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Nasuni drifts cloud storage platform into data management

Cloud storage and edge caching vendor Nasuni is adding new data observability capabilities to its platform with Nasuni IQ, now available to all Nasuni customers.

Nasuni added new data management capabilities to its cloud storage platform, enabling customers to gain unstructured data insights from the storage software.

Nasuni IQ, a new capability for the Nasuni File Data Platform, merges log data and metadata from customers' files for review within the platform's web console. This enables users to discover consumption or usage patterns for storage, user activities and performance bottlenecks, according to the vendor.

This new release moves Nasuni closer to data management software such as Komprise, said Steve McDowell, chief analyst and founder of NAND Research. Having these capabilities helps storage vendors stand out in the market, as generative AI (GenAI) initiatives have brought storage and data needs to the buying forefront.

Everyone's talking more about data management than they're talking about storage, especially in the unstructured space. There's plenty of room for players in this market.
Steve McDowellChief analyst and founder, NAND Research

"Everyone's talking more about data management than they're talking about storage, especially in the unstructured space," McDowell said. "There's plenty of room for players in this market."

High IQ management

Nasuni IQ is generally available today for all existing Nasuni customers at no additional cost. The capability could grow into a separate paid feature in the future, said Jim Liddle, chief innovation officer at Nasuni, based on what future features customers might demand.

The feature provides prebuilt dashboards, built on the open source Grafana observability platform, that display the fused log data and metadata. The Nasuni File Data Platform offers object storage for edge software or hardware devices to cache data, which enables cloud storage to act like a local file system, according to the company.

Liddle said the new capabilities were requested by Nasuni's customers, who want more ways to review, sort and catalog data before ingesting it into other services.

Storage administrators asking for these features are already being tasked with additional duties akin to data management roles, said Scott Sinclair, practice director at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group. It can be a boon for them to have those capabilities available in a platform they're already working with instead of needing to buy another service that is potentially more complex or expensive.

"We are constantly asking administrators to do more," Sinclair said. "Even for customers who don't need this, we're in a trend where [those] customers [will be] asked to do more and more."

Future imperfect

Even when asked to do more, Sinclair said, there's likely a limit to how much complexity storage administrators will need for these management tools.

Existing storage vendors, such as NetApp or Dell Technologies, remain focused on their hardware and storage-as-a-service offerings rather than introducing data management capabilities. Storage vendors that expand beyond their scope could find that customers don't need such additional tools or capabilities, he said.

"If you continue to innovate down this road, what's the law of diminishing returns?" Sinclair said.

McDowell said the added complexity could be worth the logistical headache, as creating GenAI or machine learning workloads within an enterprise will still require all parts of the stack to integrate data management practices and insights.

"We're going to see the rollout of GenAI over the next two years, [but] step one of leveraging AI is understanding your data," he said.

Sinclair noted that the need to understand data will only grow in time and sprawl.

"There are few realities in IT other than that data is everywhere," he said.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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