SA at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It's a solid option if you are routinely doing massive file transfers between multiple locations
Pros and Cons
  • "I would recommend Nasuni because it's a proven product that has delivered results for us even in the worst-case scenario. If you're still using a traditional cloud solution like native Azure products, you are still susceptible to human error. Also, you would need to architect your backup and DR solutions, then integrate, maintain, and administer them."
  • "Nasuni could improve cloud integration and documentation of various ways we can leverage the product. It integrates with Azure, but the native Azure File Sync solution lets you divide data into tiers like hot, cool, and archived. Nasuni doesn't allow you to break the data apart into those tiered categories."

What is our primary use case?

We have people in the field worldwide who go to various locations to gather data. After they gather the data, they need to upload it for our lab technicians and services to analyze. Somebody's out in a remote location, and they need to get that data back to the United States, but we can't send it via FTP to the local office. We need a system that can quickly offload the data to the technician and an automated way to deliver it to the branches. That's what Nasuni does for us.

Our company has 10 major locations, and the user count is about 150 at any given time. Nasuni users include data analysts, lab technicians, field technicians, and branch personnel administrators.

How has it helped my organization?

Nasuni enabled us to take data from on-premise data centers and put it in the cloud, so our technicians now have access from anywhere that is connected to our network. Everything was previously on legacy on-prem Windows Servers, and employees had to VPN into the network. You had to use standard network transfer systems. Nasuni allowed our entire operations group to become cloud-based.

Our strategy is to migrate everything we can to the cloud. Nasuni is tightly integrated with Azure, so we can seamlessly leverage infrastructure as a service up in the cloud.

We've replaced some of our on-premise infrastructure with Nasuni appliances, which has many benefits. We still have on-premises hardware, but they are Nasuni appliances built to operate in the company's technology.

Nasuni is a top-tier solution, and we pay a lot for it, so I don't know if it's necessarily helped cut our costs. It may have reduced some work for IT personnel. As an administrator, I can say that IT technicians would need to spend more time on standard maintenance tasks if we were working with a traditional solution. 

Adjusting the solution to our organizational processes has been effortless. It's seamless to roll out any update. It's only as difficult as we make it. For example, Nasuni allows us to automatically update all systems within the environment, and we only scale it back to the policy, so we can test those operations before they are implemented. Nasuni fully automates the process of updating to the latest and greatest features with minimal manual interference. 

Fortunately, we've never had a ransomware attack, but that could be because Nasuni has ransomware detection built into it. We have never had to recover from a ransomware attack on our Nasuni systems. Ransomware attacks on our traditional services were a nightmare to deal with, but we've never had that happen on our Nasuni infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

Nasuni's unified file system makes everything across the world appear as if it were in a single local directory for all users. Regardless of where an employee is, that data appears to an end-user as if it is sitting right there in their local office.
Nasuni's unified file system replaced one of our most critical operations, but not all of them. We still need to maintain software integration with legacy systems.

Nasuni offers a 360-degree view of our files to all global end-users by providing a single location where users can go. Nasuni technology allows us to operate without the delays associated with traditional systems. It provides unlimited on-demand storage capacity for our primary data centers and remote locations. This is mission-critical functionality.

Data protection is another crucial feature. We must protect field data that is uploaded to our data centers, and we rely on Nasuni's security pieces, including encryption and built-in malware detection. Our data must be encrypted, and we would face massive risks if the data were compromised.

Nasuni's continuous file versioning has been crucial on multiple occasions when files were accidentally deleted or when data was corrupted. The snapshot allows us to retrieve that data quickly. We can sit back and allow the Nasuni system to take care of our backups with no additional configuration on Azure or the infrastructure side. Nasuni provides all the essential pieces we need to utilize their service without having to implement any additional third-party products.

When users inadvertently delete or corrupt data, they can restore a previous version. With a few clicks, Nasuni enables us to do what would otherwise require significant effort with a traditional backup system. This feature reduced costs and effort because it's built into the system.

What needs improvement?

Nasuni could improve cloud integration and documentation of various ways we can leverage the product. It integrates with Azure, but the native Azure File Sync solution lets you divide data into tiers like hot, cool, and archived. Nasuni doesn't allow you to break the data apart into those tiered categories. 

That's helpful on the Azure side because you can control costs for data that isn't accessed frequently. Data classified as "cool" or "archived" costs less in Azure. The ability to separate that data within Nasuni would be an enhancement that allows customers to save money on Azure-based backend data storage.

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Nasuni
May 2024
Learn what your peers think about Nasuni. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2024.
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For how long have I used the solution?

We've used Nasuni since 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had a problem with Nasuni, and they have provided excellent support for any minor issues we've had. Most problems we've faced weren't Nasuni's fault. Any outages are typically due to failures in our network infrastructure or a local power outage. Nasuni can come back online as soon as the network connection is restored. 

How are customer service and support?

I rate Nasuni support a 10 out of 10. Nasuni's support is helpful and they're always getting better. They provided solid support in the early days, but I think the product was also new for them. You could tell that some of their support engineers were still getting used to the product themselves. They work with you until the problem is resolved instead of just pointing to the documentation. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used legacy Windows File Servers and traditional network setups. That was a pain because we couldn't unify the directory structure, which is a core feature of Nasuni. We had legacy file servers out there in these branch offices and were using traditional file commands to exchange data between the various locations.

It's all automatic once everything is configured within the Nasuni environment. All the data is there. The fact that it comprises files hosted on the local filers means that you're not consuming the type of bandwidth you would be consuming with a Windows system. The difference is night and day. 

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Nasuni was pretty straightforward with some help from Nasuni. There were some prerequisites, and we had to explain to various groups how to prepare. The product was new, so many people didn't understand how it worked. Don't try to go at it alone. It's best to get the Nasuni professional services team to help you implement it. 

The initial setup took a few days, but we spent several weeks migrating large amounts of data from our legacy systems. It took us longer because of limitations on bandwidth. Once the migration was started, it was just a matter of waiting for that data to transfer across.

What about the implementation team?

We had help from Nasuni professional services. 

What was our ROI?

The ROI is a reduction of labor hours on the IT side. We spend less on maintenance, and our people in the field don't need to go to an office to upload their data. Nasuni allows the technician to do it from the field.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you plan to implement Nasuni, you should consider your data retention requirements and the amount of data you will use. You need to know how much data will be stored under the Nasuni license and where that data will sit. For example, we have our data stored on the Azure cloud, and we have to pay Azure for that. We pay the license for Nasuni technology to access that data. You need to clearly understand that so you won't be surprised by what you might perceive as double billing.

It's essential also to understand the requirements at each location because there is a charge for outgoing data. For example, you will spend a lot more on a Nasuni appliance at a massive on-premise data center, but a smaller appliance may work for a branch office in a remote location. You can save lots of money on data costs for whichever cloud platform you use. 

Nasuni hardware appliances have a product life of seven years, so you must purchase a new filer if you want continued support. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Another team in our group evaluated a competing product and ruled it out quickly because it didn't meet our requirements. Nasuni helped us set up a proof of concept in a demo environment, whereas the other vendor was unable to do that.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Nasuni a 10 out of 10. It performs a critical function when we deal with customer data that must be analyzed quickly. Field staff can upload the data and disseminate it to other places for deep analysis. If Nasuni ever went down, alarm bells would go off throughout the company. That's how essential it is. 

I would recommend Nasuni because it's a proven product that has delivered results for us even in the worst-case scenario. If you're still using a traditional cloud solution like native Azure products, you are still susceptible to human error. Also, you would need to architect your backup and DR solutions, then integrate, maintain, and administer them.

Nasuni has built-in security, so we're not worried about hosting our data on it. If you regularly do massive file transfers between multiple locations, Nasuni has an advantage over its competitors. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
IT Manager at a marketing services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Secure, reliable, good performance, helpful alerting, and responsive support
Pros and Cons
  • "The Nasuni management dashboard is helpful because, on the administration side, I'm able to view all of the different filers that we have in the UK, rather than check each one of them individually."
  • "When we first set up our bandwidth limiting, we had a few problems when it came to managing it. This is something that could be made easier; however, we were able to make the changes that we needed to for our environment."

What is our primary use case?

We are a global media company and I look after eight Nasuni Filers for the UK and Ireland.

In the UK, every Nasuni appliance is stored locally in an office. They are stored in a standard comms room, and if that office went down for any reason, there are snapshots of the data made every hour that could be accessed.

A web version of the data can be available if there was a need due to an outage in a local office, so we can keep the business working.

How has it helped my organization?

With the mix of working from home and office, this is a good cloud solution for our company and we plan to use it as our standard file sharing platform going forward.

