Self-Storage Technology: A Quick Look At The History of Cloud-Based Computing

Netflix has been called the world’s largest cloud-based commercial operation. Netflix launched in 1998, selling and renting DVDs by mail, and has streamed content direct to consumers since 2007. Netflix started migrating all its operations to the cloud in 2008, after a database corruption issue created a three-day delay in shipping DVDs to members.


In 2016 Netflix reported that the company had completed its seven-year migration to a fully cloud-based service. Yury Izrailevsky, Vice President of Cloud and Platform Engineering at Netflix, used the company’s media center site to explain the rationale for the migration. “We realized we had to move away from vertically scaled single points of failure, towards highly reliable, horizontally scalable, distributed systems in the cloud,” Izrailevsky wrote. “Moving to the cloud has brought Netflix a number of benefits. We have eight times as many streaming members than we did in 2008, and they are much more engaged, with overall viewing growing by three orders of magnitude in eight years.”


While Netflix may be among the largest companies migrating to cloud-computing, the benefits cited by Mr. Izrailevsky are available broadly to enterprises of any size. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are adopting cloud-based computing to obtain the advantages of reliability, scale, security, rapid deployment and lower costs. As the cloud phenomenon continues to exert its influence with businesses and consumers, it is useful to review the basics of cloud computing and its potential impact on self-storage.


Cloud computing is defined by the ways information is stored, managed, processed and accessed. With cloud computing these functions are located remotely and accessed by the internet, instead of being housed on a local server or personal computer. Providers require users to sign a service level agreement (SLA) that defines the services customers receive.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, is a reliable resource for defining the terms used with cloud computing. A 3-page paper on the NIST website defines the attributes, service models and deployment models of cloud computing.


Attributes of cloud computing:

  • On-demand self-service: Customers can establish new users and new services without involving the service provider.
  • Broad network access: Services are available over the internet.
  • Pooled resources: Customers share resources that are accessed as needed.
  • Rapid elasticity: Services can expand or contract quickly and as needed.
  • Measured service: Customers pay only for what they use.


Service models of cloud computing:

  • Software as a service (SaaS): Examples include email, customer relationship management (CRM) and cloud storage.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS): Examples include websites and web applications.
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): Examples storage discs, servers and network equipment.


Deployment models of cloud computing:

  • Private cloud: Service for one user
  • Community cloud: Service accessed by a group of people
  • Public cloud: Service used by the general public
  • Hybrid cloud: Private, community or public clouds used in combination


Worldwide growth is one of the primary characteristics of cloud computing. The Gartner research firm reports that revenues for software as a service exceeded projections for 2016, and SaaS has grown faster than expected for 2017. Worldwide SaaS revenue for 2017 is expected to increase by 21 percent to reach $58.6 billion.


According to Garner, “The acceleration in SaaS adoption can be explained by providers delivering nearly all application functional extensions and add-ons as a service.” In other words, SaaS applications can be maintained and updated by the provider, which greatly reduces the cost and bother of day to day oversight. As consumers we are already familiar with SaaS applications that deliver high levels of functionality with low levels of oversight. Cloud-based applications such as PayPal, Pandora, Google Maps, Lyft and Airbnb are available on a pay-as-you-go basis with automatic updates delivered by providers. Even the familiar software tools of Microsoft Office—PowerPoint, Word and Excel—are now available by cloud subscription through Office 365.


A Time article from 2015 validated the idea that consumer adoption of cloud applications has fostered more adoption of cloud-based applications by businesses. As an example, CEOs and CIOs are using LinkedIn, Salesforce and Dropbox every day, so it is becoming easier for them to trust the ease and reliability of cloud-based applications for their businesses. The Time article quoted a Cisco prediction that 75% of workflows handled by corporate computers will be processed by cloud data centers by 2018.


Because cloud solutions are scalable, accessible, reliable and cost-effective, businesses will continue to adopt cloud-based computing at the accelerated rates cited above. Additionally, as cloud solutions have become more efficient they have also become more secure. Gartner stated in its 2017 report that the security of data in the cloud equals or exceeds the levels most businesses are able to achieve with their on-premise IT operations.


Some computing applications used by self-storage operators will certainly migrate to the cloud in 2018. Franklin Young, CEO at PTI Security Systems, noted that facility operators will benefit from cloud-based security and controller software. “We want to make our software available on the cloud so it is easier to use and more reliable,” Young said. “The cloud is a natural fit for the software our customers use for access control, site security and facility management. If you’re already using apps like Gmail, Spotify, Facebook and PayPal, you’ll find our cloud-based software will be equally intuitive, seamless and simple.”


