Nasuni Under the Hood – Providing Scalable NAS “Muscle”
Blog

Nasuni Under the Hood – Providing Scalable NAS “Muscle”

I may be dating myself but I grew up in the era of muscle cars, and no social gathering was complete without everyone popping the hood of their hot rod and showing off their souped up engine. Lots of chrome, dual 4 barrel carbs, superchargers, exhaust headers – what was under the hood was all-important and provided the muscle and power that our cars exhibited. Just as with the muscle cars of my youth, nothing is more important to a scalable NAS solution than what’s under the hood.


On the surface, Scalable NAS storage software and hardware, replication and backup applications, and DR and BC strategies can look similar. If working correctly, they can all provide storage for data, the ability to recover data, and the ability to continue working on data in the event of a complete disaster. It is only when we “pop the hood” do the architectural, functional, performance, and scalability differences start to show up. How a file storage solution is designed, from beginning to end, reflects its ability to perform, or muscle through the many tasks at hand.

Centralized Control with Distributed Performance

The Nasuni enterprise file services platform is architected to give IT centralized control over file data with distributed performance for fast user access. To achieve both objectives, Nasuni architected our platform using a cloud-first model, where no Edge Appliance (the local cache that stores only active files) ever needs to communicate with another Edge Appliance. Unlike other solutions that are device-centric and rely on a master device for replicating changes, all changes in the Nasuni model get propagated from the cloud.

This cloud-native design also applies to our lock service. All Nasuni Edge Appliances are stateless and equal; there is no “master” device or local device serving as a lock server, as there is with competitive solutions. By putting our lock service in the cloud, Nasuni offers greater reliability, scalability, security and performance than a single device within a customer’s infrastructure.

What about latency? Any distributed file system must communicate with a lock server, so the rules of physics do apply. A single on-premises device serving as a lock server in other competitive solutions may be faster to lock local data, but all remote devices will still have to traverse the WAN for a lock, resulting in latency based on distance. Cloud-based lock services, in addition to their superior scalability and other advantages mentioned above, also provide redundancy by placing primary and secondary lock servers in different regions to mitigate network disruptions or disasters.

Nasuni Whiteboard

Incorruptible Master Data Set

A major benefit of our cloud-native global file system – Nasuni UniFS® – is that all data is written to the cloud using a Write Once Read Many (WORM) model. With WORM, all files and file versions are stored as immutable objects that cannot be overwritten or corrupted. Disk sector/block-based architectures don’t share this benefit, and are subject to data corruption.

Integrated File Services Features

Traditionally, providing an enterprise file service meant cobbling together different point solutions for primary NAS, remote access, backup, disaster recovery, replication, business continuance, and other features. Nasuni believes these capabilities should all be built-in under the hood. This avoids the compatibility issues, finger-pointing, and IT overhead typically required with multiple “siloed” point tools.

Scale in Any Dimension

If we revisit the centralized vs. distributed model and Nasuni’s decision to architect a solution that merges the best attributes of both models, scalability comes to the forefront. A file services platform that accounts for the growth in file data, metadata, snapshots and retention over years or even decades is critical. Traditional NAS systems, and all the bolt-on components required to support them, scale poorly from cost, capability, and capacity standpoints. Nasuni UniFS was designed for unlimited data and metadata, so you will never run out of capacity. Need more locations? Nasuni scales in remote sites just as we do in capacity. Spin up a site, connect Edge Appliances to data sets and your users are up and running. That simple.

Centralized management is also critical in any scale discussion. If your enterprise has 150 locations and you need to configure each Edge Appliance, the last thing you would want to do is open 150 different windows to manage them. Nasuni and UniFS were designed from the start to support a single pane of glass management console. We provide guaranteed, in-order delivery of management messages to each appliance without requiring direct IT communication.

Simplicity, scale and power under the hood. This is why the world’s largest users of file storage and the leaders in manufacturing, media and advertising, construction, architectural design, technology, real estate, and other industries are all Nasuni customers.

Under the Hood is Where the Differences Lie

Some muscle cars look great on the outside. But it’s often the “sleepers” that are fastest off the line and in the quarter mile. All because of what they’ve got under the hood.

That’s Nasuni. We’ve focused on the important technology under the hood. With Nasuni UniFS as our patented, cloud-native global file system, we’re delivering a unified set of enterprise file services that scales, performs, accesses, and protects better than any other solution.

Want a deeper look? Contact us. We’ll be happy to pop the hood and show you what we’ve built!

Learn more by downloading the solution brief: Nasuni at a Glance »

Leave a Reply