Network-Attached Storage also known as NAS was first started in the early 1980s by Brian Randell and his colleagues at Newcastle University. Since then, NAS has been growing by leaps and bounds only to give a better experience to the users. One company which has mastered the art of delivering quality solutions for NAS devices over the years is ElephantDrive.
ElephantDrive provides cloud backup, sync, and sharing solutions for data on all of a customer’s devices. It aims to provide these valuable services in a simple, secure, and affordable manner.
Diversifying its Solutions
ElephantDrive differentiates its solutions in three key ways:
- It not only provides backup and sync for laptops, desktops, servers, and mobile devices, but also specializes in backing up Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices. ElephantDrive’s software comes pre-installed or readily available via app on nearly every major personal and SMB NAS platform.
- It provides ‘both’ backup and sync in a single plan and piece of software. Most others in the same space offers focus on one or the other.
- It takes a user-centric approach by providing a single web portal, enabling users to allocate their storage across multiple devices without any per device add-on fees.
Plotting the Course for Innovation
To drive change and innovation in the company, some early choices made by founding team, both Founders, Michael Fisher and Ben Widhelm made a lasting impact.
First, they were very early adopters of infrastructure-as-a-service to help achieve fast scale without capital intensive data center investment. ElephantDrive was one of the first cloud backup and storage solutions ever built on the now ubiquitous Amazon Web Services S3. ElephantDrive was featured by Intel and AWS way back in 2006 as a Technology Partner, highlighting the integration with S3.
Second, the founders were strong proponents of the ‘Hybrid Storage’ model from the very beginning. From the outset viewing cloud storage as a resource that eventually everyone will use, but not as a solution that will totally replace local storage.
On the contrary, the company has always maintained that the two must work hand-in-hand to achieve the best end-product for users – it’s this cooperative attitude coupled with a technical acumen developed over a decade that convinced massive and long-tenured hardware firms to trust a small startup to deliver software for their systems.
Lessons that have shaped the Journey
Before ElephantDrive was broadly marketed directly to consumers, it was primarily distributed through partnerships with storage hardware makers. Those early relationships with the world’s leading makers of NAS devices allowed ElephantDrive to develop a highly reliable, robust, and efficient toolset.
Not only did ElephantDrive need to meet rigorous standards for software shipped on-board, but in the early days the devices themselves were resource-constrained so it needed to run efficiently on systems with slower processors and smaller memory footprints.
The company’s efforts were then refined into an easy-to-use interface for everyday consumers. This path of product development provides today’s ElephantDrive user with a simple interface built upon sophisticated technology.
ElephantDrive’s unique strengths: NAS backup, dual-purpose software for both backup and sync, and delivering the solution via operating-system-agnostic tools for use across multiple devices.
ElephantDrive also emphasizes on security and privacy, offering a variety of different encryption options and working to meet the various standards for privacy and compliance across a variety of industries and geographies.
Pluses for Partners
Because of the experience in working with major hardware manufacturers, ElephantDrive has always been held to enterprise-class standards for software development and delivery. The same level of care and detail is applied to its solutions designed for MSPs and value added resellers who, through ElephantDrive, can offer top-tier cloud backup solutions to their customers. The little guys benefit from the demands of the big guys from a quality control and best practices perspective.
ElephantDrive also provides VARs and MSPs with an administrative Partner Portal that gives them fast access and granular control over their users and their subscriptions. For partners who want an even more customized product, they can offer full white-label customization.
Plans for the Upcoming Future
ElephantDrive has three major initiatives in the near future: continue to develop and evangelize the hybrid storage model with its hardware partners, launch its specialized long-term archiving data protection solution, and continue the international expansion.
The hybrid storage solutions that couples with ElephantDrive’s cloud backup which access tightly with industry leading on-premise devices is the most effective means of data protection for small businesses. The ‘belt and suspenders’ approach of maintaining both fast, reliable disk-redundant storage on site and a secure cloud backup offsite with point-in-time restore capability provides defense-in-depth. It protects against disk failure locally and from natural disaster, digital threats like ransom ware or viruses, and nefarious actors in the cloud. ElephantDrive needs to continue to push this message out and expand across other storage device types like Direct Attached Storage (DAS).
Many of ElephantDrive customers have massive libraries of data and are looking for long-term archiving solutions, without the need for our standard rapid access and sync models. The company is preparing to roll out a low-cost cold-storage solution designed specifically to meet the needs of content creators with large libraries.
A key area of growth for ElephantDrive is the expansion abroad. They already have customers all over the world, who offer their solutions in several languages. ElephantDrive realizes there is a great opportunity to add more happy customers by supporting even more languages and accepting more foreign payment currencies.
The adoption of their Brazilian brand GoDrive has been quite successful. Once ElephantDrive starts offering more international options in languages and payments, the early overseas adopters will be joined by their neighbors in being happy ElephantDrive customers.