Patent Covers Underlying UniFS® Capability to Create a Versioned File System Native to the Object Storage Infrastructure of Cloud Storage Providers
NATICK, Mass. – Nov. 14, 2013 – Nasuni®, a provider of enterprise storage to large, distributed organizations, today announced that the U.S. Patent Office has awarded a patent that covers the company’s core technology: the ability to create a versioned file system from the object-based storage infrastructure of public cloud storage providers.
The new approach combines the performance and consistency of a traditional file system with the scale and stability of the object storage systems used by all of the leading public cloud providers. IT benefits by being able to rely on what is essentially an infinite snapshot stream that eliminates the need for separate backup and archiving systems.
When deployed at scale, object storage systems are cost-effective, stable and highly available; therefore, they are well suited to the needs of the large Web companies that operate them. Unfortunately, they are also relatively slow and offer no consistency model for changes to data. The vast majority of enterprise data is stored in systems where performance and consistency are paramount. Object storage’s inability to handle changes quickly or in a consistent manner makes the technology unsuitable for data center infrastructure in its raw form. Nasuni’s core technology, UniFS®, bridges the gap by leveraging local snapshots to create a direct mapping between a high performance file system and a series of immutable (WORM) versions of the file system that are then committed to the object store. This technology ensures Nasuni’s file system can grow forever without the capacity limits of physical set by traditional hardware-based file systems.
The company offers a family of mid-range storage arrays, the Nasuni Filer, that support both file and block storage across a wide range of workloads. Every Nasuni Filer runs UniFS®, from the SSD-based high performance NF-440 to the small virtual NF-VM which include native AWS and Microsoft Azure virtual machines. Unlike other cloud gateway technologies, Nasuni has no limits on the number of files or snapshots that can be supported in a single logical volume. Even when using modern file systems like ZFS, gateways and traditional storage arrays alike are limited by the hardware resources available – Nasuni, however, has no such limits because UniFS® fundamentally lives in the cloud. Its scale and stability comes directly from the host object storage system. Regardless of the number of snapshots, there is no performance degradation, and restoring data from any time in the past can take place without the need for a separate backup or archiving application.
With the recent introduction of Nasuni Filer virtual editions for Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, organizations can choose to shift workloads from their existing data centers to the cloud while maintaining continuous access to all of their storage. All operations are orchestrated by IT through the Nasuni Management Console (NMC), which offers central control and monitoring functions. Some of the common use cases include disaster recovery, mobile access and, with the recent introduction of Amazon AppSteam, even VDI support that leverages Amazon’s formidable bandwidth resources. Nasuni gives IT organizations the flexibility to tap into their storage infrastructure from any location, physical or in the cloud.
“UniFS® is the first file system born for the new era of cloud storage,” said Andres Rodriguez, CEO of Nasuni. “Our engineering team worked on the first generation of object storage systems and saw how to leverage their incredible potential to evolve the storage controller. We wanted the best of both worlds. We wanted to consolidate all of the storage functions into a simple service offering. UniFS® is at the heart of the service. No more capacity limits. No more backups. The era of glorified hardware boxes is coming to an end. It is too expensive to keep up with the sheer growth in data and the need to have that data protected and available everywhere. Enlightened IT organizations are thinning their data centers and leading the charge towards a new era where simple appliances offer direct access to the vast resources that are available in the cloud. ”