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Architecture Firm Transforms Collaboration with Cloud Solutions Nasuni and Box

Murali Selvaraj, CIO at long-time Nasuni customer Perkins+Will, was recently featured in CIO discussing how his top-ranked architecture firm is leveraging the cloud and Box to transform collaboration with external clients, consultants, and suppliers.

In a previous post, we explained the differences between Nasuni’s global file system and hybrid cloud NAS solution and Box’s file sync and share, content management, and workflow platform. This example of how Nasuni and Box are being used together by the same customer is a case in point. Here is how the two cloud storage solutions complement each other.

Nasuni for scalable internal NAS, large file transfer, and cross-site file synchronization

Perkins+Will stores all its unstructured data on Nasuni’s global file system running on Amazon S3 object storage (Nasuni supports Azure, Dell EMC, and IBM cloud storage as well). Small Nasuni Edge Appliances deployed in Perkins+Will offices store only the active files and metadata used by each site. This gives Perkins+Will architects, engineers, and designers the same high performance file sharing through CIFS or NFS they’d get with traditional file servers, but without the cost, management complexity, or heavy on-premises footprint. They also get the added features of unlimited capacity, infinite version history, and fast file recovery made possible by Nasuni’s hybrid cloud architecture.

In addition, Nasuni enables Perkins+Will to share and collaborate on large CAD, Adobe Creative, and Office files across 30 offices and job sites. Deduplication and compression technology, combined with affordable public cloud bandwidth, enable highly efficient, secure large file transfer between office and job sites. Nasuni’s global volume management technology synchronizes changes made to each file so every Edge Appliance in every location matches the gold copies of the files stored in the Amazon cloud. And Nasuni Global File Lock permits only one user at a time to edit files across all locations, helping prevent version conflict and data loss.

Box for external file sharing, content management, and workflow

Box enables Perkins+Will to share files stored internally on Nasuni with external clients, consultants and other stakeholders. Previously, these files were shared using a Microsoft SharePoint application hosted on-premises. But a cloud solution was more in line with Murali’s strategic vision.

Box collaboration software, in conjunction with single sign on solution Okta, was chosen to allow Perkins+Will architects to externally share design blueprints and other documents. Clients can check on their projects, view images of them, and leave comments on the files. Security and provisioning capabilities enable Perkins+Will to manage which external parties can access specific files. Version controls reveal who accessed and changed files and when. If a stakeholder leaves the project, Perkins+Will can shut off access to their files.

Use the cloud to transform internal and external file sharing

As Perkins+Will is proving with its dual use of Nasuni and Box, the cloud can be used to improve experiences for both internal and external stakeholders. By transforming how information is shared and enabling better collaboration on high-stakes projects, Murali is using cloud technology to make IT a catalyst for business change, rather than as simply a business support function.