AcloudA is a simple device that attaches to any existing appliance into an SATA or SAS HDD slot. It serves as a cloud gateway, utilizing standard iSCSI and SMB3 protocols, so it works even if such functionality is restricted by vendor or initial specs.

AcloudA overrides vendor lock-in and enhances the capabilities of storage and hyper-converged platforms. Replacing one HDD in the StarWind HCA with AcloudA enables a ready-to-work secure cloud gateway. The device mimics a hard disk, but functionally creates a link to cloud and stores all the incoming cold data there.

StarWind Storage Appliance with AcloudA offers an easy way to follow the “3-2-1” backup rule adding public cloud like Azure, Amazon or Iron Mountain as a secure storage tier. AcloudA attaches to StarWind SA, replacing an HDD, and functions as an unbreakable cloud gateway, meaning it won’t let any external force in under any circumstances.

Scaling is done by purchasing the exact required capacity in cloud, which gets cheaper as more space is bought.

For hyperconverged and storage hardware vendors who want to add public cloud non-disruptively as a storage tier to their existing products, our solution is AcloudA: a hardware device, which mimics SATA or SAS hard disk, but has no internal memory, functionally being a gateway to cloud (Azure, Amazon, Iron Mountain, etc.).

AcloudA works directly with the cloud storage through standard SMB3 and iSCSI protocols, meaning it can add cloud data tier in appliances, which don’t support it initially. The device can replace all the hard disks or just a part of them, depending on the number of data tiers required by the task.


Why AcloudA?

02AcloudA can be utilized with a wide variety of proprietary platforms, even with strict vendor lock-in. The device attaches as an HDD via SATA or SAS interface and enables cloud functionality where it was not supported. AcloudA uses standard iSCSI and SMB3 protocols and is completely plug-and-play, meaning no other hardware or software is required to activate the cloud gateway.

02 AcloudA adds cost-efficiency to capacity scaling, because the user only pays for the required cloud storage, not for provisioning. There is no need to search for compatible hard disks, service a whole lot of them and otherwise suffer the drawbacks of HDD-based local storage. With time, cloud storage becomes cheaper per terabyte, while the more HDD one needs, the more money he needs to pay.

03 AcloudA has a unique approach to cloud data security. It is physically impossible to break into the infrastructure through the gateway, even if the device itself is hacked. As long as all the outgoing data in encrypted and the keys are stored in the primary storage, there is no way for an external force to break in and intercept any real data. Thus, even high-security companies can utilize AcloudA.



Conventional storage and hyperconverged appliances are packed with irreplaceable proprietary hardware and software, being strictly locked by the vendor. This means that in most cases the user can’t enhance the functionality of his setup if the vendor does not support such enhancements. Some Windows-based platforms present a workaround, allowing the user to utilize specialized drivers or emulators to solve this issue, but these cases are rare.

Also, solutions implemented to protect data that goes to external storage all have a chance of being compromised. Hardware firewalls require constant firmware updates in order to stay secure against new threats. Skipping one will leave the whole infrastructure vulnerable to the latest spyware, which can go in and out, intercepting decrypted information or stealing encryption keys. It is only a matter of time until someone creates an exploit and breaks into the firewall. After it is controlled by the hacker, all mission-critical data is easily stolen.



AcloudA acts as a standard SATA or SAS HDD, accepted by a huge variety of proprietary storage and hyperconverged appliances. It just fits into the socket and opens a gateway, basically presenting the cloud storage as internal memory to the appliance. Even vendor lock-in doesn’t get in the way of the process. Also, AcloudA doesn’t need an extra VM spawned in cloud, as most gateways do.

Additionally AcloudA allows the customer to securely push an encrypted copy of mission-critical data off-site to public cloud, like Azure or Amazon, or a vaulting facility, like Iron Mountain. There is still no chance to compromise company security in any way, because the device is a physical barrier that holds the encryption keys in the primary storage without letting them out. AcloudA features a proprietary OS, which is highly resilient to hacking, but even gaining full control of it, the external force won’t be able to intercept any real data.


Unlike software cloud gateways, All the functionality is present in the firmware, so no extra software is required. AcloudA is a plug-and-play hardware device, meaning it can work in any setup that has hard disk slots. Also, it completely solves the problem of poor data security on route from and to cloud. Unlike other solutions, designed to combat the issue, like hardware firewalls, AcloudA is completely unbreakable for an external force.

The revolutionary approach to the problem makes it impervious to hacker attacks. Even in case the attacker manages to break through the in-house developed OS and take full control of the device, he will still achieve nothing. AcloudA doesn’t contain encryption keys or decrypted data and there is physically no way to get past it, further into the internal storage. No other solution had ever provided this kind of security before.



The device features 3.5” form factor, fitting into standard 3.5” HDD slot. AcloudA is instant-ready, meaning it has a start-up time of less than one second. It offers USB, SAS and SATA connectivity and consumes less than 2.5W of energy in active mode, having a passive cooling system. In order to provide secure operation. AcloudA has developed a proprietary operating system – compact and high-performing RTOS. It also incorporates full-blown network stack, supporting ARP, IP, UDP, TCP, ICMP, SSDP, DNS, HTTP and PPP protocols, USB stack, Web-server, SCSI-device and iSCSI initiator.

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