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EMC Constellation (Maginatics) Alternative – EMC ECS and Nasuni

Many technology vendors have a “coopetition” relationship, sometimes partnering and sometimes competing. Recently, I’ve been doing more partnering with my Dell EMC solution engineer counterparts, even though Nasuni can be viewed as a global file system competitor to EMC Constellation (formerly Maginatics) and EMC Isilon (see my previous blog comparing Nasuni and EMC Isilon).

When I get the opportunity to present to Dell EMC customers, I typically give 6 reasons why Nasuni and Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) are the best object storage solution for highly scalable file sharing, multi-site file collaboration, and NAS replacement or consolidation.  They’re listed below. But first, here’s a quick comparison between Maginatics/Constellation and Nasuni.

Maginatics/Constellation and Nasuni: Many Similarities, One Big Difference

Dell EMC Constellation and Nasuni have many great features in common, with both offering:

  • Distributed file systems (Maginatics MagFS and Nasuni UniFS®) designed from the ground up for the cloud to offer a global namespace, strong data consistency, WAN optimization, end-to-end security, application compatibility, and edge connectivity.
  • Military-grade encryption, separate data and management control planes, and centralized management.
  • Split data/metadata model to provide local access to shared files, caching only active (“hot”) files and their metadata locally.
  • File versioning (storing every file version in the cloud) for improved RTOs and RPOs, while often eliminating the need for file backup.
  • Intelligent pull or sync model to keep metadata and data up to date.
  • Dedupe for data and bandwidth reduction.

The main differerence between Maginatics/Constellation and Nasuni is Maginatics was originally conceived to cache files directly on PCs, Macs, and workstations using a local agent. Nasuni was designed to use on-premises or cloud-based caching appliances to offer shared, NAS-like access to files.

This is an important difference. Nasuni optimized around our edge appliance design because we foresaw file sizes continuing to grow and multi-site collaboration becoming more critical as enterprises add locations to improve profit margins and competitiveness. Today, our architecture is winning in the market because it addresses these requirements better than any other solution.

Why Nasuni and Dell EMC ECS are the Best Maginatics / Constellation Alternative

1. Unlimited NAS and Archive On-DemandUnlimited NAS and Archive On-Demand

With Nasuni on Dell EMC ECS, you’ll never run out of capacity for your group shares, project directories, and user home drives. The same is true for your cooler archive storage. As your storage needs grow, you can provision capacity on-demand simply by increasing your back-end ECS account.

Like EMC Constellation/Maginatics, Nasuni Edge Appliances cache only active data locally, so no upgrades are required in any location as you add more capacity. You’ll also shift heavy, up-front capital expenditures to a less costly, pay-as-you-grow OpEx model.

2. Multi-Site File Transfer & CollaborationUniFS global file system

Nasuni UniFS is the world’s first global file system that “lives” in cloud object storage. With all data and metadata (inodes) stored centrally in ECS, UniFS becomes a global namespace for your entire enterprise. Providing access to the same files globally is simply a matter of deploying Nasuni Edge Appliances in every location. All Edge Appliances connect to the same UniFS volumes and cache only the frequently used files locally. It’s as if every user is working on the same file server with local performance.

Nasuni also provides multiple modes of global file locking to prevent file conflicts, making it easier for users to collaborate on the same files from multiple locations without version issues. Lock servers scale dynamically and provide secure global lock access as well as lock server redundancy.

By eliminating the need for duplicate NAS arrays, private replication bandwidth, and remote access solutions, you also save a lot of IT budget.

3. Best Recovery Points (RTO) & Times (RTO)Best Recovery Points and Times

Nasuni Edge Appliances continuously capture every change to every file and send just the deltas to ECS object storage, where they are stored by Nasuni’s global file system as their own separate versions – forever if desired. IT or users can recover any version of any file in minutes for the most advanced RPOs and RTOs.

You also benefit from massive cost savings by eliminating file backup software and hardware infrastructure, and more savings from being able to quickly recover from Ransomware, malware, and accidental file deletions.

These data protection capabilities exceed those of EMC Constellation/Maginatics as well as all other “disk” oriented file systems.

4. Disaster Recovery From AnywhereNasuni’s disaster recovery

Since Nasuni UniFS lives in cloud object storage, it inherits the geo-redundancy of EMC ECS, which automatically stores multiple copies of file system metadata (inodes) and files in multiple locations. Nasuni Edge Appliances can be built from the small amounts of metadata in about 15 minutes anywhere you have power and a connection to ECS.

This ability to have quick DR without the high cost of dedicated DR sites, duplicate NAS infrastructure, and replication bandwidth is not possible with EMC Constellation/Maginatics.

5. Customer-Proven at ScaleCustomer-proven scalable file sharing solution

When one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies needed to replace its aging NetApp file infrastructure with a modern, scalable file sharing solution that could manage petabytes of unstructured data in hundreds of locations, it conducted a lengthy evaluation of the latest technologies. Nasuni on Dell EMC ECS was their choice.

Nasuni and EMC ECS are also in production at one of the world’s large pharmaceutical companies.

6. Strong Dell EMC – Nasuni PartnershipNasuni and Dell EMC ECS partnership

Not only is Nasuni integrated with Dell EMC ECS and recommended by Dell EMC, but Dell EMC is also an investor in Nasuni. Based on my experience in the field, we have a shared vision for enabling business agility, global growth, distributed workforce efficiency and massive cost savings. And we agree a global namespace on top of cloud object storage is the best way for our customers to achieve this.

Nasuni’s physical Edge Appliances are also Dell OEM servers. Our joint customers beneit from a unified solution – the same Dell EMC Service Technician can replace drives or power supplies in both ECS and Nasuni.

Ask for a Demo of Nasuni and EMC ECS

Whether you’re looking to consolidate silos of on-premises NAS, improve recovery points and times, enable global file collaboration, implement a strategic cloud-first initiative, or simply reduce the costs of unstructured data management, give us a look.

Ask your Dell EMC or Nasuni solutions engineer – like me – for a technical overview and demo of EMC ECS and Nasuni.


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