Upstart Symform Offers 100GB of Free Cloud Storage

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-07-26 Print this article Print

The 100GB "freemium" offer is aimed at IT professionals, businesses or tech-savvy prosumers to test drive Symform's enterprise-class cloud storage.

Symform, which has an unusual take on the cloud storage marketplace by offering a mix-and-match choice of storing data on local and cloud repositories, will announce on July 27 that for a limited time it is giving new and existing customers 100GB of cloud storage for free.

Even if customers decide they don't want to buy additional storage in the Symform cloud, they will be allowed to keep the 100GB of capacity for as long as they need it, Symform said. Thus, enterprises of all sizes can now access "secure, durable, and highly available decentralized" cloud storage at no cost, Symform said.

"One hundred gigabytes is a huge amount of storage; you can put an awful lot of files in that amount of space," President and co-founder Praerit Garg told eWEEK. "This is our way of showing people what we're all about."

The 100GB "freemium" offer is aimed at IT professionals, businesses or tech-savvy prosumers to test drive Symform's enterprise-class cloud storage, Garg said.

"Our current customers know Symform is a better cloud storage solution because our decentralized model provides more security, speed and redundancy, all at a low price," CEO Matthew Schiltz said. "No other company can offer unlimited storage for a low flat fee. This is a huge advantage over other providers like MozyPro, which charges $600 per year for 100GB, and now Symform is giving that much storage away for free."

Symform positions itself as the first company to break away from the traditional centralized data center cloud storage model. It uses RAID-96 to geographically distribute, encrypt and shred its data, which makes it innately more secure than the centralized models because it eliminates the single point of failure and attack vulnerability. Its home-developed design also enables it to maintain a highly scalable data cloud storage network without the high costs associated with building centralized data centers to accommodate massive data growth, Garg said.

Seattle-based Symform is finding ways to establish itself in an ongoing battle with established competitors like EMC Mozy Pro, Amazon S3, Acronis, i365, CommVault, Box, Dropbox, Carbonite and a list of others.

Besides providing a secure, reliable, easily accessible enterprise cloud storage service, Symform is competing aggressively on pricing by offering unlimited online data storage in the Symform Storage Cloud for a flat fee.  This is rare in this sector.

Secondly, another differentiator is that Symform examines an entire system and looks for unused storage in arrays, PCs and servers that can be used in this mix. This includes storage on other companies' machines in the Symform cloud. The company then connects its customers in an unusual virtual network of hundreds or thousands of systems.

"Thus, the more companies that join up, the more storage is available and the better the economy of scale," Garg said. "The traditional cloud storage model is broken because companies are spending more money every time they need additional storage, when they already have resources in place to back up and protect the data."

"It shouldn't cost $12,000 or more a year to store 2TB in the cloud when you can buy a 2TB drive for $80."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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