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Nasuni OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is Nasuni?

Nasuni cloud file services is the modern alternative to Windows file servers, NAS, and file backup. Nasuni leverages AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud object storage to offer limitless file shares that can be accessed via standard SMB and NFS protocols from Windows, Linux, and macOS. Shares can be deployed in the cloud or cached on-premises for fast access near where file data is being used. Infinite snapshots, high-speed global file synchronization and file locking, rapid ransomware recovery, and file data analytics are also included in the Nasuni subscription, which costs up to 70% less than legacy file storage and other cloud file storage solutions.

Nasuni Buyer's Guide

Download the Nasuni Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Nasuni Customers

Environmental Systems Design Inc., Imagination, Lewis Group of Companies, Saint Michael's College, TBG Partners, Sedgwick LLP, Barry Isett & Associates, Perkins+Will

Nasuni Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Nasuni pricing:
  • "The cost is based on the capacity, which is approximately $100 USD per terabyte."
  • "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."
  • "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."
  • "The cost of licensing is negotiated and billed annually per terabyte."
  • "I would not say it is economically priced, but it is affordable. If you can afford to pay for it, it is worth the money, but it is definitely not overpriced. It is priced about where it needs to be in the market. We were satisfied with the way they did their licensing and how they handled it. I believe they actually license by data size. It is based on how much data is being held on the machine and replicated, and that's completely understandable. So, for us, their pricing was as expected and affordable."

Nasuni Reviews

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James Joyce
IT Manager at a marketing services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
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: IT Central Station 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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CZ
Server Engineering Services Lead at a mining and metals company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
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: IT Central Station 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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Learn what your peers think about Nasuni. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,586 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SM
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: IT Central Station 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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Pasquale Saccomanno
Chief Information Officer at ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd.
Real User
Scales well, good pricing model, and facilitates collaboration between offices

Pros and Cons

  • "Nasuni gives us a single platform with a 360-degree view of our file data, which is very important to us. We have everything that we need to look at in a single pane of glass."
  • "The speed at which new files are created is something that could be improved. For example, if you create a new file in another country, I won't see it for between 10 and 15 minutes."
  • "The speed at which new files are created is something that could be improved. For example, if you create a new file in another country, I won't see it for between 10 and 15 minutes."

What is our primary use case?

We needed a solution that would allow our 12 offices to collaborate from one central location of active business data that is continuously synchronized and backed up. This is the problem that Nasuni solved for us.

Our environment includes Nasuni's cloud-based file storage called UniFS, and at each site, we have a filer on-premise. Our normal SAN/NAS refresh cycle at each office location was 3 to 5 years. This IT work involved a lot of time, effort, and cost involving research, planning, and deployment of the properly sized SAN/NAS. With Nasuni, this hardware refresh cycle has literally stopped. Our capacity now scales on-demand.

How has it helped my organization?

Prior to Nasuni, each office had its own on-premises file server and there was no real collaboration on a single set of data. We had data silos operating independently at each location and when we would win a project, it was very difficult to collaborate between offices. Nasuni came in and looked at all our offices and data within our workflows and made the requisite recommendations. In the end, all of our active business data was consolidated and synchronized into one universal ‘global’ drive that was automatically backed up every 15 minutes and accessible by all staff in all offices.

With Nasuni, we have been able to replace multiple data silos and toolsets with a single global file system, which is important to us because we have been able to consolidate several different products and solutions. Prior to Nasuni, the normal mode of operations in IT was to employ several products to use with critical business data. For example, we have to store it, back it up, think about disaster recovery, and think about how different employees collaborate on the same data at the same time. Each of these problems required different products.

Nasuni solves your storage, backup, disaster recovery, and file sync/collaboration needs in one product/solution.

Thankfully, we have not had to use it for a ransomware attack or disaster situation. But the risk of data loss due to a ransomware attack is significantly mitigated knowing we can restore our data to within 15 minutes of the last Nasuni ‘snapshot’. We also use Nasuni on a weekly basis for simple file restores. With Nasuni, in two clicks you can restore a file. 

Prior to Nasuni, we had a completely separate software package that we purchased for data backups. This is not required any longer. As such, our IT environment is simpler and more cost-effective.

We don't use Nasuni exclusively for VDI but we do have VDI components. This is very important to us because we've been using VMware for almost 20 years.

With regard to the simplicity of management, the Nasuni Management Console makes everything very simple. Related to that is the support that we received during our implementation, as well as the ongoing support that we get whenever we have any questions about configuration or otherwise.

Nasuni has helped to simplify infrastructure purchasing and support requirements, starting with the fact that we no longer do our regular SAN refresh every three to five years. Also, we are now dealing with one vendor, rather than multiple vendors for our storage solution.

Anybody that knows about storage products will understand how they just fill up because users create more data than you have a plan for. A storage upgrade is a big IT project and we haven't had to do one for almost three years. Having the benefit of being able to forgo one of these projects saves us hundreds of hours each time.

When compared to having to do SAN refreshes, Nasuni contributes positively to business agility. When you have to plan for an IT update project, it requires time and effort. With Nasuni in place, that need goes away because the technology automatically backs up the data, synchronizes it, and maintains version control for disaster recovery. From that perspective, the business is much more agile.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is scalability. As time goes on and we begin to run out of disk space, and we start planning for deployments and upgrades, Nasuni really helps. One of the things that we love about this product in IT is that it looks at your data and identifies what is active, or what is being worked on. We can set a threshold in terms of time where, for example, if the data has not been opened or touched for at least a year then it is automatically backed up to the cloud. By doing that, it's constantly keeping your file servers lean, which means that you don't have to regularly buy new storage upgrades.