Our business is essentially split into two parts. We have a media element where they use standard office files such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Then, we have the creative division where they store things like high-end videos and Adobe files.

In the creative division, their file sizes are much bigger so we've seen the flexibility with having the on-premises device. For example, you can have a large caching device. Especially for our creative users, who are working on large creative files, they need that local speed access. They need something better than a standard USB drive, as well as something that can be backed up and is secure.

In general, it allows users in the business to access the data they need in a reliable fashion.

Nasuni has allowed us to replace multiple data silos and we are working toward having a single global file system. We shuttered one of our traditional on-premises data centers about 18 months ago, so we have this plan in the pipeline for the business. We know that Nasuni is our way to manage data effectively, where we can have cloud backups as well as the speed of a local appliance. Given how well it is working in our offices, they are now adopting it in other parts of the business, globally. The main drive for large data storage is going to be for Nasuni, going forward.

The need to have access to data 24 hours a day is very important for our business. We have teams and they sometimes work overnight or over a weekend. They may need to share data with colleagues in a different country or timezone, and that always-available service is quite important.

We do snapshots of our environment every hour, so if someone deletes a file and they're working on something with a deadline, we can revert back to something in a very recent version, in a short period of time. That element of the service has worked really well for us.

Nasuni has different sizes of appliances with different capacities that provide storage capacity anywhere it's needed, on-demand. They take up very little room in our comms room rack. The biggest one that we have at the moment is 2U or 4U, so depending on the size of our office space and the amount of data storage, the range of different appliances that Nasuni has available gives us good options so we can pick and choose the most suitable solution for each office we have.

This is important to us because of the nature of our business. We regularly acquire companies, and normally, their data structure is not in line with our standards. Using Nasuni, we are able to take what they have and standardize it with a range of different hardware to fit our data storage platform.

For example, two of the units that we installed were for companies that we recently bought, and having them made the transition a lot easier than we thought it might be at first.

One of the ways that Nasuni has improved our organization is by providing access to centralized data. For example, we have a range of applications that have their own data repository. One of our teams that does a lot of data analytics needed access to our media-borne information. The need to expand that across other countries became apparent, probably about a year ago.

Some of our offices in Eastern Europe didn't have any storage capacity themselves, so we found giving them access to these file shares, just by giving them a web solution with access to this data, really helped them with the business of reaching the colleagues they needed to. It allows them to work in a seamless fashion, where they haven't been able to before. This has now expanded because it worked well for the needs they had.

Nasuni has simplified management compared to our previous processes. This is the product on the data storage side that really helped us cross the mix of hybrid cloud and on-premises devices. In the past, we had traditional servers in comms rooms and offices, or data centers and tape backups, so allowing us to have that on-site storage but with a cloud backup, and once it's configured, having to spend minimal time worrying about backups and how they worked, allowed us to cross that barrier to make our business more agile and help us simplify the support we provide.

In terms of continuous versioning, we have configured a hundred file versions, which is more than enough for our capacity. We also have hourly snapshots, which give us the ability to recover files quickly and easily. This is something that really assists us. That feature is used every week I imagine, certainly from our offices. The fact that they're an always-available and always-on service really helps us keep up with our business.

When we identify a security incident, we know a time we can go back to, where the data we have is clean. We're confident that we can do that. We have test servers so that if there's a need to restore separate environments, to check that data is uninfected, we have that option available. We have the ability to look at the file timestamps at a quick glance, and the fact that we are confident Nasuni will provide what we need is very important for our operations.

Continuous file versioning has a positive impact on our users. When they accidentally delete a file, all they have to do is tell us a file name and when they last had it, and we can find a version of that file within an hour of having that request. The nature of our business is that people want things immediately. Using Nasuni, we can service that request without having to restore from a tape backup. With the right access, it's very quick to identify. Even if a file was corrupt from a month ago, we can keep going back to other versions. Because we maintain other copies of the data, we can go back to one version that we know works, from the most recent edition of it.

One of the good features with file versioning in Nasuni is they'll only backup changes during the hourly snapshot, so even if someone had uploaded a lot of video content, for example, onto the network, and the last backup was half an hour ago, it'll only backup the changes to those files. With the bandwidth limits we've put in place, we know it's not going to impact the live data by doing the backup. That's an important feature because we're using the little and often approach. We're constantly backing up changes and it allows us to keep on top of the data we back up, and have very recent versions of it.

Nasuni has helped us to eliminate on-premises infrastructure. We have known for perhaps three years that we were going to be phasing out our data centers. It was at this time when we started getting recommendations for Nasuni. Ultimately, it has helped to drive down the costs. Considering the whole backend infrastructure of what we would need in a data center to support devices like this, the costs have been much reduced and we've had no reduction in terms of reliability, which is the key thing. We've had an improved level of service with reduced costs, which is obviously a very big plus.

This product helps to simplify infrastructure purchasing and support requirements. We had looked up what sort of type of network you need and whether we needed to have a certain speed. We have Nasuni appliances in offices with a 50 meg internet connection, and then we've got them in offices with a 10 gig internet connection, so it shows you don't need to spend big money on your network infrastructure.

One of the good features of Nasuni is that it allows you to make the changes you need to, depending on your environment. We've got a range of offices of different sizes and internet speeds but we can still provide the same level of service.

In some of the smaller sites that we have in the UK, we had to increase the internet speeds. This happened because people had data stored in other places and said, "All right, we want to put this into Nasuni as well." This meant that there were some small increments of the internet circuits we needed, but we found that it was still far outweighed by the overall cost saving we've made with data centers, and for hiring network infrastructure that we've had to purchase in the past.

Nasuni has helped to decrease capital costs because we haven't had to buy as much excess capacity. When we've had the need to order an appliance, we've tried to do a bit of forecasting on current data sizes and how that might grow over time. One of the good things with Nasuni is that we've got it set so that if data isn't accessed over six to twelve months, it is archived. It can still be retrieved if necessary, but without it being stored on the main device, you can keep it the same size. Your data size can go up but it's because it only presents the most recently used data. That really helps us, not having to order new physical devices every couple of years. 

What is most valuable?

The Nasuni filers are easy to use. 

The Nasuni management dashboard is helpful because, on the administration side, I'm able to view all of the different filers that we have in the UK, rather than check each one of them individually.

We can configure alerts, which is a useful feature. We have a remote service support team and we've only handed over support to them in the last six months. Prior to that, a lot of support was the responsibility of the local IT teams that I managed. I was able to keep in touch with my colleagues in each local office to see if they needed updates supplied, or if they had issues with their devices. I was able to see all of this on one page, which was very useful because I could then drill into the details, as and when I needed to.

Nasuni provides options to limit the bandwidth of your live data as well as your backups, so you can perform backups after hours if needed.

What needs improvement?

When we first set up our bandwidth limiting, we had a few problems when it came to managing it. This is something that could be made easier; however, we were able to make the changes that we needed to for our environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nasuni for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Nasuni is a stable product. Our users have really noticed the difference, just in having a web-based backup and the file shares available with the on-site appliance, 24/7.

We have found that people weren't needing to come into the office as much to work, even during pre-pandemic times. People really noticed the difference in terms of how much more flexible it made their teams, especially if they weren't all physically located in one office or country. It meant that they could still work on data and review different versions of files.

Especially with the business that I work in, if they're preparing pitch documents, they'll sometimes want to look at other versions of files, perhaps five versions earlier, just to compare. With Nasuni, they have that option readily available, and that took the pressure off my teams to support them because the features were there for them to use.

Across the UK, we have approximately 15 local IT support staff. We also have a backend network team, so if there are server issues or network outages, we can escalate to another team of five. However, on the administration side, day-to-day, it is very low because once the system is set up and stable, we don't encounter very many issues with it.

In summary, we have the trust that it delivers the stability we need for our products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is really good. The fact you can increase your data, and the way it only presents the active data, is very helpful. Initially, for some of our brands, we thought that we needed to have a large amount of data available over time. Then, with some analysis on Nasuni, we realized pretty quickly they only needed a small portion of that available but we were able to present the data to them, without them realizing not all of it was actively available. These changes were invisible to our users that access the shares so it allowed us to present in a way it was more cost-effective, and allowed us to be more scalable if they were accessing lots of data regularly. We have the capacity to do that without changing hardware.

Currently, we have eight on-premises devices across our offices in the UK. In these offices, we have file shares for approximately 4,000 users and the bulk of them are standard-level access. We are currently expanding our use of this solution across our American offices.

Most of our business users have access to at least one or two of our Nasuni file shares. We find them being used regularly until late weeknights and weekends. As it allows people in the business to work in any capacity they need, it's used extensively. We see hundreds of users connected to file shares every day.

