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Was Azure down? This was the reaction of Nasuni customers to the recent azure outage . To be honest, I am speculating as to their reaction because we did not log a single support incident as a result of the outage. This despite the fact that The Nasuni Service uses Azure to provide management services and many of our customers have their cloud data stored in Azure. The Nasuni Service was architected from its inception a decade ago to be a platform that uses cloud for consolidated file data storage, and thus was architected to be resilient to intermittent cloud and Internet connectivity failures.Windows-Azure-Logo-Web

With The Nasuni Service, files are accessed locally via Nasuni Filers, which provide a cache for active data. Even if Internet access or cloud storage is unavailable, files remain accessible. When snapshots are sent to cloud storage, they can be queued for later transmission if it is not available. This process is completely transparent to users, who continue to access data at local performance levels regardless of cloud storage availability. In addition, Nasuni Filers can be configured to pin data to the local cache with granularity to the folder level. This means that critical data, like the CEO’s home directory, can always be available locally on the Filer.

NMCManagement with The Nasuni Service is similarly resilient. Communications between the Nasuni Management Console (NMC) and Filers take advantage of a scalable hub and spoke model using the cloud as a reliable message transport. If a target Filer is down, messages are queued until it becomes available, and the same is true if cloud service is unavailable. If changes to a specific Filer are required and connectivity is not available, each filer has complete local management interface.

The Nasuni Service includes backup and DR. If a Nasuni Filer becomes unavailable in a disaster, a new one can be brought up in a matter of minutes in a location with access to the cloud data store, and the entire configuration, including pinning, is recreated automatically using the Nasuni Operations Center (NOC). Since the data can be infinitely versioned in the cloud, files, directories or whole volumes can be immediately restored to any point in time.

In addition, The Nasuni Service has the capability for optional cloud mirroring for those with extreme availability requirements for access to the portion of their cloud data that might not be cached. Customers rarely opt for this once they fully understand the resilience Nasuni provides without it.

The recent Azure outage has shown the advantage of The Nasuni Service model. The combination of the system’s architecture, local file access, cloud storage and proactive management and support create a highly resilient storage platform. So if nobody notices, was Azure really down? Yes, Azure was down, but Nasuni’s customers were not.

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1 Response
  1. exdejesus

    isn’t it true that data is stored redundantly in the cloud, so that if one particular cloud site is down, that same data is still available from another site? that might be why no customers noticed.