Cloud // Cloud Storage
News
11/19/2013
05:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Nasuni: Versioning File System For Cloud

Nasuni's UniFS uses stream of snapshots to create a versioned file system in the enterprise and in the cloud.

Nasuni, a provider of enterprise storage-as-a-service, has received US patent 8,566,362 on the core file system used in its Nasuni Filer products. The file system is UniFS, and unlike most object store file systems, it generates a stream of snapshots that can take the place of backup systems, according to CEO Andres Rodriguez. "It's a file system born for the cloud," he said in an interview at Amazon's Re:Invent event in Las Vegas last week.

When storage moved into the cloud, it established a fundamentally different way of generating large-scale storage. Systems like Microsoft's Azure Cloud Storage, Amazon Web Services S3, and Google's Cloud Datastore are object storage systems that capture and hold data in the form of files. The files may vary widely in size and contain different types of data, or they simply be a "blob" of audio, video, or other multimedia data. And in the cloud, such object store systems may scale out indefinitely, unlike enterprise storage systems, which are typically limited to the size of the hardware and hard drives on which they are located. The scale-out architecture of the cloud allows it to add servers and disks as needed.

Nasuni has come up with a way to create a versioned file storage system in which a snapshot captures a version of the entire system at a given point in time. The snapshot can be referenced to rebuild lost files if at some point data is destroyed or lost.

[ Want to learn more about the competitiveness of cloud storage systems? See Google Cuts Prices On New Datastore Service.]

It's possible to simplify backup systems in the cloud because when data is stored in the cloud, the service provider routinely makes two additional copies. If the cloud server or disk fails, there will still be two remaining copies, from which a third is made immediately following a data loss. Nasuni's UniFS takes advantage of that property. Instead of creating its own constant replications, it relies on the cloud systems to replicate the date while keeping a stream of snapshots.

"We've decoupled the storage controller from all the data tied to a storage array," noted Rodriguez. The Nasuni storage controller is free to tap into storage resources in a distributed fashion, matching up storage resources in the enterprise with related storage services in either the Microsoft or Amazon cloud.

Rodriguez is one of the inventors listed on the patent. The other is Robert S. Mason, president and co-founder of Nasuni and a former software engineer at Hitachi Data Systems, Archivas, and EMC.

A brief summary of the patent refers to the interface between an enterprise file system and a Nasuni managed service in the cloud: An interface between an existing local file system and a data store (e.g., a "write-once" store) provides a "versioned" file system. The state of the local file system at a given point in time can be determined using the versioned file system.

Rodriguez said Nasuni is trying to bridge the gap between a traditional file system, often found on enterprise premises, and the stability and scale of cloud systems. In the cloud, storage can scale up past even very large enterprise systems such as the former Sun Microsystems' ZFS.

There's no single migration path to the next generation of enterprise communications and collaboration systems and services, and Enterprise Connect delivers what you need to evaluate all the options. Register today and learn about the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. Register with code MPIWK and save $200 on the entire event and Tuesday-Thursday conference passes or for a Free Expo pass. It happens in Orlando, Fla., March 17-19.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
cbabcock
50%
50%
cbabcock,
User Rank: Author
11/20/2013 | 9:05:26 PM
Versioning: The hidden savings
If you're storing  your data in the cloud, why take advantage of the cloud's tendency to always keep three copies. With snapshots, I think you store the latest changes to the data rather than execute a whole data replication. That's a savings in network bandwidth and data handling costs. But you can still reconstruct the complete data set at any given point in time.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2013 | 5:30:18 PM
snapshot
That sounds like a really great idea, both for regular checks and to aid in recovering from a data disaster: "a snapshot captures a version of the entire system at a given point in time. The snapshot can be referenced to rebuild lost files if at some point data is destroyed or lost." 
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.