New Investment Opportunities with Nasuni
Nasuni has just announced a new investment of $15million from Venture Capitalists to fund development of its cloud-based filer software, following a $8million investment in March 2009. This software comes in the form of a downloadable virtual machine which presents the storage cloud as a networked drive to local users. A local 500GB cache drive is used to encrypt and decrypt the data as it is transferred between the users and the storage cloud.
The Nasuni virtual machine is compatible with the major VM hosts, including VMWare, Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V, and it can access data stored on a variety of different cloud storage systems including those offered by Amazon S3, Iron Mountain, Azure and others. The aim is not currently to be a high-availability solution for cloud data access, but to provide access to provisioned data with any provider. As you pay the storage provider for the data you store, your storage bill increases with the size of your stored data, but Nasuni deals with this seamlessly. The software even supports multiple storage providers at the same time for disaster recovery.
One of the problems with storing data in the cloud is file versioning. Whereas on local storage you can just overwrite your data files as you work, data stored in the cloud is not designed to be dynamically worked on. Nasuni overcomes this by using the local cache drive and then uploading the files to cloud storage. The frequency and bandwidth of snapshots can be controlled, so reducing any impact on your network, and the local cache drive means that you have faster access to cached files than if they had to be downloaded every time you wanted to work on them. A free trial version of the software is available for download and testing purposes from the Nasuni website.
Nasuni are not the only software developer working in this area, and a host of others are working on similar products in the cloud storage access infrastructure area, including BridgeSTOR, Riverbed, StorSimple and others. It is only a matter of time before existing storage provider companies such as NetApp expand their existing SAN controller software to manage cloud as well as local SAN storage.
Nasuni combines the security and performance of local storage with the unlimited capacity & cost-savings of the cloud.