Now that we're coming out of lockdown, the usage of offices and people in the business is slowly rising. That said, everyone has access to some of the shares, and there are some teams that have smaller data sets that we're looking to migrate in, anywhere we don't have the data already stored in Nasuni. As the capacity of our business grows, and once we're aware of the data that is being used, we generally make plans to get it stored. As such, I expect usage to continue to increase. It makes sense because we have that single, secure platform for it.

In the UK, there are a few different teams, especially within our creative brands. They may have a high level of access where they can create and administer folders, but Nasuni allows us to manage the non-standard requests as and when they're needed. For the volume of users we have for accessing that data, we see very few issues that present themselves.

In the UK, we started with on-premises filers. We had identified the offices where we needed to have replacements for our existing mix of on-premises file servers.

Scalability options for Nasuni include the ability to host data purely in the cloud, so some of the offices outside of the UK are now looking at that option. If they don't have the need or resources to fund an on-premises appliance, there is a big appeal to this approach because they can choose the way the data is available to users in the business.

Nasuni makes it easy to configure organizational changes. Something that we're looking at now is a cloud version of a Nasuni server. We found there are templates that allow you to build a server from scratch, so that definitely makes the cloud hosting element of Nasuni a lot easier to configure. You don't need to know all of the technical aspects of building a server from traditional Windows or a Linux operating system. You can replicate current service setups to a new one as well, so the tools have improved and got better over time. The support that we have with Nasuni gives us good options, so if our needs change, we feel like Nasuni is able to cope with those changes.

The scalability of these devices is the part that really did appeal to us and continues to do so. The whole ability to scale up data sizes but keep the same hardware for three years, if there are no hardware issues in that time, allows us to manage our data without having to make big investments on either hardware or supporting infrastructure. That has really helped us prove to our other offices around the business that it's a worthwhile investment to go with Nasuni.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been in contact with technical support a few times.

Certainly, at the start when we were doing the initial rollout, we had contact with them. Also, we did have a hardware issue on a server last year, so we had to involve support on that occasion. There were some internal parts that had to be replaced in some of the Nasuni servers last year, as well, so we had to wait for parts to be delivered. With the support and guidance of tech support, we were able to replace those after hours.

Overall, our experience with support, starting with logging tickets using the portal, is that they were quite responsive and helpful. I would rate them an eight out of ten. Not only were the replies quick but I think that the main Nasuni support is based in the US, and they made sure that someone was available UK time. Generally, we do stuff outside of business hours in the UK, and we found the support was there when we needed it at the right time, and that was very important because we were able to rely on it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to Nasuni, we had a mix of standard Windows file shares and different products. It was not a single product. Rather, it was various pieces of equipment that we had inherited. This is why we found it a lot more challenging to manage the data we had.

We switched because of the need to have a single platform. We needed something that we could rely on because we were spending more and more time on basic administration because the file shares were on different platforms, which meant that we had to grant different people access to multiple platforms. It was a lot more open to problems.

With our business, the drive was to a Cloud-First strategy and using Nasuni allowed us to meet that goal and to simplify the support we provide.

How was the initial setup?

Because our data wasn't in a great state to start with, it probably took more time for planning than it should have. That was more fault on our side but what we saw fairly quickly, in terms of what Nasuni can do, helped us clear the picture of what we wanted to do or what we could do. We started with something reasonably complex but when we got Nasuni up and running, it had simplified the process for us.

With one physical device, you could have multiple volumes. When we merged multiple companies in the past, some of them had their own individual servers. We realized that you could have separate virtual servers or separate volumes within a single physical appliance, but you could still keep your data separated securely with the right permissions. That was another reason Nasuni appealed to us. It gave us more options to be flexible, and to an end-user, their file shares were on a shared physical device but they were still separated in terms of security.

In our first phase of the implementation, where we ordered five of the devices, it took seven or eight weeks to prepare the network information, order the units, and get the first one installed. It was probably another two months on top of that before we had the last of the five devices installed, so the deployment took between four and five months in total.

Our implementation strategy included trying to merge as many data sets into Nasuni as we could. It was not just all data and file servers. People, especially within our creative teams, had hard drives with lots of data that wasn't backed up. One of our goals was to simplify support and storage and make it secure, having it all backed up. As the deployment was rolled out, we improved things in these aspects.

When updates come out, we normally wait a few weeks to do the latest upgrades. For the most part, we keep them up to date.

What about the implementation team?

It was myself and a couple of my colleagues who deployed the devices. We looked at the data for different offices around the UK and we collated data sizes and specifications. Between us, we looked at the size of appliances we needed in each site and then worked with Nasuni to implement and set those up.

We had assistance from a third party called Nephos Technologies, which is a professional services outlet that was recommended. We discussed plans that we had for them and then we provided them with data. They gave us some recommendations for each of the offices that we wanted to set up. Their assistance really helped us in the process.

I would rate Nephos and eight and a half out of ten. We found that they were flexible, understood our current challenges, and what we wanted to do. Like any project, timelines had to change. For example, we had to change the order of servers that we installed. Although the plan did change between when we started and when we finished, the support we got helped us to accommodate those changes.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is in terms of the time that we have saved when it comes to supporting our users. When you consider the cost of the product and compare it to running the service, you find that the cost is flat when you have to increase your usage and data. This is something that was very appealing. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're looking at a global agreement on the licensing from Nasuni now, as we're expanding to other markets. We ordered five or six units to start, which helped with our pricing model.

When we first implemented Nasuni, we gave them an estimate of how many terabytes of storage we wanted to support, which helped to define the types of appliances we needed. We conduct annual reviews to see whether we're meeting our current and future needs, and as a result, we have increased our storage capacity. We've generally kept the same models of appliances, just because of the way Nusani stores the data.

The cost is based on the capacity, which is approximately $100 USD per terabyte.

In our case, we pay for both hardware support and software support. The software support is for the amount of data that we have and the hardware support is for the actual appliances that we have in our offices.

We incurred some additional costs when we asked for help from professional services. These were for offices in other countries that needed assistance with getting their devices installed.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we were first looking into Nasuni, it was because of recommendations that we'd received and information that we had read online. There were other products, but Nasuni worked well for what we wanted to do at the time. All we needed was a good network connection and a secure room to store the Nasuni device, and we're able to manage that device remotely or on-site, as and when we need to.

There were some other Cloud platforms in use within smaller parts of our business at the time, so we reviewed those, spoke to some of the staff in the business and other IT teams for their input, and compared them against what Nasuni could offer. Through a process of elimination and pricing features, we realized Nasuni was looking like our best option, so it was the one we chose with all those factors in mind.

What other advice do I have?

We use traditional file shares like Windows, Mac, and SMB files shares. As such, we haven't needed to take advantage of the storage for hosting VDI environments.

The switch from an on-premises device to the web is something we will test more, probably towards the start of next year. We would like to be able to have an office have a smaller on-site appliance with more data in the cloud. We will want to determine things like whether it needs a faster internet connection if you only have a web version of your data. Some of our other offices outside the UK will be testing that more than we currently do at the moment.

If a colleague of mine at another company was concerned about migration to the cloud and Nasuni's performance, I would say that based on the experience that I've had to this point, I definitely recommend it. I can recommend Nasuni just for reliability and scalability, as it definitely ticks those two boxes. I can't say anything other than good things about it.

My advice for anybody who is implementing Nasuni is to start by looking at where you're going to host your data. Do you want cloud-based storage, on-premises, or a hybrid of both? It has a range of options for different needs, which is one of the things that makes it a great product. It meets our need for standard and large individual file storage, and it is invisible to someone that uses it.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this product is related to scalability. We have been able to meet the very different needs of our business. We have a wide range of users and departments that want different things presented to them, and Nasuni allows you to present that on the backend in one way to people of different needs, so that it can fit whatever's needed for the business.

As I've progressed within my role in the IT support teams, it has increased my need to know more about the product and see how it affects our staff and the business.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Nasuni
May 2024
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Technical Lead for Infrastructure Support at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It eliminates many of the administrative challenges associated with physical hardware storage
Pros and Cons
  • "Nasuni is tremendously easy to manage. It eliminates many of the administrative challenges associated with physical hardware storage, and you don't need to worry about any hardware failure or products reaching the end of their lives."
  • "As administrators, we are used to having control equal to managing an on-prem device. In terms of log analysis and other things we want to do, Nasuni has some limitations limitation on what you do on the Nasuni. Nasuni could add some features to the GUI that make administration a little easier. It's tough when I have to move from one filter to another because there is no way to search it. We have to scroll up and down to find the name of it."

