Newcomer Nasuni Unveils Cloud Storage Gateway

Nasuni Filer is a virtual NAS file server/front end that runs on VMware and uses publicly available cloud resources -- namely, Amazon S3, Iron Mountain Digital, Nirvanex and Rackspace -- to handle primary-tier cloud storage.

Imagine if you or your business had a familiar-looking, Web-based storage file application that Windows-familiar users-meaning just about everybody-can use to store and retrieve primary files from a cloud provider.
This is now possible, thanks to startup Nasuni, which on Feb. 9 introduced a beta version of its new NAS cloud storage gateway, Nasuni Filer.
Nasuni Filer is a virtual NAS file server/front end that runs on VMware and uses publicly available cloud resources-namely, Amazon S3, Iron Mountain Digital, Nirvanex and Rackspace-to handle primary data cloud storage.
Thus, Nasuni doesn't have to compete with all those big names; instead, it feeds business right to them.
"The cloud, with its great efficiencies of scale, is the future for all file storage," CEO and co-founder Andres Rodriguez, a former IT director of the New York Times, told eWEEK.
"We want to knock down the barriers that are keeping ordinary business users away from taking advantage of cloud storage. We make the cloud simple, and we make it secure. We increase the performance and give our customers a choice of cloud providers."
Nasuni's sweet spots in the market are the midrangers and SMBs, Rodriguez said. The new gateway eliminates the need for incremental storage hardware, he said.
"Moving to the cloud can help companies avoid the cost of an expanded infrastructure, including equipment, power and management," Laura DuBois, research director of storage software at IDC, said. "Nasuni's approach is a minimal investment and minimal disruption that addresses swelling volumes, simplifies file management and addresses data security objectives."
'Look and feel' of a regular file system
Natick, Mass.-based Nasuni (the name comes from a combination of NAS and "uni," for unity) has designed its gateway to look and feel like a conventional file system. It features full Windows CIFS, AC, and Active Directory support, Rodriguez said.
Nasuni also offers optional snapshots, instant data recovery (in case of mistaken deleted files) and end-to-end encryption.
Nasuni's synchronous snapshots capture the entire file system hourly and saves the snapshots to the cloud, where they remain accessible, Rodriguez said. Snapshots are deduplicated to minimize capacity usage, he said.
Nasuni also has a rollback feature that enables users to go back to any point in the life of a file, directory or file system with only a few clicks, Rodriguez said.
Pricing is straightforward and is handled on per-server (versus number of seats) basis: $200 per month per server on a two-year contract, $250 per month per server on a 1-year contract or a straight $300 per month per server for a month-to-month arrangement. Any number of seats can use the gateway, Rodriguez said.
Of course, storage capacity in Amazon, Iron Mountain or any of the others is a separate bill.
The company has made Nasuni Filer a free download, available at this site, for the next two weeks. After March 1, however, no more freebies will be allowed.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...