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PTI Security Systems And Banyan Hills Technologies Announce Strategic Technology Partnership To Enhance Self-Storage Facility Connectivity And Operations


PTI Security Systems, the leading provider of access-control and security solutions for the self-storage industry, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the Internet of Things (IoT) platform and services provider, Banyan Hills Technologies (Banyan). This relationship has been established to enable PTI to bring to market an end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud platform for the self-storage industry. This innovative new Cloud platform will deliver an enhanced customer experience and drive world class operational excellence into all connected facilities.

The PTI team has named the product PTI CORE™ because of the rich feature set and the foundational impact this new Cloud platform will have on so many areas of self-storage operations.

PTI CORE™ platform is slated for release in the first half of 2018, and is receiving very positive early feedback in beta testing. The key features of this new cloud-enabled software platform, include:

  • Centralized data
  • Online access
  • Real-time software updates, reports, and device notifications
  • Enterprise-level view of your facility

Regarding the strategic partnership, Franklin Young, CEO of PTI Security Systems, said:

“At PTI, improving the customer experience is what drives us, and we’ve entered into this strategic partnership to bring our customers the cloud solution they’ve asked for. Everything we’re developing at PTI—from A.I. to facility automation to mobile solutions—began with our customer’s needs in mind. All innovations from PTI must accomplish two things; create a world class experience for each facility’s customers and maximize the operational excellence at each site. It’s really that simple. PTI CORE™ accomplishes those goals”.

Steve Latham, Founder & CEO of Banyan Hills Technologies, echoed Young by saying:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with PTI Security Systems, the world-wide leader in access control and security solutions in the self-storage industry.” said Steve Latham, founder and chief executive officer, Banyan Hills Technologies. “PTI is focused on providing innovative solutions that enhance the end-consumer experience, while in parallel improving operational efficiencies for its customers. PTI’s incredible reach, with devices deployed to over 35,000 locations, positions PTI to be the leader in applying advancements in technology to support the self-storage industry’s rapid growth.”

To learn more about the PTI cloud based security solution, visit:

About PTI Security Systems: PTI has been in the access-control and technology business since 1979, and is the most trusted name in self-storage security. To date, there are 35,000 installations of PTI products in self-storage facilities in more than 30 countries. PTI provides the most innovative, durable, and reliable security products available today, and offers a wide range of integrated security solutions that help create a seamless experience for both renters and self-storage owners and operators. PTI’s industry leading security solutions include: the EasyCode mobile app, the #1 selling keypads in self-storage, wired and wireless door alarms, and easy to use software solutions designed to help you manage your security system in real-time from anywhere on Earth. For more information about PTI, please visit

About Banyan Hills Technologies: Banyan Hills Technologies ( is an Internet of Things (IoT) company and a trusted partner for innovative software solutions. Canopy™ is Banyan’s IoT platform and the most advanced solution for monitoring and managing any network of connected endpoints including but not limited to self-serve kiosks, intelligent vending, digital signs and smart lockers. Banyan’s team of highly skilled engineers, talented UX/UI designers and industry experts help customers launch, scale and secure successful IoT implementations. Banyan’s deep industry knowledge and strong capabilities in machine learning, transaction management, communication protocols, payments, and predictive analytics help companies realize the full potential of their technology strategies.

For more information for customer in Australia, New Zealand and Asia please call the PTI team at +61 7 3216 5524  or email

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PTI Security Systems Announces the Release of the Redeveloped EasyCode Mobile App

SCOTTSDALE, AZ– November 6th, 2017- Today, PTI Security Systems, the leading provider of access-control and security solutions for the self-storage industry, announced the release of the redeveloped EasyCode mobile app.  The second-generation EasyCode app is the most advanced access-control, security, and monitoring technology available in self-storage today.  The app was redesigned specifically to help self-storage owners and operators create a remarkable and hassle-free experience for their renters.


The latest version of the app includes:

  • 1-click gate, door, and elevator entry and exit
  • 1-click access to the renter’s access code
  • Improved renter sign-up process
  • Full integration with PTI Door Alarms and compatible electronic locks
  • Multi-unit, multi-facility renters can now use one account to view and store all access data
  • White glove facility sign-up and on-boarding process
  • Customization and logo placement available
  • 1-click payment links to a facility’s mobile friendly payment website


Regarding the launch of the redesigned app, Franklin Young, CEO of PTI Security Systems, said:

“Providing our customers with industry-leading security solutions and new technology is our number priority, and the all-new EasyCode app is the first of many innovative solutions we will bring to the industry this year. Everything we’re developing at PTI began with one simple goal: to help our customers create a world-class experience for their renters.”