What is our primary use case?

We implement Nasuni for our customers. We also manage the solution and provide support. Our client is a global company that operates worldwide with a user base in the thousands. We have a 20-person team working with them. 

How has it helped my organization?

Nasuni has helped us to simplify infrastructure purchasing and support. The solution enabled us to replace multiple data silos and toolsets with a single file system.

I'm unsure how much money it saves, but I believe Nasuni has helped by eliminating on-site hardware. We don't need to manage the big storage devices on-site. We only need a single server that can access the cache and device from the Nasuni site.

What is most valuable?

Nasuni eliminates the need for on-prem backend storage because everything goes to the cloud. You only need to have a caching device on-site. That's the main requirement. We don't have to worry about backups or require an additional backup solution.

It provides a 360-degree view of file data, and we can provide unlimited file storage capacity on demand. Nasuni also has built-in data protection, but the client isn't using some of the features because of the performance impact. Ransomware protection is enabled because of HR-related issues.

The Access Anywhere makes it easier for administrators to manage than local on-prem storage. Nasuni is tremendously easy to manage. It eliminates many of the administrative challenges associated with physical hardware storage, and you don't need to worry about any hardware failure or products reaching the end of their lives. 

What needs improvement?

As administrators, we are used to having control equal to managing an on-prem device. In terms of log analysis and other things we want to do, Nasuni has some limitations. Nasuni could add some features to the GUI that would make administration a little easier. It's tough when I have to move from one filter to another because there is no way to search it. We have to scroll up and down to find the name of it.

There are also some performance issues. We often have users complain about the speed of accessing some files. It could be due to the different kinds of buckets they have chosen in the back end on the cloud or their network infrastructure and the kind of bandwidth they have between their office and the cloud. It may not be entirely an issue on the Nasuni end. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used Nasuni for nearly three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I rate Nasuni nine out of 10 for stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I rate Nasuni 10 out of 10.

How are customer service and support?

I rate Nasuni support nine out of 10. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

I believe the initial setup was easy. Another team handles deployment, so we're not involved. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Nasuni nine out of 10. We are very happy with this technology. Nasuni is an excellent choice if you need data storage. I'm unsure how it will work for things like VDI or a virtualized environment. I also don't know if it's a good choice for high-performance applications or databases. I haven't worked with it for those use cases, but if you want some data storage in the back end, it's a solid option.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Shailender-Singh - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultant at HCL Technologies
Consultant
Top 10Leaderboard
Continuous snapshots enable us to recover latest data, while cloud storage reduces footprint and costs
Pros and Cons
  • "Nasuni has the capability of taking a snapshot every five minutes. If a user has accidentally deleted their data, we can recover it from the snapshot and provide the latest data to the user. It's a really great feature, one that is not provided by other vendors."
  • "The only issue we face with Nasuni is from the performance perspective. Sometimes, when we deploy a Nasuni device, it doesn't meet our requirements. It's a capacity-planning issue."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it as a file share server. The solution is for CIFS and Windows file shares. We have boxes deployed in different environments, including on-prem and, in a few locations, it's in a virtual image.

We provide support to our customers and are currently managing more than 200 devices.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it at the global level and it supports a 360-degree view of the data.

It's also easy to deploy. Before, with hardware, it was not possible to deploy things as quickly, but because Nasuni is available in the cloud, as well as via a VDI image, you can deploy it quickly.

Another benefit is that our RPO and RTO are very much reduced. If a user has deleted something, we can provide the latest backup. For example, if they deleted something at 11 AM, we have the backup available from 10:55 AM.

It also helps eliminate on-premises infrastructure. All the data is stored in the cloud, either in block or S3, and that means you do not need large storage hardware in your data centers. You just need an internet connection to connect with the device. That will save costs on space, air conditioning, and power.

And it will reduce your capital cost, with only OpEx contributing to the costs.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the

  • replication
  • snapshots.

Nasuni has the capability of taking a snapshot every five minutes. If a user has accidentally deleted their data, we can recover it from the snapshot and provide the latest data to the user. It's a really great feature, one that is not provided by other vendors.

The solution is very important for us because of these features, as well as because there is a cloud version, virtual image, and the physical box.

It also replaces multiple data toolsets with a single global file system.

Also, for provisioning file storage, because Nasuni is a cache device and doesn't store any data—all the data is stored in the cloud—you can provision as much as is needed, spinning up instances as they are required. That means that even if a customer has heavy data requests, we can fulfill them in less than 24 hours. We just spin up the instance, connect it, and it's available for use.

And for some users who are accessing data on-premises, we are able to provide file storage capacity for VDI environments.

Nasuni also has an embedded feature, an antivirus, which will automatically scan for issues with any file. If a file is infected, it will not be saved on the disk.

Access Anywhere is also a great feature, allowing you to access data from your mobile and from your desktop.

And suppose a disaster happens. Nasuni's metadata is available within 20 minutes, meaning you can deploy the new instance and map the data, copying the data from the cloud.

What needs improvement?

The only issue we face with Nasuni is from the performance perspective. Sometimes, when we deploy a Nasuni device, it doesn't meet our requirements. It's a capacity-planning issue.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working on Nasuni since 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

How are customer service and support?

Nasuni's support is very good. They provide solutions on a priority basis.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to deploy, hardly taking an hour, on average, and requires minimal staff for both the deployment and management. A single person can easily manage it.

What was our ROI?

When we have migrated all of a customer's data to Nasuni, none have said that they had much ROI from their then-existing solution. Nasuni is a cheaper solution with good ROI compared to other solutions.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Nasuni should provide small-scale licenses, like a 20 TB license. Currently, the smallest is a 30 TB license. Smaller-capacity licenses would be good for some users and help increase Nasuni's sales.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

NetApp doesn't have the same features for managing devices, whereas from the Nasuni Management Console, you can manage multiple devices at the same time. The centralized management is a great feature.

The only disadvantage of Nasuni is due to the fact that all the data is in the cloud. Other devices, like Panzura, have the data in the cloud as well as local copies.

What other advice do I have?

If you're concerned about migration to the cloud, you can use Snowball to move the data to the cloud and then you can upload it to Nasuni. There are a lot of options available.

I can't think of any features that should be added to Nasuni. It's a good product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Account Manager at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
We like the snapshot technology, but it may not be suitable for all file types
Pros and Cons
  • "We like Nasuni's snapshot technology. The snapshot and recovery features are the things we use most frequently. Ideally, I would recommend NFS or CFS, which gives you more benefits for clients or anyone who wants to access FTP protocol, FTP utilities, SAN, and MSS."
  • "Some applications may not be suited for the Nasuni environment. You may need something with better performance. Otherwise, if you want to run daily operations or some file system, it's a good bet."

What is our primary use case?

We have one parent file system connected to three Nasuni systems. One is in the APAC region, and two are located in the US. The file system is connected across all three locations so that people can access the file system anywhere in the network. 

It's connected to object storage in the background, and we have some capacity there. We have a license of up to 500 TB that we manage, including all the data required for archiving or anything. We use it to create a backup pool in our cloud object storage and only use it for full backup.

We use Nasuni for daily activities. For example, some file shares have assigned tools and servers. People use it to create some requests for data recovery when data on the server is lost. The user asks us to create a new location from Nasuni. We also have some patches that must be updated on the cloud each month, and I'll use Nasuni to monitor any issues. 

How has it helped my organization?

Nasuni enabled us to eliminate on-premise infrastructure. This is an important benefit everyone should know about. If you have some kind of VDI environment, people don't want to lose access. Once you have this availability option, it makes your data access seamless if there are any outages.  

What is most valuable?

We like Nasuni's snapshot technology. The snapshot and recovery features are the things we use most frequently. Ideally, I would recommend NFS or CFS, which gives you more benefits for clients or anyone who wants to access FTP protocol, FTP utilities, SAN, and MSS.

The visibility Nasuni provides is top-notch. When there is an issue in the environment, and you open a ticket, they immediately come into the picture and help you find the solution.

Nasuni's data protection is crucial for our organization. All of the file systems we manage are protected. We're protected if users accidentally delete files or move data from one file system to another. We can recover the data using the snapshot functionality.

You can see whether your data is protected from the console. From there, you can view the missing data and recover it. Every device is visible in a centralized monitoring tool we call the MMC console. It can discover all the nodes or the necessary systems that are managed in the environment.

It's a user-friendly tool with a beautiful graphical interface. Anyone can use the management interface. If you're a layperson who doesn't know how to use Nasuni, I would only need to teach you the fundamentals of NAS technology.


What needs improvement?

