Nasuni: Versioning File System For Cloud - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud // Cloud Storage
05:00 PM
Connect Directly

Nasuni: Versioning File System For Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 5:30:18 PM
That sounds like a really great idea, both for regular checks and to aid in recovering from a data disaster: "a snapshot captures a version of the entire system at a given point in time. The snapshot can be referenced to rebuild lost files if at some point data is destroyed or lost." 
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Preparing for the Upcoming Quantum Computing Revolution
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/3/2021
How SolarWinds Changed Cybersecurity Leadership's Priorities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/26/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll