Nasuni Overhauls Cloud NAS Filer for Microsoft Environments

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In what the company has termed the most significant product update since its launch, Nasuni released version 2.0 of the Nasuni Filer with a range of performance enhancements for Microsoft Windows environments and full support for Hyper-V server virtualization, Windows Azure, Distributed File System (DFS) namespaces, and Windows Previous Versions.

Nasuni Filer 2.0 also now supports private clouds and allows customers to use their own cloud credentials.

The Nasuni Filer is a virtual file server that leverages the resources of the cloud. The Filer supports Windows CIFS Shares, ACL and Active Directory to fit into existing NAS environments. As a result, the Filer can be used to consolidate a NAS cluster into a single device or to support an existing application, such as a content manager or an image server.

Available as a downloadable virtual machine (VM) image, the Filer’s cache keeps copies of working files in local storage for fast access. The Filer then deduplicates, compresses and sends file changes to the cloud.

Since the back-end storage is provided by a third party cloud service, the Nasuni Filer allows for unlimited capacity expansion and automatically adjusts to increasing or decreasing storage needs.

Nasuni captures the entire file system hourly and saves snapshots to the cloud, where administrators can roll back to any point in the life of a file, directory, or file system. It also employs end-to-end data encryption and key management (OpenPGP with AES-256).

With the new release, Nasuni is looking to extend the platform by making it easier for customers to use.

In addition to previous integration with other cloud storage providers, Nasuni Filer 2.0 users can now create volumes on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud services platform without adding plug-ins or software.

Nasuni has also simplified file access with Microsoft DFS, enabling customers to set up a DFS namespace and add a share from the Filer as a folder target. The new support for Windows Previous Versions, in conjunction with the Filer’s snapshot feature, gives end users the ability to restore previous versions of their own files without involving an administrator. Customers who have a pre-existing account with a cloud provider can also now use their own cloud credentials with the Nasuni Filer.

“Our 1.0, a NAS with unlimited primary storage and integrated backup, was already a strong, innovative foundation, and we’re building from there, pushing the file server to ease even more IT pain,” said Andres Rodriguez, CEO of Nasuni. “The 2.0 release offers primary storage to the cloud to more users and has exciting new pain-killing features, such as one allowing end users to restore their own files so IT does not have to be dragged into every file restore.”

Nasuni prices its Filer at $250 per month or $3,000 annually with advanced payment. The cost of the back-end storage capacity will vary based on the cloud provider of choice.

The addition of support for private cloud storage systems allows managed services providers (MSPs) to supply cloud storage with the form and function of a traditional file server. Nasuni’s support for private cloud storage services is intended to help MSPs compete in the emerging cloud storage services market via partners such as Rackspace, OpenStack, EMC Atmos, and the Nirvanix Hybrid Cloud.

However, Rodriguez said, the cloud is just one part of the solution. “The cloud is an enabling technology. It’s not anything that customers are ultimately going to put their hands on. If I’m a storage guy it solves my biggest pain [by allowing me to] take advantage of a storage cluster/object store without having to buy one, but all of the intelligence is in the file server,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is just a better NAS system The cloud enables us to do it, but it’s really secondary.”

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Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.

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