From The Expert Feature Article
November 26, 2013

Nasuni Uses Cloud to Drive Massive Storage Consolidation

On-premises backup is expensive, complex and a bear to manage. To be safe, you need multiple layers of backup, what EMC (News - Alert) calls Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), and every one of these tiers need to be built and maintained. Large enterprises often begin with a SAN and then add tiers to backup the SAN – sometimes in essence a whole other SAN. Nasuni (News - Alert) says it can replace of these tiers with its cloud storage platform – they’ll do the grunt work for you so you can devote IT time to more forward thinking projects.

Manufacturing company JSJ Enterprise took Nasuni up on that offer and says it is saving 40 percent by ditching its Wan optimization, central storage and its backup with Nasuni’s Storage Infrastructure as a Service (SIaaS).

“With Nasuni, we will save over $300,000 in five years and give our customers better service. It's hard to beat that,” said Dave De Young, Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “Nasuni SIaaS is the way file storage and performance should be. I no longer hear complaints about slowness of file access. On top of that, our customers are also confident that their data won't be lost and can be recovered from any point in time.”

The Nasuni system, which handles 20 locations worldwide, reduces the time to its takes to receive CAD files in Chine from across the WAN from 20 seconds to mere seconds, the companies said.

Storage Control

Earlier this year, Nasuni released a new console to help enterprises and managed service providers organize their data. The Nasuni Management Console (NMC) is delivered as a virtual appliance. This basically means it is in the form of a virtual machine so it is easy to install, manage and move around. The whole aim is to centralize and unify the management of corporate data that is almost always greatly distributed across geographies and systems.

ESG labs is one the most prestigious storage testing outfits and it put the Nasuni interface through the paces. “ESG Lab has tested more than forty enterprise-class storage solutions over the past ten years and we're blown away with Nasuni's new management interface,” remarked Brian Garrett, Vice President of ESG Lab. “It not only has a great look and feel with the intuitiveness of an Apple (News - Alert) iPhone, it's amazingly fast and easy to deploy and monitor distributed enterprise-class storage services for users located around the globe from a single pane of glass.

Nasuni took a radically new approach by creating a globally accessible – and changeable – management interface. Nasuni manages the global delivery of enterprise-class data services with a stateless hub-and-spoke architecture that's anchored in the cloud, lickety-split performance that's predictably fast regardless of the number of devices being managed, and deep integration with active directory.”

Avoiding the Nirvanix (News - Alert) Trap

In a well-publicized downfall, cloud backup Nirvanix went belly up, leaving customers scant time to move their data to another source. Nasuni, using an array of cloud providers, won’t fall into that trap, indicates Nasuni CEO Andres Rodriguez who blogged about the Nirvanix downfall. “When Nasuni first started, we gave our customers the choice of any cloud storage provider they wanted to use with our storage controller – one of which was Nirvanix.  Then, two years ago, we chose to integrate cloud storage, our storage controllers, and our system monitoring into a single fully-integrated solution – much like traditional storage OEMs have done for years,” Rodriguez wrote.

“Due to the solution’s dependency on the public cloud storage providers, we focused countless hours evaluating the different options in the cloud storage market.  We conducted thorough testing of the mainstream cloud storage providers (including Nirvanix) and published the results in our annual Cloud Storage Provider performance reports.  These reports show that only Amazon S3 and Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure meet our standards for reliability and performance.  As a result, we migrated all customers to one of these two providers, and continue to use only S3 and Azure as our backend.  And, even with these two providers, we’ve developed additional backstops such as cloud mirroring in case of cloud provider outages or full-on failure.”

Nasuni doesn’t think the Nirvanix problems are any reason to dismiss cloud backup. “While the exit of Nirvanix from the cloud service provider market will cause many people to pause and question storing corporate data in the cloud, we know that cloud storage is definitely enterprise-ready, but only if you use an enterprise-ready service,” Rodriguez said.

Cloud Storage Market on the Move

A report distributed by Research and Markets "Cloud Storage Market (Incl. Cloud Storage Gateways, Backup & Recovery, Data Movement & Access, Data Replication, Hsm & Archiving, Security And Storage Resource Management Solutions) - Worldwide Forecasts & Analysis (2012 - 2018)", find a lot of movement in this area.

“Emergence of innovative storage technologies such as inline data deduplication, inline compression, WAN optimization, cloud based security solutions and storage gateways are pushing the growth of the Cloud Storage Market. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are rapidly adopting cloud based storage services to reduce cost and IT complexity compared to large enterprises, thereby pushing the market growth,” the research house said. “The small and medium business segments are the major adopter of cloud storage services and this trend is expected to continue for next few years.”

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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