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Nasuni adds cloud mirror for multi-site disaster recovery

Cloud storage controller vendor Nasuni incorporates a cloud mirror option that lets customers keep updated data on two clouds for disaster recovery.

Nasuni Corp. today added a mirroring option to its cloud storage controller that replicates data between cloud providers for disaster recovery.

The cloud mirror option allows customers to access their data if their primary cloud provider has an outage.

The Nasuni Cloud Controller resides on a customer's site, caches data and then moves it to either an Amazon Simple Storage Service or Microsoft Windows Azure cloud. With the mirroring option, data is transferred to a primary cloud provider via snapshots and then asynchronously replicated to a secondary cloud provider.

Nasuni sells its controller as a hardware appliance or software virtual appliance that customers can install on any hardware.

"This gives customers extra peace of mind. It can prevent a cloud outage from impacting your business," said Connor Fee, Nasuni's director of marketing. "For instance, this February the Azure cloud went down for 24 hours because they let their SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] expire. We are not protecting a site from going down. We are protecting the customer if [the cloud provider] has an outage. We are not using the customer's network or any other workload from the customer's site."

The cloud mirror option is licensed on a per-terabyte basis. The Nasuni controller creates a copy of a customer's data and places it in a secondary storage cloud that is updated whenever data is changed in the primary storage cloud. If the primary cloud provider has an outage, Fee said, Nasuni will move users to the secondary cloud with no downtime or data loss.

Nasuni manages its customers' cloud storage and their relationships with cloud providers. Nasuni customers are billed for the providers' service by Nasuni rather than by the cloud provider. That is different than the model used by competitors such as TwinStrata and Panzura, which sell controllers and let customers pick and pay their cloud providers separately. Nasuni customers can choose either Amazon or Azure as their primary cloud site.

"Generally, 99% of our customers use Amazon as the primary site and Azure as the secondary site. If they are adamant, we will let Azure be the primary site," Fee said. "In terms of the copies, they can choose one cloud or two clouds."

All data is encrypted by the Nasuni device. The Nasuni storage cloud controller delivers storage capacity for network-attached storage or storage area network workloads and will support files, databases and virtual machine storage.

Mark Peters, a senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group, said the service is a natural extension of Nasuni's business model of managing customer data on the back end in the cloud. It is also a data protection method most organizations are familiar with.

"Replication is what people use for their regular production," Peters said.

Nasuni rival TwinStrata bolstered its disaster recovery capabilities less than two months ago with a Disaster Recovery as a Service capability that uses SoftLayer compute services to spin up VMware-based vSphere servers in the cloud and recover a live copy of applications and data.

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