With support for SMB3, StarWind Virtual SAN makes a cost-effective solution for those that need a scale-out file server. Vladan SEGET reviews the possibilities in this piece.
StarWind offers what they are calling a hardware-based “cloud gateway”, in partnership with AcloudA. I’m honestly surprised a lot of other storage vendors aren’t trying something similar, but I imagine StarWind has done all the hard work on the backend to make this appear deceivingly simple. The basic hardware is a single board with a SATA/SAS interface. This would be connected to your server or storage appliance just like any other drive.