re:Invent 2019: AWS Outposts and Nasuni

Amazon Web Services (AWS) just announced at the AWS re:Invent 2019 conference in Vegas the general availability of AWS Outposts. Nasuni was mentioned as one of their key partners supporting AWS Outposts during the Tuesday afternoon leadership session titled “Redefining Amazon EC2 For Every Workload” by Dave Brown, VP, EC2, Amazon Web Services.

Here at Nasuni we believe file storage is one of the last pieces of data center infrastructure that needs to move to a cloud model. There are so many benefits, from unlimited scale to built-in backup and so much more. In fact, this isn’t a belief so much as an objective truth. It’s the reason more and more large organizations are rapidly moving file infrastructure from traditional hardware-based approaches to AWS with Nasuni’s cloud-native file system.

Most customers want to move all file infrastructure to the cloud, but there are specific cases that require them to keep some files on premises. That’s where AWS Outposts comes into play. Here we will highlight three different scenarios that will transform the way these organizations work with this unique combination of AWS+Nasuni:

1. Distributed Engineering & Manufacturing Teams

First, let’s look at a distributed civil engineering team. Major manufacturing and engineering firms are expanding operations overseas to take advantage of highly-skilled, lower-cost labor.  The challenge is that many engineering applications require local access and cannot move to cloud-only deployments. This makes it difficult to get users in different geographic locations working together on the same design or project. They need access to a single global namespace for managing common projects.

With Amazon Outposts and Nasuni, engineers in multiple locations around the globe can work on the same data sets without compromising local performance. Engineers can work together virtually ‘side-by-side’ without ever having to endure the painfully long wait times associated with the transfer project files. The combination of AWS Outposts and Nasuni provides the scale of the cloud with the benefits of local performance. Nasuni delivers an infinitely scalable file system that can be accessed from multiple Outpost locations, and everything is kept in sync using Nasuni’s proprietary Global File Lock® service.

2. Virtual Desktop Infrastructures

Next, let’s look at organizations leveraging Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) from Citrix or VMware. In this case, AWS Outposts and Nasuni are able to extend an on-premises VDI solution into the cloud with a single infrastructure. This setup is easier to manage, provisioned for required usage (not maximum capacity), and deployed in data centers, which translates into lower latency for end users. 

VDI is particularly interesting for distributed enterprises (especially professional services firms and call centers) that are under never-ending pressure to control costs while maintaining high performance access to critical applications and files. VDI is an excellent solution, but hard to scale and manage ­– especially across multiple locations.

To accommodate multiple sites, a hybrid VDI infrastructure can be utilized, with a core deployment in the primary data center and auxiliary deployments in the AWS cloud regions closest to the end users. This model results in lower TCO and higher performance, especially for latency-sensitive applications.

Sure, that sounds great, but is it possible? The biggest challenge with a hybrid VDI model is the underlying file infrastructure required – it needs to be easy to deploy and manage across multiple locations and capable of providing access to a global namespace from any location.

Amazon Outposts brings the easy-to-manage compute infrastructure that can grow elastically to meet demand. Nasuni gives organizations a flexible file solution on which both the corporate file shares and profile data can be stored and accessed from any VDI region. Customers avoid replication across multiple regions and instead benefit from the simplicity of Nasuni’s core-edge architecture. The “gold” copies of the files are stored in the AWS Simple Storage Service (S3), and the working copies live in the caches of the edge appliances deployed in each VDI region.

3. Massive Global Research Projects

Lastly, let’s look at genomic research being done by R&D teams at universities, research hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. Creating and managing the infrastructure for research teams engaged in genomic analysis is challenging. The data sets are petabyte scale. The compute requirements can vary drastically from memory- to compute-intensive. The only way to manage this range of requirements is to leverage the elasticity and scale of the cloud. However, many teams require local access for model development, ingestion of data sets from legacy systems, and rapid prototyping.

Amazon Outposts and Nasuni combine the scale of the cloud with the benefits of local performance for these researchers. Nasuni gives these teams an infinitely scalable file system that can be accessed from anywhere, including both on-premises and cloud appliances. Amazon Outposts provides a common compute infrastructure that can scale to thousands of instances in the cloud or be limited to higher performing services on prem. The file infrastructure underneath these deployments is Nasuni’s UniFS®, a global file system that is accessible from anywhere.

Amazon Outposts and Nasuni at re:Invent 2019

We’re very excited that the team at AWS recognizes the unique and powerful combination of Amazon Outposts and Nasuni. There’s more to this partnership than the three examples we cited above, and our Nasuni representatives are standing by at booth #1035, ready to talk shop. Stop by!

We have a few other exciting new capabilities to chat about, too. Nasuni will be showcasing many new solutions for AWS at AWS re:Invent 2019, including:

  • Nasuni Cloud Migrator for AWS – Customers can migrate data seamlessly from on-premises NAS to Amazon S3 faster and with less effort.
  • Nasuni Analytics Connector – Transforms unstructured data into company insights by translating file data format to object format to leverage AWS analytics and AI tools.
  • AWS Snowball Support – Transfer petabyte-scale data to AWS.

We’d love to hear from you and learn more about your file infrastructure challenges. Stop by booth #1035. We’re here to talk files.

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