibility and awareness. It also brings comfort to our clients.”

There is some competition to Panzura on AWS but not a significant amount, Terracciano said.

“But Panzura has a significant benefit that enables clients to move forward and adopt technology around legacy file services and take advantage of it to modernize their storage services and move workloads to the cloud without a lot of risk,” he said. “The Panzura sales team is easy to work with, and we have access to Panzura’s leadership team and CEO, which is something we don’t always get with other vendors. We feel if we run into concerns or need new features, we can work with Panzura.”