Some applications may not be suited for the Nasuni environment. You may need something with better performance. Otherwise, if you want to run daily operations or some file system, it's a good bet. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with Nasuni for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I rate Nasuni seven out of 10 for stability. Nasuni is a stable solution if you understand the environment, and you've properly designed your environment. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can expand file storage capacity on-demand and without limitations.

How are customer service and support?

I'm in India, and our support comes from the US, so it's always a little bit difficult to engage Nasuni during non-business hours. I would recommend providing support during the working hours of other regions. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I don't think we use Natsuni for VDI environments. We do have another environment that uses NetApp.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Nasuni is straightforward, but it can be complicated to connect it with the technology on the back end. Nasuni is built on the cloud, and there's an appliance on top of that. The initial setup only takes five to 10 minutes. The deployment of Natsuni is very simple. It involves creating a VM in the cloud, and you create a Nasuni image on top of that. In our case, the back end is an IBM product.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Nasuni is cost-effective. If you need something that delivers a lot of value for the cost, Nasuni is a good thing. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Nasuni seven out of 10. It isn't an ideal solution for all applications you have in your environment. If I'm an IT person, I do have a lot of other applications sitting in there, so I might need to adopt some other storage vendor for those. I might need to procure some other storage technology for other applications if I'm a business person, for example.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Managing Director of IT at a construction company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Eliminates a lot of work that was previously done when managing backing up and restoring data files
Pros and Cons
  • "Nasuni offers us a single platform with a 360-degree view of our file data, which is definitely important to us. It simplifies IT operations tremendously. Because it is taking continuous snapshots, it eliminates a lot of work that was done previously when trying to manage backing up and restoring data files."
  • "I would like to see Nasuni provide the ability to mirror a Nasuni appliance from one site to another. They could maybe have a standby appliance that is mirrored in a different location for disaster recovery purposes. We can recover if data and a Filer are lost because of a possible ransomware event, but even that takes time to recover. If we had the ability to have a mirrored appliance, we could flip over to that mirrored device and resume instantly rather than repopulate the local appliance with data from the snapshot history in the cloud. This is another feature that we would really like to see, if possible."

What is our primary use case?

The use case specifically is to allow our engineering staff in different offices to be able to work collaboratively on the same projects at the same time. Also, another important feature for us is the ability to recover or restore data from any point in time in its history.

We have Nasuni Filers deployed at each of our offices in the US and another location in India. Nasuni is used by our engineering staff and where production engineering data is stored.

The cloud is used for synchronization from site to site as well as for backup and storing all our snapshot historical data.

We use different cloud providers for different things. Currently, hard Nasuni data is in AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it for VDI. VDI is the direction that we are going throughout the company for consistency and user experience for DR and DC capabilities. Having the Nasuni Filers be a central element supporting the VDI solution has enabled us to have all our engineers work collaboratively in a very tightly integrated total solution.

It is very rare that we need to make significant changes to the Nasuni infrastructure to support organizational changes. On a day-to-day basis, there are new projects added across various design teams in the company. Those can be set up in seconds in Nasuni. It is just very easy to work with it. In essence, setting up the basic file structures just looks like another volume that has been shared on the network. Through the console, we can configure Global File Lock permissions for how those files can be accessed from site to site.

What is most valuable?

One of its most valuable features would be the Global File Lock capability, which is what enables our engineers to be able to work on projects collaboratively from site to site.

Nasuni offers us a single platform with a 360-degree view of our file data, which is definitely important to us. It simplifies IT operations tremendously. Because it is taking continuous snapshots, it eliminates a lot of work that was previously done when trying to manage backing up and restoring data files.

It is far less labor intensive than our previous processes. There is a console interface that is used for managing all the data repositories, what is in the cache of each appliance, the Global File Lock parameters and settings, the ability to recover files, etc. The single pane of glass interface manages all those capabilities. Things can be done in minutes through the Nasuni Management Console, which previously would have been a more labor-intensive effort with more manual processes.

Nasuni enables us to provide file storage capacity anywhere it is needed, on-demand, and without limits. We have it deployed on Nasuni appliances at our offices, but we also have the ability to create virtual Nasuni Filers that potentially could be deployed anywhere in our infrastructure.

Nasuni provides Continuous File Versioning down to the granularity of the snapshots, which occur about every 15 minutes. If there was a ransomware or other disaster type of event, only the data in the cache on the local appliance would be affected. The entire snapshot history of every file is backed up in the cloud. We can, on a file-by-file, directory-by-directory, or volume basis, recover any or all files from that snapshot history back into the local appliance. The only impact would be the time to copy the data back from the cloud snapshot back into the local appliance.

Because these snapshots occur so frequently, we can recover data to a point very shortly before the time a person wants to recover that data, e.g., within 15 minutes of when whatever happened. If somebody deletes a file or accidentally moves/loses it, then we are able to recover it within 15 minutes of that point in time. Very little data, if any, is lost with this type of operation. This has greatly relieved any concerns about IT backups and restores to the point where it is a very minimal concern. 

It frees up IT staff to work on other initiatives, because these are automated processes that occur in the background and require minimal attention, if any at all, from IT staff.

What needs improvement?

One area where Nasuni has made huge strides over the last year and a half is the time required to synchronize data from site to site. This has gone down quite a lot, but we always would like it to occur faster. 

I would like to see Nasuni provide the ability to mirror a Nasuni appliance from one site to another. They could maybe have a standby appliance that is mirrored in a different location for disaster recovery purposes. We can recover if data and a Filer are lost because of a possible ransomware event, but even that takes time to recover. If we had the ability to have a mirrored appliance, we could flip over to that mirrored device and resume instantly rather than repopulate the local appliance with data from the snapshot history in the cloud. This is another feature that we would really like to see, if possible.

I would like the ability to roll back to a prior version of the firmware, e.g., if you had a problem when you were upgrading to a newer version. They do not have this capability. This is less of a concern than it used to be. It is a much more mature product, but this would always be a very nice feature to have.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it longer than I have been in the IT management role here. I can estimate it at eight or nine years in total.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the last several years, it has been very stable. There have been no issues.

Deployment and maintenance need a very tiny fraction of an FTE. With everything that we are doing with the appliance, it is probably a couple of hours a week.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is seemingly limitless in terms of the number of places where appliances could be deployed as well as the amount of data that can be handled. The only limitation is the amount of cache memory that is on the local appliance. So, if you needed to keep a very large amount of current data in the local cache memory, you might need to deploy multiple appliances at a site. However, it basically uses a first-in, first-out methodology for what data is kept in the cache. Any data that has been accessed or modified recently is in the cache. If it is not in the cache, it will pull it into the appliance from the snapshot history and replace the data that was accessed the longest time ago which is remaining in the local cache. However, any data can be brought into the local cache to the appliance. Therefore, we have been able to completely work within the bounds of an appliance at a given site.

All of our engineering staff are using it: designers, engineers, project managers, building information modeling (BIM) staff, and technicians. That is around 240 people in our firm.

It is being about as extensive used as it can get. It is used across all our engineering staff, covering all active project-related files. That is the extent to which we tend to deploy it. There are other file systems being used for other purposes, but we don't have the same kind of needs that would warrant using a Nasuni appliance for something like that, like we do for this. So, the Nasuni infrastructure is used really for the most business-critical applications.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, the company used traditional file storage systems and big tape backup systems.

Nasuni replaced multiple older file systems and manual tape backup solutions. This has been absolutely business-critical because of the type of data that is stored on there, e.g., all our engineering client project information is stored there. Also, it is extremely resilient. It allows us to recover files if there was ever either accidental or malicious loss of data. For loss of data of any type, we have the ability to recover that data from the entire snapshot history on any file. So, Nasuni is important for day-to-day activities as well as providing disaster recovery capability on any data stored on it.

Before having the solution, it just would not have been possible to have staff in multiple offices be able to work collaboratively in some of these design applications at the same time. So, Nasuni was critical to enabling that capability, which increased productivity, allowing us to share resources more effectively across offices. Also, prior to having the Nasuni solution, if engineers wished to restore data to a prior point in time, we were limited by the capabilities of our previous tape backup solutions. This means they were not as granular as Nasuni. Our granularity is down to about 15-minute increments in time, where it might have been daily with the old tape backup solution. Nasuni is quicker when recovering data from any point in time than was ever possible with prior tape backup solutions.

Nasuni has replaced other on-premise infrastructure. It has replaced traditional file storage and tape backup solutions with a simple 2U appliance that has storage integrated into it and is connected back to the cloud for all the snapshot data.

How was the initial setup?

We did have assistance from Nasuni to get the devices configured initially. It wasn't an enormously complex process. 

What about the implementation team?

We did have Nasuni Professional Services help with the initial setup.

