Case Study: Lewis Group of Companies
Anywhere Collaboration for a Distributed Company
Object Store: Microsoft Azure
Sites: 30 Users: 500
Key Applications: Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office
The Lewis Group of Companies is a real estate company with 500 employees distributed among 30 offices in California and Nevada. The IS department needed to get users their files in all offices without compromising performance or availability. Their existing system centralized storage at Lewis’ home office, with users coming in through terminal services. Access was slow, and whenever there was an outage at the home office, everyone would lose access to their data. With Nasuni, local edge appliances provide fast access for users wherever they are – without dependence on a WAN connection to the home office.
Slow Centralized Storage
With nearly 500 employees spread out across 30 offices, IS must provide for distributed fast file access and collaboration, while keeping data available, protected and secure. User files were stored at the central office in Southern California. Users accessed their files via terminal services. Simple word documents took over 30 seconds to open because for anyone in a remote office they had to be opened across the WAN. In addition, this centralized storage made them dependent on the services at the home office, which became a single point of failure. If service was ever out there, the whole company was off line.
To solve this problem, IS tried replicating files across every office, but bandwidth at smaller offices made this impossible.
The Solution with Nasuni
Nasuni Enterprise File Services provides file storage, backup and disaster recovery in one easy-to-use integrated system. Nasuni edge appliances cache active data locally providing fast access to files for all users. The master copy of all data is maintained in the cloud for protection and unlimited scalability. Snapshots are taken frequently and stored in the cloud as well with no limits to the amount of history that can be retained.
“Nasuni was a miracle that helped us do what we wanted to do – efficiently, cost effectively, just better with the management. Everything it did was exactly what we wanted it to do.”
Michael Viselli, IS Project Manager
The Lewis Group of Companies implemented a volume for user home directories, which they made available at every office. Now, users can access their files locally whichever office they are in at local LAN speeds. Documents open instantly. When users make changes to documents snapshots are sent to the cloud and become available anywhere else in the company. Since Nasuni caches only the files that are in use, and sends only changes over the WAN, bandwidth at smaller offices is not a problem. Collaboration is enabled allowing the central office to push out updates to standard documents such as leasing contracts, and managers out in the field can make reports and updates on properties easily available back to the home office.
Nasuni integrates with The Lewis Group of Companies’ security by joining with their Active Directory. No change was needed to their existing permissions scheme making implementation easy.
Nasuni Prevents Data Loss from Cryptolocker
An unforeseen benefit of Nasuni’s frequent snapshots happened when unfortunately an employee’s system was infected with Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker is a ransomware trojan that encrypts user files and asks the user to send money to get the key to unlock them. Since they were taking frequent snapshots with Nasuni, IS was able to restore the user’s files nearly up to the minute, whereas before they would have had to go to a daily backup, wait to complete a restore, and a day’s work would have been lost.
Why The Lewis Group of Companies Chose Nasuni
Nasuni met the requirements with an all-inclusive system that provides distributed file sharing, backup and disaster recovery. Nasuni’s efficient use of Internet access allowed IS to make files available in all their offices, even those with limited bandwidth – something replication could not accomplish. Nasuni’s local Filers provide fast, on-demand access to user files without dependence on a WAN connection to the home office. Nasuni’s ability to provide access to files at any edge appliance enables collaboration across offices. Nasuni also provides unlimited scalability – as more space is required for Lewis Group growth, Nasuni can provision it immediately in the cloud.
“Nasuni’s biggest strength at our company is being able to provide a file to any end user no matter where they are and no matter what they’re sitting at.”
Michael Viselli, IS Project Manager