Q&A with Andres Rodriguez of Nasuni - Page 2
First, let’s take what the cloud does well. Data is offsite, protecting it from disasters that affect your local infrastructure, and, thanks to the highly redundant nature of the cloud architecture, data is constantly replicated to different physical locations throughout the cloud. The data is safe and does not need to be backed up anywhere else. Finally, the cloud has virtually unlimited capacity. Put together, this means that IT no longer needs to back up the file server nor does it need to constantly keep an eye on capacity and buy new disks to increase it.
The cloud also poses challenges to small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Without help, SMEs will find customer service at the larger cloud providers lacking because they are geared toward serving very large Web businesses. The IT director for a 500 employee company will find it difficult to raise someone on the phone at the cloud provider to troubleshoot problems.
Speed is also an issue, and those who expect to continually pull data straight from the cloud will not see local-like performance. And for those organizations such as law firms that need to ensure that deleted data is completely irrevocable, the cloud’s redundant architecture makes this kind of secure deletion tricky.
Nasuni deals with all of these issues for SMEs. We handle the relationship with the cloud provider, our patent-pending intelligent caching technology provides the local-like performance users will expect, and we have developed a reliable and secure way to irrevocably delete files from the cloud.
VSM: As you mentioned, dealing with a large cloud storage providers like Amazon or Microsoft can be tricky for a mid-sized enterprise. How does Nasuni help manage that relationship for its customers?
AR: For mid-sized enterprises that work directly with large cloud service providers for file-server storage, customer service is sorely lacking. Because Amazon and others cater to large Web-based businesses like Facebook or Zynga, IT directors at mid-sized enterprises are largely on their own should they run into issues with their data in the cloud. For instance, as I alluded to earlier, one of the biggest advantages of the cloud is that the inherent scalability of its architecture makes backing up data unnecessary. Without the kind of fail-safes that a company like Nasuni provides, IT either has to forego this advantage or live with the possibility that files may be accidentally deleted by employees. A large cloud provider will not be much help to a mid-sized enterprise who needs to recover accidentally deleted data.
Nasuni provides a safe, accessible way of storing and protecting local data in the cloud, and it manages all aspects of the relationship with the cloud provider, giving the customer a single point of contact, a single invoice, and a simple start-up experience. The key to this is the Nasuni Filer, which is a NAS-like virtual software appliance that links the local area network securely through the Internet to a cloud provider or providers of the customer’s choice.
VSM: How does a (cloud gateway) provider like Nasuni help alleviate customer fears about storing data in the cloud with all of this consolidation, especially in the wake of recent, high-profile cloud outages?
AR: Nasuni delivers services that enhance the customer’s cloud experience, shielding the customer from any disruption on the back-end.