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Nasuni expands caching speed, availability for premium users

Faster file caching and synchronization, as well as more frequent versioning, is now available through a new feature called Global File Acceleration for premium Nasuni subscribers.

Nasuni's new Global File Acceleration (GFA) feature is now generally available for Nasuni customers subscribed to the "premium" service tier.

This feature offers file synchronization across multiple Nasuni appliances -- virtual or physical -- within seconds of changes being pushed to a given file, and caches frequently accessed files. Immutable copies of prior file versions are maintained alongside any copies dictated by user policy.

The feature allows Nasuni customers to cache their files closer to the edge for access five times faster than a lower-tier Nasuni service, according to Russ Kennedy, chief product officer at Nasuni.

"The real advantage is speed," Kennedy said.

GFA is targeted specifically at premium-tier users due to the tier's focus on multi-site file access, along with file locking.

Lower tiers focus on single-site file management and multi-site management without file locking. Enterprise users with Nasuni appliances in multiple locations are able to cache these more frequently accessed files using GFA, keeping frequently used files in sync.

How Nasuni's file services platform works

The new feature is compatible with all public and private clouds that support Nasuni. The GFA service itself is run through AWS and managed by Nasuni.

GFA was soft-launched to a handful of Nasuni customers in June but is now available for all premium-tier customers as of today.

Nasuni sells a cloud-based global file system that creates a single namespace to manage unstructured data. The service is primarily aimed at replacing traditional NAS. Customers can interact with Nasuni akin to any standard file system, but the data itself is stored in public or private clouds via object storage.

Kennedy said Nasuni considers itself in direct competition with other enterprise storage vendors such as Dell EMC and NetApp.

The new GFA feature also allows Nasuni users to create more frequent backups of their data with cloud storage providers to protect against ransomware and malware attacks, Kennedy said.

"We've had a number of customers hit with a ransomware attack, and all have recovered within an hour," he said. "It's very easy to roll back the Nasuni file system prior to the attack. One of the key capabilities is every version is immutable."

Nasuni currently offers three tiers for service. The most expensive tier -- premium -- is focused on multi-site collaboration features and enabling storage for hyperconverged infrastructure.

Subscription pricing is based on total storage, which costs around $400 to $600 per terabyte depending on selected services and storage used, along with the storage costs associated with the user's cloud service of choice, according to Kennedy. Nasuni has partnerships with most major clouds, including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

Nasuni users are ultimately responsible for managing the total number of versions and backups, according to Kennedy, but the new feature is strictly opt-in and shouldn't significantly increase storage needs.

It gives customers more choice in addressing their performance needs.
Randy KernsSenior Strategist, Evaluator Group

The new GFA option could give customers greater speed and flexibility across their architecture, said Randy Kerns, a senior strategist at Evaluator Group.

"It gives customers more choice in addressing their performance needs," Kerns said.

He noted the version protection is a value-add service, but one that ultimately requires the user's knowledge to manage effectively. Any cloud storage customers should consider additional tools and data air gaping to fully protect themselves.

"The key is to know when to roll back to," Kerns said. "This will give customers chances to try multiple points if they don't know exactly when the attack information was introduced. I would consider it another approach that has promise."

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