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Nasuni Filer adds file-locking, entry-level model

Nasuni Filer now supports file locking to maintain data integrity across sites, a necessary step to becoming an accepted cloud NAS system.

Nasuni Corp. today upgraded its cloud storage controller, adding a global file-locking capability to its UniFS file system, along with desktop and mobile application synchronization and a low-end hardware controller.

The Nasuni Filer holds frequently accessed data in cache and sends older data to a public cloud.

The global file-locking capability facilitates use of the controller in multiple locations within a company by maintaining data integrity. It prevents users from accessing a file that is already open and creating multiple, conflicting file versions.

Nasuni isn't the first cloud gateway to add file locking -- rival Panzura added it two years ago -- but it is considered a key step to becoming a primary storage system.

"This is not a must-have for a cloud gateway, but it is absolutely mandatory if you want to be primary storage," said Steve Duplessie, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "This is what modern NAS systems are supposed to look like -- zero geographic restrictions and all the benefits of file locking and one namespace."

The global file locking service is built into Amazon Web Services (AWS), but customers can use it with any public cloud that Nasuni supports. It is optional because there may be some latency when first activated for a file.

"You get a millisecond delay when the locking is activated. You may not want this," said Nasuni CEO Andres Rodriguez.

In addition, Nasuni rolled out the NF-100, the smallest of its four physical controllers (Nasuni also has a virtual appliance). The NF-100 holds 2 TB in cache and has 8 GB of memory. In comparison, the next highest system -- the NF-200 -- has a 6 TB of cache and 16 GB of memory. The highest-end system -- the NF-400H -- has 24 TB of cache and 32 GB of memory.

Desktop and laptop synchronization has also been added, which allows employees to choose a folder for local files to be synchronized to all employee devices. Nasuni previously supported synchronization for mobile devices.

"We got a requirement from our customers who said, 'Just give me desktop synchronization,'" Rodriguez said. "We want to eliminate laptop backup. Users can access the data locally or centrally from the cloud."

Cloud gateway and controller competition is heating up following EMC's acquisition of Nasuni rival TwinStrata, which will be integrated into EMC VMAX storage arrays. Also last week, Microsoft launched new models of its StorSimple controllers and integrated management more tightly with the Windows Azure Cloud, and Panzura began offering 2 TB of free capacity for its software gateway on the Google Cloud Platform.

Nasuni looks to differentiate by offering a full cloud service. While its controllers are located on the customer's site, Nasuni manages the cloud service on the back end and sets up customers with subscriptions on either AWS or Azure public clouds.

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