Nasuni is adding iSCSI storage capability to its cloud storage technology, giving businesses with multiple remote and branch offices the ability to protect both block-based and file-based data to the cloud.
With the update to its cloud storage technology, Natick, Mass.-based Nasuni becomes the latest storage vendor to unify NAS and SAN storage under a single management system. Unified storage allows block-level (SAN) and file-level (NAS) storage protocols to be used simultaneously within a single appliance.
While file-based data still accounts for the vast majority of the data stored in remote and branch offices, many of those offices still have applications running block-based data on a SAN, said Nasuni CEO Andres Rodriguez.
"The larger vendors have been pushing unified storage," Rodriguez said. "The reason is the broad use case for both file and block storage."
Nasuni develops software solution providers can use to put virtual storage appliances into remote and branch offices to protect the data of up to 50 concurrent users to a storage cloud with full encryption and a 100 percent availability guarantee, Rodriguez said.
The company's technology uses cloud storage offerings such as Amazon Web Services, AT&T, Nirvanix and Windows Azure to offer Storage-as-a-Service to customers and provide channel partners with recurring revenue opportunities.
In addition to the virtual storage appliances, which work in VMware environments and are provided to business users for free, Nasuni offers purpose-built hardware versions of the appliances for customers looking for higher performance.
The addition of unified storage to Nasuni's cloud storage technology is a huge benefit for small offices and branch offices, said Dave Cerniglia, president of Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and Nasuni partner.
"This is still a niche part of the cloud storage market," Cerniglia said. "But with a unified approach, we can access more of a customer's data, back it up to the cloud, and reach out to a bigger market than in the past."
Scott Robinson, president of XIOSS, a Las Vegas-based solution provider and Nasuni partner, said the ability to address iSCSI block data with the Nasuni cloud storage technology will make it easier to work with customers using such applications as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server in remote offices.
"This rounds out Nasuni's offering," Robinson said. "Customers won't need to purchase a hardware device just to run Exchange or SQL in their remote offices."
NEXT: New Support, Antivirus Tech, Plus New Appliance
In addition to the new unified storage capabilities, Nasuni added Active Customer Support, which allows Nasuni and its channel partners to directly access a customer's hardware for as long as needed to do troubleshooting, said Connor Fee, director of marketing for the company.
Also new are integrated antivirus capabilities in partnership with ClamAV, an open-source antivirus technology that detects Trojans, viruses, malware and other threats, Fee said.
"Our challenge is, we're truly a caching system where the storage is not local," he said. "If we provide APIs to antivirus software developers, their applications could initiate a full scan, which might crash the system. So we partner with ClamAV to scan each file before sending it to the cloud, and scan changes to the files."
Nasuni also introduced an addition to its family of hardware-based appliances, which provide higher-performance cloud storage. The company's new NF-400 provides 6 TB or 12 TB of local storage caching with up to 26 10,000-rpm hard drives to support up to 900 concurrent users. This complements the existing NF-200 appliance, which supports up to 300 concurrent users with 3 TB or 6 TB of local storage caching.
The NF-400 is priced from $12,500 to $17,500, while the NF-200 is priced from $4,000 to $6,000.
Robinson said XIOSS has been working with Nasuni for about four months and has built a nice pipeline of business with the company.
"Nasuni's a great fit in the remote office and branch office," he said. "We can just put a virtual machine in the office to serve as a NAS appliance, and data is cached locally while being snapshotted to the cloud. Customers get dedupe and infinite snapshots. And if they want to access the data from somewhere else, they just spin up a virtual machine."
Nasuni also protects that data with encryption, and by synchronizing control of the data with customers' existing tools, Robinson said.
"They're not creating a rogue environment," he said. "Nasuni is the first company to get this right for the IT environment."
Nasuni is part of a fast-growing market for providing data protection in the cloud, Consiliant's Cerniglia said.
"Companies can't scale storage like Amazon and others do," he said. "They will start to say, why should we buy 40 NAS filers, why have WAN optimization, why have a storage administrator at all those locations when I can have this all done as a service."
PUBLISHED JULY 10, 2012