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Nasuni will take aim at hot IT trends with upcoming capabilities to export files to analytics and artificial intelligence tools, speed data migration to AWS and Azure, and extend multi-cloud support to Google Cloud.
Customers often use Boston-based Nasuni's UniFS file system to consolidate their NAS systems in cloud storage and enable file sharing across disparate sites. The Nasuni software can cache the most active files in on-premises physical or virtual appliances, shift less frequently accessed data to private or public cloud object stores, and use a global namespace to enable access from multiple locations.
A new Nasuni Analytics Connector will give customers the option to translate file data from the UniFS format to the object format that analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, such as Amazon's Rekognition and Macie, recognize. The Analytics Connector is due to become generally available by year's end, according to Russ Kennedy, Nasuni's chief product officer.
Enterprise Strategy Group research shows that analytics and machine learning initiatives rank among the top IT investment areas, according to Scott Sinclair, a senior analyst at the company. He said businesses understand the importance of capturing insights from their data to stay competitive, and they need a storage architecture to enable the analytics and machine learning applications.
Nasuni calculator estimates analytics costs
Nasuni's Analytics Connector runs as a set of serverless services in AWS or Azure. Kennedy said a Nasuni-built cloud user interface will let customers select the UniFS data they want to export and copy, indicate where they want to store it, and kick-start a process to translate the files into an object format. Nasuni built a calculator to help customers estimate the cost of running the analytics tools against their data, based on the published prices of the cloud service providers, Kennedy said.
Another key new feature in Nasuni's upcoming release is a Cloud Migrator tool that can take data from a customer's existing NAS and file servers and write it directly to AWS and Azure in the UniFS format. The software installs in one or more on-premises or cloud virtual machines situated near the file data sources, and multiple processes can run in parallel to accelerate the data migration. The customer then connects the container with the migrated data to an appliance with the Nasuni file system running, Kennedy said.
In the past, Kennedy said, Nasuni used third-party tools such as Robocopy to get file data into the system. Customers had to store and cache data on a local appliance before pushing it to the cloud as part of a regular snapshot process. He said the new Cloud Migrator would bypass the local caching appliance and write data directly to an AWS or Azure object storage bucket.
"Some customers were having difficulty migrating data from legacy systems to Nasuni. It was taking longer than they wanted," Kennedy said.
Data migrations in general can be painful for IT organizations, between the time and effort required, so Nasuni's attempt to simplify the process would be beneficial, Sinclair said.
Kennedy expects new customers will use professional services for their data migrations, and existing customers could use the Cloud Migrator to shift more workloads to the Nasuni system. Nasuni's Cloud Migrator software, as well as the Analytics Connector, will be available at no additional cost with product subscriptions.
Support added for Google Cloud Storage
Also due by year's end is support for Google Cloud Storage, to go with the AWS and Azure options that Nasuni customers already had. Nasuni also extended its reach to more private cloud object stores with the addition of support for Cloudian HyperStore, NetApp StorageGrid, Nutanix Objects, Pure Storage FlashBlade, Scality Ring and Western Digital ActiveScale. Nasuni previously supported Dell EMC's ECS, IBM's Cloud Object Storage and the Hitachi Content Platform.
Stu Miniman, a senior analyst at Wikibon and host of TheCUBE, said Nasuni's focus on managing data in a multi-cloud world should resonate with customers. He said users tell him the cloud is not a one-way migration but rather a "long-term journey." They place applications and accumulate data in multiple places on a changing basis over time. But most management and automation tools have challenges working across clouds, Miniman said.
List pricing for an annual Nasuni software subscription starts at $1,000 to $1,750 per terabyte depending on the edition the customer chooses. The cost per terabyte goes down with additional capacity, so multi-petabyte customers pay significantly less, Kennedy said. Nasuni claims that customers deploy its software in more than 7,000 locations in 70 countries' data and that its data under management has grown 250% during the last two years.