The concept of unified storage — in which both file and block storage are managed as one — was pioneered by storage hardware giants like EMC and Hitachi Data Systems. Unified storage technology enables one hardware device to handle both SAN and NAS storage protocols and thus supports both file and block storage.
Now, Nasuni, which manages cloud storage for businesses — mostly mid-sized enterprises as well as departments of bigger enterprises, — is following suit with what it’s calling Unified Storage for ROBO (ROBO stands for remote offices and branch offices.) That means Nasuni, which focused up till now on the file storage prevalent in most branch offices, now supports block storage as well.
“The majority of data in branch offices is in files — structured data but companies also use a lot of block storage. This lets me use one storage box for everything,” Nasuni CEO Andres Rodriguez told me in a recent interview. Nasuni will deploy this capability via a software upgrade to its controllers in the field and it will be available as of Tuesday.
Businesses can subscribe to Nasuni services either with or without an on-site hardware appliance. Nasuni is also upping the capacity of that appliance with a new NF-400 2U box with 32GB of RAM which supports 900 users and supports up to 6 TB or 12 TB of local cache. Price ranges from $12,500 to $17,500. The existing NF-200 1U box with 16 GB of RAM, supported up to 300 users and 3 TB or 6 TB of local cache. It lists from $4,000 to $6,000.
The need of companies to store data in the cloud is growing as is their need to be assured that this data is secure. For its customers, Nasuni acts like a traditional file system but puts the data in whichever cloud — Amazon, Rackspace, Nirvanix, etc. — is most appropriate at the time and moves it as needed. All the data is encrypted — neither Nasuni nor the cloud provider sees it.