Speaking to the market reaction to the app, Jeff Flowers, COO of PTI, said:

“During our beta testing with the first-generation EasyCode app, we saw such high demand for this technology that we knew we had to pursue it.  Our customers asked for all the features that the second-generation app provides, and we’re thrilled to deliver this technology to our industry.”

The second-generation EasyCode app is available exclusively from PTI. To order, call the PTI team at 07 3216 5524  or email


About PTI Security Systems: PTI Security Systems is the leader in access control and new security technology for the self-storage industry.  To date, there are 35,000 installations of PTI products in self-storage facilities in more than 30 countries.  PTI provides the most innovative, durable, and reliable security products available today, and offers a wide range of integrated security solutions, including: keypads, wired and wireless door alarms, mobile apps for both renters and facility staff, and powerful security software that integrates seamlessly with most management software on the market. PTI has been in the access-control and technology business since 1979, and is the most trusted name in self-storage security. To learn more about PTI, visit:

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There’s an APP for that

Many government and council transactions also happen online, and of course internet shopping is growing exponentially. So too is the self-storage industry migrating to an automated model that relies on technology to handle many of the daily activities of running a facility.  Searching for and booking a storage unit online, paying for it by credit card and keeping an email record of the transaction is virtually universal now.

But according to Ben Parsad, general manager at PTI Australia, security is the primary motivation for investing in automation technology. “In short, it’s what runs the facility,” he told Insider. “It’s the mechanics behind access to the site. If there’s an issue with access then there is a problem for the business, but it can take just a few seconds to fix the issue. “Security automation now covers access control, and monitoring everything at the facility from anywhere in the world. Going back seven or ten years ago, the only way a manager could monitor a facility was to use a computer, with remote facility software and cameras to monitor it, with a back-to-base alert system.  “The security company would then call and tell the manager that something was happening on the site. If the facility didn’t have that kind of system the manager had to drive to the facility and check it physically — when they find out something has happened,” he said. Many large storage companies now have fully automated sites, considered a valueadd for customers for their security and ease of using the site’s facilities.


Mobile automation takes hold 

One of the most significant developments in the past decade has been the evolution (or perhaps more accurately, revolution) of hand held devices, especially mobile phones. Their extraordinary growth in numbers and capability has changed the world we live in.  For many, the mobile phone is an essential component of everyday life for communication, business activities, financial transactions, keeping records and monitoring the world at large.  “Along with everything else, self-storage technology is now moving to handheld devices like mobiles,” said Ben.  “Apple has released all sorts of apps, and that basic idea has driven technology to migrate towards handhelds to utilise technology in day-to-day operations.” Storage operators were quick to see the benefits of mobile technology applications, and most have, or are, implementing them in their operations. How far have we come with apps?

“Very far,” said Ben. “With apps, we see the ability to inspect the property in the palm of your hands. With a few clicks you can see what’s happening on site, you can see who’s there, if there’s a customer who needs a hand, and you can help them. “That’s where we’re driving this, so that customers get all the ‘bells and whistles’, even though there’s no staff on site to assist them.” Ben suggested that a major reason for using apps in self-storage is efficiency, but safety also plays an important role.  They can instead use an app to analyse everything and make a decision to call the police or take another course of action,” he said. Sites have varying degrees of automation, depending on the owners’ predilection for technology. It can be a manned site with managers and staff, with perhaps a keypad at the gate, or they can be fully automated, with keypad access for customers, fully automated lighting control for every zone in the facility, alarm disarming capabilities for the customer’s unit, and automated entry to the unit. In some instances, facilities have given management of the facility to a real estate agent, so the site is unmanned and run by remote. Customers are processed online or at the agency office, given PINs, they pay their bills at the office or online by credit card, and gain access to a unit on site. And all this can happen in a few minutes.

Why use an app?

Of course the first question for facility operators is cost benefit. There are extra investment costs in high automation for a complete site. These costs must be carried through to storage fees. Does a customer wish to spend a little more for what could be considered a more secure and professionally run site, or would they prefer to save some money and use a site reliant on a time honoured mechanical lock and key system? Do they still want personal service at a storage site? According to Ben, the majority of storage customers are now looking for the kind of facility that can offer automated security, and the latest technology to ensure that their storage experience is easy to arrange, simple to access, yet tightly secured.  In his opinion, in the vast majority of cases customers are prepared to pay a little more for that convenience and peace of mind. But that is not necessarily universal, said Ben. In regional or country areas, security is less of a concern, often because of familiarity with the business owners and the local community. In large urban areas, tight security is a much higher priority, with personal service less so.

