Cheaper than the Cloud

Coraid SRX storage is also easier than the cloud. It’s faster too. It builds out like the cloud, yet provides the security of on-premise data.

Let me explain both how and why.

Coraid EtherDrive has the flexibility of cloud because you can grow as you go. For less than $2999, to buy your first 24 bay Coraid SRX. With that, you have the option of up to 96 TB of SSDs or 288 TB of spinning disks that you can use from any of your Windows, VMware, or Linux servers.

But you don’t have to buy all 24 disks at once! Load up only as much as you need now, and add more when it’s necessary. A 5 TB hard drive is around $150, so the incremental costs can be low.

When the SRX’s bays are full, buy another shelf. Just like the cloud, you buy what you need. Unlike the cloud, though, you control your data (and the hardware it’s stored on) as well as storage costs.

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What sets the SRX apart from Cloud, though, is you use your hardware as long as it works. There are no monthly cloud payments or surprise bills that keep growing as your storage and access needs grow. The five-year warranty on disks mean that your system will run for at least that long, and we’ve seen a Coraid SRX appliance run longer than five years without ever rebooting.

So when you spread the low upfront cost over sixty months, you see just how inexpensive building your own cloud is.

The best deal per byte is SRX3641, a 4U rack unit, 36 disk-bay appliance that takes 3.5" disks. Because bytes come cheaper in larger drives, a 10 TB drive costs about $0.04 per GB. That means over five years you’ll only be paying $0.00006 a month for a GB of media.

Coraid hardware and software are just as cheap! The way it works is you pick the SRX chassis that meets your needs and purchase a software subscription for $995 a year. For less than $5,000 dollars plus the inexpensive media we just talked about, you can have your first shelf ready to go. Over the next five years, assuming you filled every bay with a 10TB drive from the get-go, you will still only be spending $0.001 per GB per month of storage. That’s hardware, software, and media all for less than a penny.

Can cloud storage compete with $0.001GB/month? I don’t think so. Coraid SRX appliances provide the flexibility to grow as you need like the cloud, but at a fraction of the cost.

Easier to Grow

As it turns out, growing your own cloud is a simple process. Add a Coraid EtherDrive Host Bus Adapter to your VMware, Windows, or Linux server, and your new Coraid SRX looks just like a SAS drive to your system.

It’s that easy to grow your storage. No advanced networking knowledge needed.

You can set up your own local syslog server to capture messages from your Coraid SRX and even send syslog messages remotely using the built-in remote syslog functionality. The Coraid Support team will proactively monitor and let you know about any issues with your SRX appliance.

The reason Coraid is so easy to grow is that anywhere you can use a disk drive, you can use a Coraid appliance. Our open ATA-over-Ethernet storage protocol (IEEE 0x88a2), puts your disks on standard, ordinary Ethernet.

You already know how to use disks. And you already know how to use Ethernet. This means you already know almost everything you need to know to use Coraid storage, which isn’t necessarily true for cloud services.

Glancing at a leading cloud provider’s ReST API glossary, I found it was over 3,000 lines long with 205 “See Also” entries!

Coraid SRX appliances use a few dozen commands, and only four are needed to get started. Coraid SRX is truly the easiest way to grow your storage.

More Secure

So, Coraid EtherDrive is cheaper, builds out the same, and is easier than cloud storage, but is it more secure?

Well, we really can’t make a case that it is more secure. This is because we have no way of knowing how secure a cloud operation is. And isn’t that a bit disconcerting? You don’t know either, and people are counting on you to keep your company’s data as secure as possible, 24/7/365.

Nine out of ten companies are hesitant about putting their data in the cloud. One just doesn’t know what will happen to it. If large, well-known companies can’t keep their credit card information secure, how can a cloud provider who lets anybody with a credit card into their network really keep that secure?

But we really can’t tell. We’re not saying the big clouds are insecure. We’re just asking how can we know it’s secure.

With Coraid EtherDrive, you keep all your data in your building. How can I know my data operation is secure? The usual way we have been doing that for years. I can know and do something about my operation.

Security of Coraid EtherDrive storage over the years has been excellent. We once were evaluated by a government agency and found that our storage appliance has zero vulnerabilities. That’s because EthOS isn’t based on a mainstream timesharing system, but a specialized cloud OS.

Our storage protocol, ATA-over-Ethernet, sits right on Ethernet, is a layer 2 protocol, and can’t be routed across the Internet. It’s meant for local Ethernet only.

Put on a VLAN and it’s even safe from any compromised machines in your network. It’s like using SAS only with better networking.


Two things about performance: Coraid scales out, and it allows you options that give you the speeds you want.

Every time you add another Coraid storage appliance, you’re not just adding storage, you’re adding more processing. This means when you grow from one to 10 Coraid boxes, you have 10 times the I/O processing power and 10 times the bandwidth. When you have 100 appliances, you have 100 times the compute power and bandwidth. Coraid scales!

Performance Flexibility

But the most valuable thing about Coraid storage appliances are their flexibility. That means you can configure each box to go as fast or be as cheap as your situation calls for.

Getting 120GbE of bandwidth is as simple as adding six 10GbE network interface cards to each SRX appliance. If you know your storage needs to be large capacity and don’t particularly care about access speeds, just use the existing 1GbE ports and save cash by skipping the networking cards.

You can have high-performance if you want or dirt cheap if you prefer. It’s all up to you. Storage clouds are mostly one size fits all. Your storage runs on virtual machines built in a massive cookie cutter setup. That setup works best for the cloud company’s operation, but usually not yours.

All this is why, over the years since 2005 when we shipped our first storage array, Coraid has helped over 1,700 customers with more than 10,000 appliances. Does all this sound too good to be true? You wouldn’t be the first to say that. Buy an SRX2421 for $3,495 and one year of software subscription at $995 and find out.

If you don’t like it, the hardware is yours. Coraid uses white-box, commodity hardware, so load up your favorite OS and go. As I have often said, the hardware is just the bottle. It’s the software that’s the wine.

You’ve nothing to lose to find out if it is true. People have been finding out it is really is true since 2005!

If you prefer, feel free to call 1-844-461-8820 in the US, +1-706-521-3048 abroad, or email