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Wednesday, 10 February 2010 14:44

Nasuni introduces cloud-based primary storage

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Intended for use by midsize businesses, the Nasuni Filer provides a virtual file server on site that's connected to an online storage provider.

According to Nasuni CEO Andres Rodriguez, midsize businesses frequently have trouble managing their steadily increasing demands for more storage space plus the need for reliable, complete backups.

The idea behind the Nasuni Filer is that most of the data on a company's file servers is hardly ever used -- that the actively accessed data is fraction of the entire amount.

"Out of five or seven terabytes of stored data," says Rodriguez, "there's maybe 100 GB that people are actually working on."

The Filer -- intended for businesses with 200 to 1,000 employees -- supplies a virtual NAS server (running in VMware) that caches that active fraction, drastically reducing the amount of local storage needed. The rest of the data is transferred to the cloud and only accessed when called for.

That makes it possible to use what is essentially cloud-based storage as a primary file server.

For more on the Nasuni virtual storage system, see page 2.


The Nasuni Filer takes a snapshot of the entire file system every hour, performs deduplication, and sends just the changed data to the cloud.

Rodriguez emphasizes that Nasuni doesn't the data itself; rather, it works with established cloud storage providers.

"We see ourselves as a gateway," he says. "Once the Filer is installed, we establish the customer's credentials with the cloud provider. We also broker the security arrangements and the billing."

The company currently works with Amazon Web Services and Iron Mountain and will be adding Rackspace and Nirvanix.

Rodriguez promotes the Nasuni Filer as a disaster recovery solution as well.

"People don't like to put too much data on cloud services," Rodriguez says, "because of the time it takes to restore it. But in our case, if you need to get going after a disaster, you don't need to bring all the data down.

"Once cloud access is re-established, we give priority to what users request and then restore the cache as it existed before."

For pricing and availability, see page 3.


The Nasuni Filer virtual machine costs US$3,000/year and is available outside the U.S.

The cloud storage backing it up is extra, but Nasuni just passes through whatever the cloud provider charges without adding a markup.

The service is now in beta and can be downloaded from www.nasuni.com, and the storage is free during the beta period.

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