What was our ROI?

Nasuni certainly has reduced labor costs associated with managing all the data and how we manage client project data. It has greatly reduced the labor efforts and costs associated with that. It has also turned out to be a very reliable solution. As site-to-site sync performances have improved, that has enhanced the productivity for all our engineers as well.

Before Nasuni, the time investment was critical and a daily activity. It took a fair bit of time to prepare, load tapes, catalogue items, and run backups every day. Now, with Nasuni, the only time spent is when we have to customize the Global File Lock permissions for certain folders (for the engineers) so the Global File Lock mechanisms work correctly. This is a one-time activity that occurs when a project is set up and completed in minutes.

Nasuni has decreased capital costs because you don’t need to buy as much excess capacity. The CapEx cost is definitely lower with Nasuni. It is only when we either need to upgrade an appliance in an office or if we need to purchase appliances for new offices that there are CapEx costs. The rest of it is an OpEx cost.

It has reduced capital costs by over 80%.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are annual costs that we pay for maintaining all of the snapshot history in the cloud. That is the primary cost that we pay. We occasionally buy newer Nasuni appliances or deploy them to new offices when the need occurs. That capital equipment expenses is less than the cost of buying new file storage systems. For the most part, you are trading a CapEx cost of storage equipment for an OpEx cost for management of all the snapshot data in the cloud. There are CapEx and OpEx elements to both solutions: 

  • With the old school solution, you have an OpEx expense for tapes, which is relatively small. With Nasuni, you have an OpEX cost for the data in the cloud, which is larger. 
  • With the old school solution, you have CapEx costs for storage equipment, which are large. With Nasuni, you have a CapEx expense when you need to purchase new appliances for offices, which is relatively small. 

It is kind of a trade off with similar costs either way.

The snapshot history backed up in the cloud is an annual OpEX expense. Occasionally we have to bump it up because the amount of storage required for all our snapshot history increases over time, but the infrastructure purchasing and support requirements are definitely simpler.

We do hardware refreshes on Nasuni appliances. So, that is not a buy it once and you're done forever kind of thing. The majority of the cost with the Nasuni is an OpEx cost for storage of all the snapshot history.

I think the pricing on the appliances is completely reasonable and fair. I have had no issues with it. 

Keep in mind that Nasuni allows their clients to choose what cloud platform all the snapchat history is saved on. Depending on the cloud platforms that your company uses, or if there are standards on such things, there may be some benefits to looking at alternative cloud providers for storing the snapshot history, because there may be some savings to be had there. At the same time, because they have that flexibility and support several different cloud platform vendors, if your company is standardized on a particular cloud vendor, then odds are Nasuni is already supported in it.

The costs are the standard licensing fees and subscription for the total size of the data repository (for the snapshot history in the cloud).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Panzura too.

What other advice do I have?

The cloud piece is almost transparent to the user. Because you are interacting through the Nasuni Management Console, you are not really working directly with that cloud provider solution to access files. You could, if you wish, but you can do everything that you need to do directly through the Nasuni Management Console. The cloud happens to be the place where the data is stored and you don't necessarily need to interact with it directly.

Keep in mind the amount of data that you need to keep in your cache. So, sizing your appliance for the local cache storage needs to meet your day-to-day needs, but your actual needs are probably less than what you think they might be. If you had the ability to store 30-days worth of data in the local cache appliance, you are probably in pretty good shape. I definitely would try to understand exactly what the needs of your business are. If you have site-to-site replication needs, carefully consider the capabilities of any particular solution to make sure that the vendors that you are considering can deliver on that as well as how easy it is to work with those vendors for restoring data, if you ever needed to do that.

We haven't tried going back to a more traditional solution. This solution has done a fantastic job of meeting all our needs. Overall, we are just very happy with Nasuni.

I would rate Nasuni as nine out of 10, but I am a tough grader. It is hard to get a 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Server Engineering Services Lead at a mining and metals company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Good OR and DR capabilities, performs well, offers data security, and continuous file versioning helps recover from hardware failures
Pros and Cons
  • "The biggest and most impressive thing for us is the operational recovery (OR) and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities that Nasuni has. If a filer goes down, or an ESX server goes down, then we can quickly recover."
  • "When we have to rebuild a filer or put a new one at a site, one of the things that I would like to be able to do is just repoint the data from Azure to it. As it is now, you need to copy it using a method like Robocopy."

What is our primary use case?

We use Nasuni to provide storage at various locations. It is for office-type files that they would use for day-to-day office work, such as spreadsheets. None of it is critical data.

Each group at each site has its own data store. For example, HR has its own, and finance has its own. All of these different groups at different locations use this data, and they use these filers to store it.

The Nasuni filers are on-site, and we have virtual edge appliances on ESX servers at about 35 sites globally. The data stored at these sites is then fed up into Azure and we have all of our data stored there.

How has it helped my organization?

The OR and DR capabilities have been a very big help for us. Previously, with the solutions we had, it would have taken weeks sometimes to get things fixed and back up and running for people. Now, it only takes a matter of minutes.

It used to be a lot of trouble to bring data back up and a lot of the time, it was read-only, so the people couldn't use it very well. Now, with Nasuni, we're able to pretty much keep their experience seamless, no matter how much trouble the hardware is in at the site.

The Nasuni filers are easy to manage, although the process is similar to what we had before. We have a report that comes out three times a day that gives us the amount of data that's in the queue to be uploaded to Azure on each individual filer. We keep track of that to make sure nothing is getting out of hand. It also tells us if the filer has been restarted and how long ago that happened. It gives us a quick view of everything and how much total we're using within Nasuni. This report is something we created on our own to keep track of things.

If a user deletes a file or a file becomes corrupted, it's easy for them to get it restored. There is very little chance that the data is going to be done. We've had a few people delete things, or they have become corrupted, and we were able to get that file back to them in the states that it was in about five minutes before they had a problem. We were able to do this without any issues. Overall, the continuous file versioning is really helpful.

What is most valuable?

The biggest and most impressive thing for us is the operational recovery (OR) and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities that Nasuni has. If a filer goes down, or an ESX server goes down, then we can quickly recover. For example, we lost a controller the other day and all of the drives were corrupted. We were able to quickly repoint all of the users to a backup filer that we have at our data center, they were back up and running within minutes, and they still have read-write capabilities. Once that ESX server was fixed, we were able to repoint everything back to it in a matter of minutes. People were then again using their local filer to connect.

Nasuni provides continuous file versioning and we take snapshots on a regular basis. Right now, we have them stored forever, but we're trying to reign that in a little bit and keep them only for a period of time. Certainly, at this point, we have a lot of file versions.

We have not had a problem with ransomware but if we did, we would be able to restore the data pretty quickly by going back to an older version of the file before the ransomware took over. It is a similar process to the DR, although a little bit different. For us, OR and DR are pretty much the same thing. We haven't had any disasters that we've had to recover from but we've had three or four hardware failures a year that we've had to deal with. The continuous file versioning has helped to fix these problems pretty quickly.

Continuous file versioning also makes it easier for our operations group. The support team is able to restore files quickly, 24/7, and it is less work for them. They have more time to focus on other problems. The end-user also has access to shadow copies through Windows, and they've used that extensively at the sites.

Nasuni has helped to eliminate our on-premises infrastructure. When we moved to Nasuni, we moved to Azure. Before that, we had a large SAN storage that we were using, and we were able to get rid of it. That was a big difference for us.

We were definitely able to save some money because we've eliminated those expensive SAN disks completely. There were some servers at our old data center that we were able to get rid of, as well. There are some new expenses with Azure because we have to pay for the space taken by the snapshots, which is why we're going to put a retention limit in place. Overall, I don't have an exact number but we were able to save money.

Nasuni is transparent to our end-users. We have it all set up as a file server through Microsoft DFS. If you were to ask one of our end-users how they like Nasuni, they would have no idea what you're talking about.

What needs improvement?

One issue that we have is related to copying data out of Nasuni. We just sold a site and it was split into two pieces. One part of it was sold to another company and we kept the other part. At the site, they have a Nasuni filer with about eight terabytes of data. Now, we have to split that data and the problem stems from the fact that the other company doesn't have Nasuni.

This means that we have to copy all of that data back to the site and into a format that they can use, which is probably just a Windows file server, and then we have to split it somehow. I'm not really sure that there's an easy way to do that. It's going to take us a little bit longer to separate this other location, and we're having to invent things as we go along.  

In these areas, it's not as simple as it could be, but it doesn't happen very often. As such, we haven't had to worry about it too often. Although it's not affecting us too much at this point, if there's a problem such that we have trouble getting data out of Nasuni, then that could be an issue. However, for the time being, it seems fine.

