Feature

Nirvanix Inc. Cloud Storage Network, CloudNAS focus on enterprise users

UPDATE: The story below was written in April 2013. On October 1, 2013, Nirvanix filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A few weeks earlier, the company had notified its users that they would have to transition their data to an alternative cloud storage provider. 

To learn more about Nirvanix's woes, you can read the following stories:

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Nirvanix to customers: "Get off of my cloud"; Is Nirvanix cloud shutdown sign of things to come?; Users scramble to find a Nirvanix exit strategy; The cautionary tale of Nirvanix; Cloud storage provider Nirvanix now in Chapter 11; Who will ensure the Nirvanix cloud is cleared?; and Nirvanix storage customers face data retrieval issues.

Focusing exclusively on storage, Nirvanix Inc., one of the earliest players in the enterprise cloud market, has steadily expanded and enhanced its cloud products since the launch of its Storage Delivery Network in October 2007.

The Storage Delivery Network, now known as the Cloud Storage Network, sits at the foundation of the Nirvanix CloudComplete Portfolio along with Cloud File System, which provides a single global namespace that the company claims is capable of handling billions of files and exabytes of data. The Cloud Storage Network consists of 10 global carrier-class data centers. Customers can locate data close to users and replicate it to two, three or more data centers.

Read the complete cloud storage providers comparison guide

Amazon Web Services: Simple Storage Service, Glacier, AWS Storage Gateway

AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service

Google Cloud Storage

HP Cloud Object Storage

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise–Object Storage

Microsoft Windows Azure Storage

Rackspace Hosting's Cloud Files

Nirvanix uses object-based disk storage for backup, archive and collaboration/content distribution applications in private, hybrid and public cloud storage deployments. The company's cloud portfolio includes the following:

Nirvanix Public Cloud Storage: On-demand storage service for unstructured files, backup and archiving, and content distribution. Nirvanix delivers this service from globally dispersed storage nodes.

Nirvanix Hybrid Cloud Storage: Local instance of a cloud storage node at a customer's site. It also can access and replicate to Nirvanix's global nodes.

Nirvanix Private Cloud Storage: Local instance of a cloud storage node at the customer's site, allowing the user to pay only for the storage consumed. The private cloud offering uses Nirvanix technology as well as nodes in any of the customer's data center locations, federated under a single namespace.

Nirvanix CloudNAS: Gateway software that installs on Windows or Linux servers and provides access to Nirvanix's cloud storage services. The software fully integrates with popular third-party backup and archiving products from vendors such as CommVault Systems, Symantec and Veeam Software.

Getting started/connected

Nirvanix's cloud storage is accessible through the Nirvanix Web Services API, the Nirvanix Management Portal and the Nirvanix CloudNAS gateway. The Web Services API supports REST or SOAP protocols over HTTP or HTTPS, and the cloud-enabled NAS gateway lets customers use standard CIFS, NFS and FTP. The Nirvanix Cloud Storage Network is fully integrated with third-party applications and appliances from vendors such as Acuo Technologies, CommVault, Oxygen Cloud, Panzura, Riverbed Technology, Symantec and TwinStrata.

Data center locations

U.S.: Dallas and Lewisville, Texas; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Secaucus, N.J.

International: Bern and Zurich (Switzerland/Swisscom); Frankfurt, Germany; Tokyo

Pricing

Nirvanix's enterprise pricing is typically contract based and depends on projected total capacity over the life of the contract and the service-level agreement (SLA) level (99.9%, 99.99% and 99.999% availability), which corresponds to the data protection policy in geographically dispersed cloud storage nodes. Nirvanix offers flat-rate pricing. There are no upload/download, bandwidth or replication charges. Customers receive monthly bills for the capacity they use, and 24/7 enterprise-grade customer support is included. Nirvanix also offers a self-service option with up to 2 terabytes (TB) capacity paid through a credit card.

Monthly pricing for the Cloud Storage Network starts at 25 cents per gigabyte (GB) for one node at 99.9% availability, 48 cents per GB for two nodes at 99.99% availability and 71 cents per GB for three nodes at 99.999% availability. Discounted rates are available for enterprise customers depending on the storage volume and length of contract.

(Note: All pricing information is valid as of April 1, 2013)

Service-level agreement

Nirvanix's guaranteed SLAs range from the standard 99.9% for one active copy to 99.99% for two active copies and 99.999% for three or more active copies. The company notes that replicated files are not disaster recovery copies that require recovery, reconstruction or recompilation, but live copies that are instantly available.

Service credits are the sole remedy for failure of service requests to the Cloud Storage Network. For the Nirvanix SLA credit schedule, click here.

Nirvanix offers the option of custom SLAs, depending on customer deployments and requirements.

Management

The Web-based Nirvanix Management Portal provides customers with service and account status information as well as capacity and communications bandwidth usage. Customers have granular control of usage and provisioning. They can assign users or applications different profiles (such as availability level and bandwidth limits) by creating storage pools and child accounts under the master account. Customers can also create replication policies, indicate the storage nodes on which they want to store and duplicate data, and lock data down to a certain country or region.

Through the Management Portal, customers can also view and report billing and metering either in aggregate, per application or by specific end user. Billing information for chargebacks is available through the Nirvanix Web Services API.

Security

Nirvanix's 10 global cloud storage nodes reside in tier-three, SSAE 16 SOC 1 data center facilities.

Security features include Secure Sockets Layer and AES 256-bit encryption for data protection in transit and at rest, obfuscated physical file architecture requiring a three-step key to link files to users, token-based authentication with server-side session management, and multi-tenancy architecture for logical and physical segregation of customer data.

Additional notes

Customers with multi-petabyte implementations using the Nirvanix Cloud Storage Network and Cloud File System include the University of Southern California (USC) Digital Repository, health care solutions provider Cerner Corp., NBCUniversal Media and a $50 billion global financial services institution.

Customers can move data from other clouds directly into Nirvanix's system through the company's Cloud Sideloader technology. Nirvanix is considering offering bidirectional data movement capabilities with the product, according to a company spokesperson.


This was first published in April 2013

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