Tiger Bridge extending NTFS to the cloud

[Disclosure: I was invited by GestaltIT as a delegate to their Storage Field Day 19 event from Jan 22-24, 2020 in the Silicon Valley USA. My expenses, travel, accommodation and conference fees were covered by GestaltIT, the organizer and I was not obligated to blog or promote the vendors’ technologies to be presented at this event. The content of this blog is of my own opinions and views]

The NTFS File System has been around for more than 3 decades. It has been the most important piece of the Microsoft Windows universe, although Microsoft is already replacing it with ReFS (Resilient File System) since Windows Server 2012. Despite best efforts from Microsoft, issues with ReFS remain and thus, NTFS is still the most reliable and go-to file system in Windows.

First reaction to Tiger Technology

When Tiger Technology was first announced as a sponsor to Storage Field Day 19, I was excited of the company with such a cool name. Soon after, I realized that I have encountered the name before in the media and entertainment space.

Circa 2012-2013, I was given a tour (sorry no touchy) of a storage array from the UK called “Tiger Tiger” at a secluded bungalow in Petaling Jaya. I was told that this was a premier solution in media and entertainment but I have never heard of the name before. Fast forward to last week, after a short conversation over dinner with Alexander Lefterov, CEO of Tiger Technology and Lance Kelson, EVP, the final piece fell in, and the puzzle from years ago was complete.

Tiger Technology has made its mark in the media and content creation market for almost 2 decades.

C & C & C

The world has changed. Though there were iterations and improvements to NTFS, the venerable file system was not build for the cloud. Extending NTFS to the cloud is a big plus when there is still a huge installed base for NTFS out there. There are a handful of vendors who are doing that, and Tiger Technology is one of them

Secondly, collaboration is another important requirement for a file system. NTFS, as a block-based file system, extends itself as a collaboration platform with the SMB protocol. There were limitations with a Windows File Server as a whole, which gave rise to the NAS (network attached storage) market in the first place. The developments led by Tiger Technology has further enhanced NTFS into a richer collaboration platform than it was built for. They leveraged on the NTFS file system filter driver to build a rich set of features in their Tiger Store, Tiger Pool and Tiger Bridge solutions.

In case you did not notice, the eponymous C&C is Cloud and Collaboration. Read the last paragraph for the last C.

Tiger Bridge

Tiger Bridge, which was introduced to the Field Day delegates, is a next-generation HSM (hierarchical storage management) tiering technology which is capable of replication and disaster recovery as well.

It converts the NTFS installation into a storage target and data management policy engine, allowing Windows administrators to set different policies for tiering, replication and disaster recovery. Windows users accessing the Windows Server have no idea where the files reside. The files could be in a tiered storage on another storage, on tape and of course in the cloud. The only visible flag is stub on the file in the File Explorer.

Tiger Bridge has a deep validated and supported storage targets and cloud platforms, making it a compelling solution for many use cases across industries.

Egress cost significantly reduced

Storing in the public cloud is cheap but moving data and files is not. Tiering media content, a market Tiger has made its mark, is not an  easy thing to do. Retrieving media content in bits rather than the whole content set is a big, big win in the significant reduced egress fees.

At the Field Day session, Tiger Technology demonstrated Tiger Bridge, and its deep integration with Milestone Systems, a well-known video surveillance and analytics company. I was impressed with the solution’s sheer simplicity and ease of use. Their use case of National Audiovisual Archive of Hungary listed their website is equally compelling as well

Their world is an open oyster

In my view, Tiger Technology’s world is opening. Their Tiger solutions, which started from their MetaSAN days, put them in a enviable position to jump into many big and lucrative markets. They are no longer confined to the media and creative content space, and new opportunities in Health & Life Sciences, Oil & Gas and eSports & Gaming await.

Ending thoughts

Tiger Technology and its solutions are mature and has well established itself in the world of media creation and management. The challenging aspects of this market has moulded them to take on a bigger opportunities in other industries. The world of Windows will continue to rely on NTFS as the bedrock of file lifecycle and data management, and this opportunity will be part of Tiger Technology for some time to come.

The last C is China. My regular engagements with the Malaysian and sometimes Vietnamese creative content developers revealed their challenges with China’s Great Firewall. BYOD solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive often used by these companies do not work well, let alone collaborate. I have seen more sophisticated solutions like Avere, Nasuni and Panzura facing the same issues.

China is a massive market. They outsource and partner with many developers in countries of South East Asia – Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia – for proximity, cost and most of all, similarities in working culture. China could be something Tiger Technology may want to look at.

My short chat with Alexander and Lance was encouraging and I felt that Asia is the next big market for them. After all, most of the Panthera tigris species are from Asia.


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About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 30 years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because those are my areas of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to know the facts and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and between 2013-2015, I was SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I currently employed at iXsystems as their General Manager for Asia Pacific Japan.

2 Responses to Tiger Bridge extending NTFS to the cloud

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