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SoftNAS Cloud architecture gets facelift, new features

SoftNAS Cloud architecture splits into distinct products for primary NAS, secondary storage and replication across clouds, and targets multicloud and hybrid cloud implementations.

SoftNAS redesigned its Cloud Data Platform, splitting it into three product editions that offer native cloud support for applications, faster data migration across multiclouds and more feature-rich data services for hybrid cloud storage deployments.

SoftNAS split its Cloud Data Platform into Cloud Enterprise and Cloud Essential editions, and it added a new Cloud Platinum version. SoftNAS Cloud Enterprise employs the vendor's high-performance network attached storage (NAS). Cloud Essential is optimized for archiving, backup and big data.

SoftNAS Cloud Platinum, which is still in beta, is a replication product for cloud data management.

The new architecture is designed to deliver data services across multicloud and hybrid cloud configurations. 

"This is about delivering a richer set of data services to enable the hybrid cloud," said Jeff Kato, senior storage analyst at Taneja Group. "Software-defined storage vendors are going natively into the cloud and they are providing more data services."

SoftNAS Cloud Platinum includes wide area network (WAN) optimization for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure clouds. It has the company's patent-pending UltraFast technology for faster bulk data movement in cloud, which is comparable to the IBM Aspera faspex for high-speed, global person-to-person file delivery of unlimited-sized digital packages.

"We both do this a bit differently, but it accomplishes the same results," SoftNAS CEO Rick Braddy said. "We built UltraFast into the data platform so we can move massive amounts of data around the world. I like to say that it flattens the internet.

"This is a cloud data platform for any hybrid cloud data needs," Braddy added. "Once the data is migrated, it keeps it live and it keeps updating it to keep it fresh."

SoftNAS Cloud Enterprise is a rebranding of the company's flagship NAS product for primary storage, which competes with NetApp filers. The software targets SaaS-enabled applications, business application migration, web server content and dev-test environments.

The SoftNAS Cloud Essential for secondary storage supports basic file services, file server consolidation, cloud backup, disaster recovery and tape-to-cloud archiving. The company's ZFS-based NAS is layered over object storage and supports Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage.

Braddy said the SoftNAS Cloud Platinum supports Apache NiFi for data flow automation between systems that provides a web-based interface to manage the data flows in real time. The key technology within Platinum is the UltraFast technology that gives customers the ability to "lift and shift" applications from an on-premises location to the cloud. It does live migration of workloads.

The Platinum software handles one-to-many and many-to-one replication, multisite disaster recovery, and bulk data transfers. The product is delivered through a subscription-based software service.

SoftNAS has another patent-pending technology that speeds up workload performance. The ObjFast technology is integrated into the company's NAS and gives customers block-storage performance at the price of object storage. The company also has a SoftNAS Cloud File Gateway virtual appliance that serves as a unified file system for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors for on-premises and hybrid cloud storage.

 "The company is providing a stack to ramp up cloud compatibility," Kato said.

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