Nasuni and Google Cloud Part 2: Ultimate Scale


February 23, 2021

This post is the second in a series of three promoting our exciting new partnership with Google Cloud Storage.  

I’ve been in the object storage space for a while now, and I thoroughly enjoyed a recent conversation with fellow storage veteran Brian Schwarz, the Director of Product Management at Google Cloud. In my first post excerpted from that conversation, we covered NAS sprawl, and the value of consolidating NAS and file server silos under a single cloud-based platform.  

At Nasuni, we deliver a SaaS solution that allows large organizations to shift unstructured file data and backup to the cloud, so an enormous part of our success as a company hinges on the object stores themselves. We don’t build or maintain data centers. There’s no reason to do so when some of the biggest and most innovative technology companies in the world do it themselves. That’s why I was excited to get the chance to talk to Brian about what makes Google Cloud Storage unique from a technology perspective.  

Russ: What would you say differentiates Google Cloud Storage? 

Brian: One of the most interesting things to me, as a relatively new Google employee, has been learning the nuances of how Google Cloud Storage is built and how it is different than other cloud object storage solutions out there, and I think the difference actually plays into this Nasuni partnership really well because customers can leverage our cheapest storage tier without sacrificing fast access to their data. That’s a direct result of Google’s deep experience in product innovation.  

Russ: How is that? Would you mind explaining that for our readers? 

Brian: Well, think about YouTube, right? You can find the most obscure video in the world, and it still loads in less than a secondAt Google we share technology across many of our product suites. In the case of storage, this translates into companies getting good performance at a low price point. It’s a great foundation for you guys to build on top of with your software. 

Russ: That time to first byte is certainly important for a solution like ours. Not all data is active all the time, as you know. There are some files that people keep around for historical purposes, for archival purposes, compliance purposes, etc. But like someone waiting to watch that obscure YouTube video, when they want that data, they want it quickly. Our technology caches frequently accessed files at the edge, but even if the data is sitting in Google Cloud Storageand not in the cache, customers will be able to retrieve it quickly?  

Brian: Yes, because that data largely is going to ride on our internal network. Google has one of the biggest and best networks in the world, and it was built to meet the performance needs of search, YouTube, and Gmail and all these things require that fast access.  

Russ: That’s great, and it really solidifies that point you mentioned earlier, about how this partnership between Nasuni and Google Cloud Storage is going to give customers a rare opportunity to leverage lower-cost object storage without giving away performance.  

How does this approach impact file sharing or collaboration? 

Brian: That same network I talked about is used for Google Cloud. So, if you’re going to shuffle around large media files, for example, then putting your software at the edge of that network is going to be a superefficient way to share data over large distances. 

Russ: Obviously for some of these large companies, the key is being able to do this at scale. You know a little something about scale at Google, right? 

Brian: When you have multiple services that have a billion active users a day, you have to build the underlying technologies that allows you to scale. I actually look at scale as our killer feature at Google Cloud Storage.  

Russ: I like that, and it’s so important, especially with unstructured data. File data is going to continue to grow because the files themselves are getting more complex. There’s more content in them. High-definition video, lidar data — those are just massive in terms of capacity. The benefit of having Nasuni’s architecture and Google Cloud Storage is that customers will have an efficient way to make these files available wherever people are, even if they’re working from home, and yet this file data will still be protected and secured. 

How is it, though, that Google can offer this mix of low-cost storage and strong performance? Normally there’s a tradeoff. 

Brian: We use the same infrastructure for our object storage that we use for many of Google’s consumer servicesThat’s why it’s possible to have less expensive tiers of storage that still have good performance. For example, I have somewhere around 30,000 photos in Google Photos at this point. That’s just me and my personal family photo connection. And it’s just awesome to me that I can basically scroll back in time to any time in the last 20 years, basically. It takes a second, but sure enough, in seconds, all my photo thumbnails pop up.  

Russ: Your 30,000 photos are not all important to you at one point in time, but when you need them, you want to get them in a reasonable period of timeIt’s the same thing with archived BIM models or videos or lidar files.  

Brian: Right, and when you build stuff for billions of people, that makes this sort of performance possible. So, with Nasuni, if one of your customers has really large datasetin media and entertainment or engineering and architecture, Google Cloud Storage is absolutely built to support that. Because in some sense, it’s not a lot different than what YouTube needs, or what Google Photos needs. Our technologies, Nasuni and Google Cloud Storage, really seem to fit together very, very nicely. 

As the Chief Product Officer here at Nasuni, I’m certainly excited about the technology fit. We love the fact that customers will be able to leverage this lower cost tier because it fits right into the business value that we’re trying to deliverAnother essential feature, of course, is file data backup and disaster recovery 

Brian and I spent plenty of time diving into that subject as well, and I’ll cover that in the third and final post. You can also hear more about enterprise file storage with Nasuni and Google Cloud in our upcoming live webinar on March 30th 

Ready to dive deeper into a new approach to data infrastructure?