Where to from here?

Energy saving technology is one of the next areas of new development, predicts Ben. “Facilities can save on power through using LED lighting or low voltage lights, which can easily be integrated into a security system,” he said. Ben Parsad also pointed to customer focused apps on mobile phones which they can press when approaching the facility to open security gates, log them in, turn on lights and open their unit. These apps can also be responsive to customer concerns. They can alert customers to the fact that their PIN has been used, or their unit has been entered, and appropriate action can be taken immediately.  Records can also be meticulously maintained for tracking activities at their unit. Governments and councils can take advantage of these automated records to track traffic in an area, the movement of people and materials, and more.

There’s no doubt that technology in self-storage will only accelerate from here, and if used judiciously will provide greater customer convenience and higher profits for self-storage businesses. Perhaps the only real drawback will be the loss of personal service and customer interaction that will inevitably follow. The industry will have to decide which is more important.


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Entrepreneurs Rely on Storage to Grow Their Businesses

Entrepreneur Cheri Garcia invented a tanning bed that floats and was keeping her inventory of about 1,000 beds in a spare bedroom. But as her company grew and a major pool supply company agreed to carry her invention, Garcia needed to find another option for storing her inventory.

Garcia, president of Luminous Envy in Dallas, said using a self-storage facility to hold her inventory made economic sense.

“If I were to get a warehouse, they would charge up the wazoo,” she said.

Instead, Garcia pays less than $100 a month for self-storage. “For me, it was a smart business decision,” she said.

Avoiding Costly Warehousing

Small business owners and entrepreneurs would do well to follow Garcia’s lead, said Tom Pryor, director of the Small Business Development Center in Arlington, TX.

“I have recommended before that a startup that deals in product use self-storage as their warehouse as opposed to getting a two-year lease on an expensive location,” Pryor said. “Having self storage for a startup or a small company gives you a whole lot of flexibility. Typically, you’ll sign a three-month lease or a month-to-month lease.”

In addition, companies can easily expand the storage space they need as they grow without having to go out and look for different warehouse space. Self-storage facilities are open to working with existing customers to meet their needs, Pryor said.

“You can say, ‘Hey, I need twice as much space as before,’ and they will help you to grow,” he said.

Brad Sherman, managing principal at StoreSmart’s Colorado locations, said his company has some business customers that lease as many as 40 to 50 units at a time to store inventory.

“They don’t want to go through the financial commitment to lease warehouse or office space for their inventory,” Sherman said. “Self-storage is a really good fit for them.”

Self-storage has been a solution for Jay Jones’ audio-visual company, TechKnowledgeEase, for 12 years. The Corsicana, TX-based company provides audio-visual equipment and services for meetings, special events and conventions.

“That was kind of the way the business plan was formed,” said Jones, the company’s president. “We’ve stuck with it for 12 years, and it’s worked well.”

Advice for Entrepreneurs

Both Garcia and Jones offer advice for entrepreneurs considering business storage units.

Both recommend that business owners talk with their insurers before moving their inventory to ensure any losses are covered. Garcia and Jones say they carry insurance on their inventory.

Jones said his storage unit was burglarized once, and he thinks his unit was targeted by someone who saw what was inside. His insurance policy covered the loss.

Additionally, you should weigh amenities that are important for protection of your inventory. Garcia said she needed a climate-controlled environment with an interior temperature of 70 degrees. While some facilities with that feature charge as much as $150 a month, Garcia opted for a site a bit farther from home to score a better rental rate. Security, lighting, access and on-site management are other amenities to consider.

Garcia said using self-storage also preserves a startup’s cash—an important consideration for entrepreneurs.

“Business owners get too excited and they want to go too big, too fast,” she said. “Then they end up going out of business because they didn’t do the smart thing.”



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Facility of the Year: U-Store-It, Keswick

Another happy PTI customer,


Congratulations to U-Store-It Keswick for taking out the 2015 Facility of the Year Award!




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PTI proud sponsor of STORAGE EXPO 2016 on the Gold Coast

PTI Australasia are proud to announce we are major sponsor for the upcoming STORAGE EXPO, Gold Coast 2016. Please check the below YouTube link and the Website for further info.

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Falcon Base Unit End of Life Announcement

Please be advised of this Product Update Notice regarding the Falcon Base Unit (FBU).

