File data continues to grow and spread across the enterprise creating a massive file sprawl problem. Legacy technologies such as distribution, replication, WAN acceleration and storage tiering have been deployed to deal with this problem – with limited success and at great expense. The Nasuni Service is the innovative, cost-effective solution to this problem.
Nasuni Cloud-based NAS combines local storage controllers (NAS) and cloud storage to provide global access to data with local performance and infinite scalability. In addition, Nasuni solves the added problems of protection, archive, security and management of file data storage all at a fraction of the cost of legacy solutions.
The key technology required to virtualize file data is the global file system – UniFS®. A global file system provides a layer like a hypervisor that separates the files from the file storage resources. With UniFS, the data is unbound from the hardware, stored in a public or private cloud, and cached access is provided locally to the user with a caching algorithm that keeps the data in use immediately and locally accessible. All of the data, including that in use in multiple local caches, is stored as a single master copy in the cloud.
The global file system UniFS allows for infinite scalability of file data storage by using Cloud storage to keep a single master copy of the data. It is the only file system of its kind and can scale from hundreds to hundreds of billions of objects without any degradation of performance. Nasuni customers already store millions of snapshots in the cloud and billions of files representing petabytes of data.
With the Nasuni Service files are accessed at the edge in the local office through a storage device known as the Nasuni Filer. The Filer appears to the user like a local NAS device or file server would. Files are accessed via CIFS/SMB, NFS or even FTP. Filers can also provide block storage via iSCSI. To a windows user this is another ‘letter’ drive, to a Mac user it is another server in the finder.
The filer can be scaled to any workload in any office proving both the processing power and caching space required for file data whether users access it from an application or directly as office files. Files accessed can be any type and size, whether they are CAD design or engineering files, media files, or standard office files in home directories.
Nasuni Filers are included with The Nasuni Service. Filers are leased with the service, and refreshed for you. This means that as the cloud storage infinitely scales with your data, the hardware filers can scale with your distribution and workloads. You can ride both the cloud storage and commodity cost curves while spending only what you need to provide required file data storage service levels to your users.
With Nasuni, policies can be defined and management can take place through a single management system called The Nasuni Management Console (NMC). Through one console, accessibility, access control, protocol access, locking, quotas, audit policy, etc. can all be defined, and the state of the system in any location can be monitored.
Using NMC, IT can efficiently manage and control the system and provide user access as needed with a much lower staff burden. NMC can be implemented across hundreds of Filers and thousands of volumes in a few mouse clicks.
By using the cloud’s inherent reliability and stability combined with infinite versioning, separate, costly backup and archive systems become unnecessary saving massive amounts of time, money and frustration.
The Nasuni Service also increases the security of data, even while using public cloud as the means of storage. UniFS encrypts all data stored in the cloud. Using the filers, keys are kept locally and owned by the filer administrator. Data is not available to either the cloud service provider or Nasuni. No data in the cloud is ever in the clear, either as it is sent or retrieved (in motion) or while it is stored (at rest).
For access control, the global file system can be integrated with and joined to Active Directory. Users and groups from AD can be applied with a full set of standard permission options. AD is also used to define administrative access users. Local users and groups can also be created to allow secure access via mobile and desktop sync to third parties, allowing for IT managed sharing of file data with the ease of consumer services for users.