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Panzura Global File System gets management upgrade

Panzura builds a new console that centralizes maintenance for its controllers and Global File System. The Google Maps-based monitoring and reporting tool manages cloud storage.

Panzura has built a new user interface using a Google Maps-based monitoring and reporting tool for its Global File...

System that makes it easier for companies to use the cloud for primary storage and manage globally distributed cloud storage.

The new CloudFS Console gives administrators the ability to centrally monitor Panzura cloud controllers. They can view the connectivity among the controllers, the status of the locally cached data at each site and the status of every file stored in the Global File System.

The Google Maps view shows an overlay of where all controllers are located and the connectivity between them.

"This provides an entire view of the entire Global File System, so you don't have to look at each individual controller to see what is going on," said Rich Weber, Panzura's chief strategy officer and vice president of engineering. "You can see the interdependences of the controllers. You really need to look at the system as a whole and what each controller is doing. Understanding where everything sits relative to each other is critical for sizing the namespace."

Administrators can see Global File System activity for the last 14 days to troubleshoot. Panzura's previous management console only showed information for one controller, so each controller required its own console.

"The challenge we had is [customers] had to look at each controller in a vacuum," Weber said. "They did not have the ability to have a single view with time markings that would go back and see how everything was working."

David Neumann, IT director at Milwaukee-based Graef-USA, said the engineering consulting firm has about 30 TB of data in the cloud, which is roughly 85% of its total data. Graef uses Panzura controllers with Amazon Simple Storage Service cloud storage that supports its architectural design applications.

"Before, we spent 10 to 12 hours working to assess the health of the controllers," Neumann said. "We would have to go to each controller to assess the health. With the new UI, we use a few hours a week. We spend about three to four hours a week watching [the controllers]. I can see it all on one pane of glass and I can deep dive in every controller cache to see what the cache is doing. We can see how much cache is being used between clouds and locally."

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How burdensome is it to manage cloud storage such as Panzura's without a single-management interface?
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