In 2005 PTI introduced the Falcon XT and Storlogix software. This is a highly advanced upgraded system to the Falcon Base Unit (FBU) and offers many new Features and Benefits not offered with the FBU while still maintaining compatibility with your PTI Keypads, Individual Alarms and other Peripherals. The current version of StorLogix & Falcon XT works with Windows 8 and 10, has a phone App ( EasyCode) for remote administration, and emailing of alerts just to name a few of the benefits.

For these reasons and due to increasing costs and challenges in maintaining availability, Falcon Base Unit products have entered their final phase of their product life cycle.

The process of upgrading to the new Falcon XT unit is straight forward and our installers have completed hundreds of upgrades making the transition easy for our existing customers.

Please contact the friendly team at PTI Security Systems to discuss upgrade opportunities at 07 32165524.


In-Warranty Replacement

Repair or replacement of in-warranty Falcon Base Units will continue until March 31, 2016 as long as quantities are available. When repair or replacement components are not available, alternatives for in-warranty situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

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Extra Space Self Storage of Asia Enters Hong Kong with 2 New Facilities

Extra Space Self Storage of Asia, a privately owned business, expects to open two storage facilities in Hong Kong this month, expanding its operation to five Asian countries. The two new locations are in the Sai Wan and Tsuen Wan districts and will lay the foundation for further expansion in the region, company officials said in a press release.

“We are seeing greater consumer demand for self-storage due to urbanization and lifestyle changes. Hong Kong is certainly one of the leading markets demonstrating this trend,” said Kenneth Worsdale, CEO. “As a leading self-storage provider in the region, we’re excited to bring our brand of personalized, premium self-storage service to Hong Kong with facilities in the Hong Kong Industrial Building in Sai Wan and the Bonsun Industrial Building in Tsuen Wan.”

The Sai Wan facility will comprise 500 units and take up the entire 13th floor of the Hong Kong Industrial Building. The Tsuen Wen facility will also offer 500 storage units and operate from the third floor of the Bonsun Industrial Building. Both properties will have manned reception areas and offer air-conditioning, dehumidifiers and fans to increase customer comfort, the release said. Tenants will access the storage area by using a PIN code, which will also deactivate the individual security system on their units.

Although Extra Space Asia officials acknowledged that Hong Kong is an “extremely competitive market,” they also cited a recent report published by CBRE Global Research as an indicator of swelling consumer demand. CBRE forecast the region will need an additional 3.9 million square feet of rentable storage space to keep pace with demand during the next decade. “The demand will continue to grow in Hong Kong and the region, and our challenge is to increase awareness on the benefits of using self-storage,” Worsdale said. “Such growth potential bodes well for Extra Space Asia, and we are committed to grow the industry across Asia.”

Extra Space Asia opened it first self-storage location in Singapore in 2007 and now operates 26 facilities across Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Its portfolio comprises more than 1.3 million square feet of storage space.


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Self-Storage Suppliers Janus International and PTI Security Systems Announce Joint-Marketing/Support Agreement

Janus International Group LLC, a manufacturer of self-storage roll-up doors and building components, has signed a joint marketing and support agreement with PTI Security Systems, a provider of access-control and security products, to integrate and promote self-storage door-locking solutions on an international level. Under the agreement, Janus will be responsible for the design, development, manufacture, marketing, sales, support and warranty of individual locking solutions, while PTI will be responsible for the same logistics on access-control and security solutions. The companies will collaborate on the design, development and integration of products that provide secure access control to individual self-storage units, including automated overlocking, continuous monitoring and interior (inside-the-door) electronic locks, according to a press release.

“We are delighted to put this agreement in place with PTI Security Systems,” said David Curtis, president of Janus. “From our perspective, the key to providing a superior door-locking solution is to be able to integrate and leverage the expertise, hardware and software solutions, and market share that PTI has demonstrated [with our own] expertise and experience. Ultimately, the self-storage owner/operator and their tenants will both benefit from this relationship.”

“With our respective market coverage, market share and expertise, this agreement allows us to collaborate and focus on creating great individual door-locking and access-control solutions that are not found in the industry today,” added Lance Comstock, president and CEO of PTI.

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., PTI has a sales office in Asheville, N.C., and international partners in Asia, Australia, Europe and New Zealand. It has installed more than 25,000 security systems in more than 30 countries.

Headquartered in Temple, Ga., Janus has six U.S. locations as well as manufacturing facilities in Europe, Mexico and South Africa. A plant in Brazil is expected to open later this year. The company is owned by Saw Mill Capital Partners LP, a New York-based private equity investment fund managed by Saw Mill Capital LLC.

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