When we have to rebuild a filer or put a new one at a site, one of the things that I would like to be able to do is just repoint the data from Azure to it. As it is now, you need to copy it using a method like Robocopy. To me, this seems counterintuitive or like we're going backward a little bit. I would like to see a way to be able to switch them around without any problem. That said, I'm not sure if it would then cause other issues because of how Nasuni works, so it may not be possible.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using Nasuni in 2018 and it's been running ever since.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Up until about a week ago, the stability has been rock solid. We've actually had a few issues after upgrading to version 9.3 that we're trying to deal with. We have a couple of sites that we're still not sure if Nasuni is the problem, or if it's VMware ESX, and we're working on that. At this point, we're not thinking about rolling back because of all of our sites, only two of them have problems. As such, we think that something else may be going on.

For the most part, it's been extremely stable, with no issues whatsoever. With Nasuni, there has been very little downtime, if any. Most of the sites have never gone down and with the sites that have, there's usually some other external problem.

Overall, it's been very stable for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are limited to the amount of space that we have purchased from Nasuni. If we get close to running out then we just buy more. We still have to pay for the storage within Azure, so we're trying to make sure that it doesn't get out of control. In general, we don't need to add any on demand.

Scalability is not a problem and we can add as many servers and as many filers as we need to, which is really nice. For example, instead of buying tape drives and using that type of backup system, we decided to take a few sites where we have some smaller servers and we use Nasuni to back them up. We use a separate filer to back up all of that data. It's been nice in that way, where we've been able to do things with it that we hadn't originally thought of.

If it should happen that we make a large acquisition, and we bought 10 sites, we could easily put in 10 more filers. It wouldn't be a problem.

Amongst our 35 sites, we have between 10,000 and 12,000 users. A lot of them are office-type people such as those from HR and finance. All of us, including administrators and developers, use it for this kind of thing. The developers wouldn't store code on these because that's not what it's used for. Our Nasuni environment is specifically for data to help the business run, which isn't critical to producing goods or shipping them or anything like that. That is a completely different system. Anybody who works for the company that needs to access simple office data is going to be going through Nasuni.

We have approximately 210 terabytes stored in Nasuni right now. That continues to grow at perhaps a terabyte or two per month. I don't think we'll be moving it anywhere else at this point. Down the road, we do have a very large file system at our data center that we're considering moving, but it's going to take a lot of time to do that one because it's 400 terabytes and it's a lot of old data that we have to clean up first. But that's pretty much the only area that I would see us doing something.

Later this year, we're going to start refreshing some of the hardware because we're approaching five years on some of the older stuff. As we replace it, we'll do another rollout, but it's not going to be like before. We're just going to put a new server in and put a new filer and connect to the data.

How are customer service and technical support?

Up until recently, I would have rated the technical support a seven out of ten. We had to open a case in Australia for a problem with one of the Nasuni filers, and I haven't got a response for it yet. We had one of the support people answer a question at about three in the morning, US East Coast time, and he said something to the effect that he would send an email giving an update. After that, we didn't hear back from him until about 25 hours later, which was a little concerning for me.

Part of the problem seems to be that Nasuni currently is not set up to do 24/7 support. They said that they were going to do that, so that was a little disappointing. Typically when we call in a problem, they jump all over it and they get it fixed in no time.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

From the perspective of our end-users, the servers function the same way when they're working. We had Windows filers before and now they're Nasuni, so it's basically the same thing to them.

Although we mostly used Microsoft, we did use a backup solution called Double-Take, which is now owned by Carbonite. It did the job but it had a lot of idiosyncrasies that were very difficult to deal with at times. That was the only non-Microsoft thing that we used for the data before Nasuni, and we have since stopped using it.

How was the initial setup?

In the beginning, the setup was kind of complex. We did have help from Nasuni, which was great. They were with us the whole time. We had some growing pains at the beginning, but once we figured out the first three or four sites, we were able to get everything done very quickly and efficiently, with very few problems moving to Nasuni.

When we first started with Nasuni, we had never used it before, and we had never used anything like that. We were used to using Windows servers, and there was a learning curve there to figure out the best way to set up the Nasuni filers. We really had to rely a lot on Nasuni for that. Some of it was trial and error, seeing what worked best as we started rolling it out.

We were replacing a single server that was responsible for doing everything. It was a file server, a domain controller, a print server, and an SCCM distribution point. It was all of these different things and we replaced that with one ESX server, which had multiple guest servers on it, doing all those functions separately. It is much better security-wise and much better operationally.

We started with a very slow implementation. We implemented one site, and then we waited two months before moving to the second site. We tried to start with some of the smaller sites first, with the least amount of data, to get our feet wet. Also, the first site we did was the one that I sit at. The team was all there and it was our site, so we figured we should do our site first. We staggered deployment, so it was not very quick. Then, once we had three or four completed, we did three a week for three months and we were done.

After completing the first site, choosing the next sites had to do with the hardware. We had some old hardware that we repurposed, so we did those sites next. After that, we moved to the sites that necessitated purchasing new hardware. 

From beginning to end, our implementation took a little more than a year. It began in August of 2018 and finished at the end of Q3 in 2019. The time it took was not because of Nasuni. Rather, it revolved around different ordering cycles in our company. Buying the new hardware was what stretched out the deployment time.

What about the implementation team?

I was in charge of the team that did the implementation.

For purchasing and the initial negotiations with Nasuni, we used CDW. We still interact with them when it's time to do renewals, and they are great to deal with. They really help out quite a bit. They were the ones that brought us Nasuni in the first place and suggested that we take a look at it.

We're very happy with CDW. We use them for all of our hardware orders, and a couple of different infrastructure tools. We use them quite extensively.

We had four people responsible for the deployments, with one guy who was in charge of the group as the lead architect. Once it was deployed, we turned it over to our operations group, which is outsourced to TCS. Although they have supported us since then, they come to us if there's anything that's still an issue. We have a couple of guys that still work with Nasuni a little bit, but that's basically how the maintenance is done.

For the most part, there is little maintenance to do. There are situations such as when a controller card goes down, or like the issues we have been having since the upgrade. Otherwise, it's very hands-off and you really don't have to do a lot.

What was our ROI?

We don't plan on calculating a return on investment with this solution. In the grand scheme of things, it's really not very much money for what we're doing. We spend more money on the hardware, for example.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Our agreement is set up such that we pay annually per terabyte, and we buy a chunk of it at a time. Then if we run out of space, we go back to them and buy another chunk.

We thought about an agreement with a three-year plan, where we would get a small increase every year, but we decided not to take that approach at this time. We go through CDW for these agreements and they help us get all of the quotes together.

In addition to what we pay Nasuni, there is the cost of storage in Azure or whatever cloud service you're using. It can get pretty pricey if you have a lot of snapshots, which is something we've found and we're now trying to scale back on. That's the biggest thing that is extra and you may not think of right at the beginning.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a few different products that year, and we decided that Nasuni was the best way to go. It has really worked well for us.

One of the products that we looked at was Veeam, the backup software, but it would have been used a little bit differently. We also looked at Backup Exec and a tool from Microsoft. We didn't look at anything that was exactly like Nasuni. We looked at these other things that would create backups of the primary data, which would have stayed at the site. Nasuni was a completely different way of looking at it.

The difference with Nasuni is that rather than having a backup in the cloud, the primary copy of the data is what's in the cloud. For us, it's stored in Azure, whereas with the other tools, the primary copy stays at the site. If you had a major problem, for instance, this issue with the controller card, the problem with these other solutions or the way it was before was that you're down and out at least until you can get the controller card replaced.

Then, once you're back up, you're going to have to copy all of the data back. For that, it would probably need at least a week. Some of these sites have very poor connections. For example, we have a site that's in the Amazon jungle in Brazil and they are notorious for being very slow, yet we've used Nasuni there and it works fine. Some of these other solutions probably wouldn't have worked. In fact, we probably would have had to buy a tape drive and back up the servers that way.

What other advice do I have?

We have a hosted data center where we don't pay for individual items, such as servers. Instead, we pay for a service. The service might include a server or storage, and Nasuni has not eliminated that because we still need our physical servers at the locations. We debated on whether or not to put the filer in Azure for each site, but we decided that it was better to have something local at this point.

For our company, we were a little ahead of the curve. We didn't have internet connections directly from each site, and they all routed through a central internet connection. Because of that, it was difficult to eliminate any hardware at the site. We needed something there physically. But, having the virtual appliance for Nasuni really helps out quite a bit, because then we only have to have one piece of hardware and we can put all of the other servers that we need for infrastructure on the same ESX server. We have five or six different servers that are doing different functions that at one point, would maybe have been three or four different physical servers. Now we've reduced it to one.

We use Microsoft SCOM as a monitoring tool to keep track of all of the filers and make sure that they are running. 

We don't use the Nasuni dashboard because we don't have to. Everything is working the way it is. We do have a management console set up and we do go into that occasionally, but it's not something that's a regular thing that our support people use.

If I had a colleague at another company with concerns about migration to the cloud and Nasuni's performance, I would talk about the fact that the OR capabilities are so different than anything else that I've seen. The performance has actually not been too bad. You would think that there would be an issue with the cloud stores, but we set up a local cache on each filer that allows it to store up to a terabyte or two of regularly used data. That gets probably 80% of what people use, which means that they're accessing a local copy that's synced with what's in the cloud. This means that they don't really have to go to the cloud to get a lot of it. But when they do, it's pretty quick. It may not be as fast as if it were a local copy, but it's not too bad.

My advice for anybody who is considering Nasuni is that they definitely want to look at all of the options, but that Nasuni does have the best setup at this point. It offers the ability to recover things and provides data security. Especially with ransomware and all of these other new things that are causing lots of problems out there, it really helps mitigate some of that.

The biggest thing that I have learned from using Nasuni is that you shouldn't be afraid of the cloud.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Tony Scrimenti - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Director, Architecture and Cloud at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Eliminates all the necessary backups by using immutable storage
Pros and Cons
  • "The nice thing about Nasuni storage is that it is immutable. This means the data is only written once. So, you never modify the files. When you write a file out to the storage, it doesn't modify it when you change it. The technology knows how to figure out what the difference is between the original file write and what the changes are. Therefore, it only saves the changes."
  • "I would like to see Nasuni create a Dropbox or Box alternative. One of the things that people like about those tools is that they are very easy to implement. They look just like a file server. With Nasuni, you have to be online to get your file storage. With Dropbox, there is a thing running on your PC that downloads the files to it when you need them, i.e., an agent."

What is our primary use case?

Unified, global file sharing while reducing costs and eliminating backups.

How has it helped my organization?

We had a Nasuni filer in our Texas office. But due to the cold in Texas, power was down for a couple of weeks due to the inability to get fuel for the generator.  The users outside the area could work from home but they could not get to their filer in their Texas office. Since Nasuni stores our files in the cloud, we just setup another filer in the cloud with access to their files and they were back in business.

What is most valuable?

The features most valuable are 

1: Nasuni storage is immutable and the ransomware protection that it provides.

2: Elimination of file storage cost through elimination of backups as well as deduplication and compression.

3: Excellent support - the Nasuni support team is always there when you need them.

4: Centralize management and reporting capabilities provided by the NMC.

5: Ability to leverage our AWS Marketplace discount.

6: User file restoration self service.

7: Global file locking providing the ability to share any file with others in the world with the same controls that a users would have on one file server.

8: Ease of performing updates through a centralized console.

What needs improvement?

I originally felt that a Dropbox type interface would be useful but after second thought with all of the new always-on vpn capabilities that are available, I've reconsidered and decided that's not an appropriate for this platform. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any issues with stability.

The filers are separate devices. Admins really don't have to log into them too often. There is a Nasuni Management Console, which can do most of the management work and perform all of the upgrades, which routinely come out. You don't have to worry about shutting things down. We alert users when updates are being deployed with plenty of notice and reminders and do them manually. We typically do the updates manually during non-working hours in each region, but you can also schedule the upgrades to install automatically. 

It's a solid solution, easy to maintain.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. The only thing that I was concerned about initially was the global file locking. Everyone who was opening a file, anywhere in the world, has to talk to that service component. This solution was very well designed, scalable and redundant.  We've had no performance or problems with it at all. 

Nasuni's file storage system is extremely scalable and we are not close to exceeding it's capabilities or scalability limits.

Properly sizing filers is the best way to provide good performance and Nasuni does have a spreadsheet-based tool to help in that regard.

Nasuni's integration with Varonis is another plus.  We have one filer setup to read all files in the system in the event the entire file system has to be rescanned, which occurs about once per year.  When it does, the users don't even know it's happening.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is excellent. The Nasuni team knows we rarely have issues  and that we are not as familiar with the service as they are.  They are good about it and help us through all problems, all of which have been related to issues on our side.  We have not had any problem related to the service itself. 

When the Dallas Tx are had a deep freeze, we were upset because we could not access the filer there with a projected restoration of at least 2 weeks.  Nasuni support indicated that we could just do a disaster recovery to make another filer, which we proceeded to do in the cloud.  It was that simple and guidance was much appreciated.

I would give the Nasuni sales and technical support teams a 10+ out of 10. I don't do that very often, but Nasuni has never failed us and they are very easy to deal with with a top quality service organization.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our original solution was traditional file servers and backup systems located in each remote office which we migrate to regional data centers.  Access performance became an issue.

We wanted to go to a cloud based system and back then, I was sold on Dropbox. It was fast, clean and simple. But upon a closer look, I could see it was not an enterprise solution.  Then I came across Nasuni and they had what we needed with global file locking.  We tested it, it worked as advertised and we moved to Nasuni with local office filers, supplemented with virtual filers in our regional data centers.

An additional win involved eliminating most of our disk and tape storage for backups performed by our software development team in Australia.  Our engineers had terabytes worth of source files that they used to develop our product and we were purchasing backup media for them. Once we convinced them that Nasuni could do the job, and that the data was stored in AWS, we were able to eliminate all of the extra hardware, tapes and physical storage space for it. Deduplication worked wonders for this solution too.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setups varied on a site by site basis.  Some had physical filers and others were VMware based.  Our Infra team was very familiar with all of the environments and worked well setting up the sites and doing the file migrations.


What about the implementation team?

It was a combination of our Nasuni Sales and Solution Architect, Nasuni Professional Services and our internal Infrastructure team and consultants.

Most of the work was related to summarizing our storage usage at each remote office and in our data centers which was then used to determine the sizing of the Nasuni resources.  During that process sizing of the physical filers was also done, allowing for projected growth.  Although there were a lot of logistical details related to the infrastructure configurations at each of our sites, we were able to get the information needed.

However, by far most of the work was in migrating the files from the old file servers to the Nasuni filers and coordinating testing with the end users.

What was our ROI?

The Nasuni caching system, if it's properly configured, will not be touching the S3 storage in AWS very often. With S3, the way they configure it, the normal S3 stores all your data and you can access it at any time. Then, there is something called S3 IA for the infrequently accessed. AWS says that they give you a break, e.g., half the price, if you write your data once and don't touch it for something like six months or a year. By setting the caching up in the filers, you can reduce the amount of access you have to S3 and cut that cost by 50% too.

The overall cost of storage for Nasuni is much lower than to setup file server, especially in light of the fact that you don't have to back them up.  There are no charges for virtual Filers - you can install as many as you want.  

Virtual filer images come in various formats depending on the technology that you are hosting them on.  There are images for various cloud-based or in house infra service being used such a AWS, Google, VMware, etc.  

ROI is also accelerated backup systems, media, off site storage and transportation/shipping is all eliminated.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

They could lower the cost, but it saves so much money when you go into it (by losing all the backup).  I believe getting the experts involved pays off in the long run.

There are two packages that you can buy, but we only got the first. The first package is how you set up Nasuni. It is mainly related to selecting which virtual image you want. This depends on what target you are running it on. We didn't really have a lot of problems with that, because we purchased most of our filers right from Nasuni. Therefore, they came preloaded. It was just a matter of receiving the filers and having them set up at the site. The second package is basically setting up the file server, the directories, and doing the migration.

With the appliances, we received five years worth of all service and maintenance. Basically, they give you a rack mount PC. They actually have one desk side if you want to put it in an office environment that has encrypted disks. They follow the Fed standard. Therefore, if someone steals a disk, they can't look at the data. Even if they take it out of a machine, they still can't get to your data. 

There are five or six different filer models. One of them is an office-based unit that sits under a desk. The rest of them are all 1U and 2U rack mount devices. They have it covered pretty well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tested it at my previous company. There are other companies who do the same thing that Nasuni does, but Nasuni is the only one with a single global file lock. They have spent a lot on making that fast and redundant.  The global file locking was a major difference and benefit for us.

What other advice do I have?

The company and its technology are solid and their solution architects and support teams are EXCELLENT!!

A proper directory and file structure/organization design is important to allow auto-failover access redundancy.  Nasuni can explain how this can be done.

If I had to rate Nasuni, I would give Nasuni 10+ out of 10. The solution has been a lifesaver. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Nasuni Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: May 2024
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Nasuni Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.