Because we don't have to continue to buy storage as we did before, Nasuni has partially helped to eliminate our on-premises infrastructure. In this regard, it has reduced our SAN refresh costs. It is difficult to estimate how much we have saved because each office had its own SAN and storage requirements prior to Nasuni, and I would have to look into how much we paid for that infrastructure. Easily, we have saved six figures.

Aside from costs, Nasuni has reduced the amount of effort that we spend on our storage solution. The IT works and planning that's involved whenever you're doing a storage upgrade or a SAN refresh is significant. It becomes a month-long project. Having Nasuni manage active data versus inactive data has meant that we haven't bought a SAN since we implemented Nasuni in 2018.

Some of the other valuable features are collaboration and disaster recovery.

Nasuni gives us a single platform with a 360-degree view of our file data, which is very important to us. It is called the Nasuni Management Console and we have everything that we need to look at in a single pane of glass. From an IT administration standpoint, there's nothing worse than having to hop onto different toolsets or different solutions to manage different things. With regards to data management, specifically, we work through the Nasuni Management Console and everything is managed from there.

What needs improvement?

The speed at which new files are created is something that could be improved. For example, if you create a new file in another country, I won't see it for between 10 and 15 minutes. The length of time that it takes depends on the speed of the internet. If it were to drop from 15 minutes to two minutes, that would be fantastic. However, I understand that there are a lot of variables involved. As such, it's probably not just Nasuni but also the speed of the internet.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Nasuni since November 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, it has been top-notch. We haven't had any issues whatsoever. When we first implemented it, we had the occasional questions about the length of time required to create a new file. We thought that it might be quicker.

Nasuni is used daily. Literally, all of our business-critical data resides on it, so the availability has to be there 24/7/365.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is just a matter of contacting Nasuni and telling them that we need more storage. After that, they allocate it. We're using Azure, whereas some people use Amazon AWS or Google. It doesn’t matter to Nasuni which ‘backend’ you use.

We have approximately 450 users and the roles range from engineers to project managers, to administration, marketing, IT, and finance. We don't have any plans to increase usage. As the company grows, it doesn't mean that we're necessarily going to be doing anything different. We may just have to buy more Nasuni storage.

We have a small IT team of approximately four people that was responsible for the deployment and takes care of the maintenance. There is not much maintenance that needs to be done. It involves system updates and going into the Nasuni Management Console to check log files.

How are customer service and support?

We received helpful support during our implementation, as well as ongoing support whenever we have questions. We also have access to Nasuni’s senior leadership team, which is fantastic!

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

We did not use another product prior to implementing Nasuni.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. Nasuni comes in and they look at your data. They do an assessment and then they give you a report that estimates your sizing based on the total data that you have, as well as the amount of data that is actively being worked on at any given point in time. For example, you may have five terabytes of data but there is only 1TB that is being actively used.

With assistance from Nasuni in classifying our data as active versus inactive, we were able to then size a proper solution and purchase the right amount of storage that we need both in the cloud and on-premises.

The implementation strategy was just a matter of sizing the environment and then copying data from a traditional file server to the Nasuni file server. It took about a month for us to complete. This included sizing the environment for each location, making sure each one had a Nasuni filter, then communicating to staff that we were going to be moving data from one location to another.

The moving of data is something that we did on a weekend and the staff were told that when they came back to work on Monday, they would automatically be pointing to a different location for their data.

What about the implementation team?

Nasuni assisted us with the implementation. We did not rely on a third party.

What was our ROI?

Not having to purchase storage each year has helped to reduce our capital costs. We no longer have to do our SAN refresh cycles.

We analyzed our ROI when we first purchased the solution and although I can't share the actual costs, I can say that the primary savings are in the time and effort involved to do the SAN refreshes. This is not to mention buying the SAN in the first place. A safe estimate would be savings in the six-figure range.

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

The cost of licensing is negotiated and billed annually per terabyte. Different clients have different pricing, depending on their agreements.

In general, the pricing is straightforward and it's an all-inclusive price with no surprises. There is no charge for additional features, add-ons, or otherwise. The fact that it's one price for all of the technology is something else that we like a lot about this product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Prior to implementing Nasuni, we evaluated Panzura. It is the direct competitor in the market. In our opinion, the Nasuni technology was better. The cost for the product and the cost to implement was significantly less with Nasuni, although the primary reason that we chose it was the technology.

When we saw the demo, we were more impressed with what we saw with Nasuni as compared to Panzura. We were also much more impressed with Nasuni’s representation in terms of how they communicated with us promptly and honestly.

What other advice do I have?

When it comes to configuring Nasuni to support organizational changes, the technology is very easy to implement. What's more difficult in any organization is communicating and implementing workflow changes required due to the new data structure. Human nature dictates that we are naturally resistant to change, especially in an organization that has workflows in place for a long time. As such, be sure to involve as many key stakeholders in your company as possible in order to communicate the many benefits of the project. With proper buy-in, the chances of any IT project succeeding are greatly increased.

Today, all of our employees realize that we now have what's called a "global drive", and this is where all of the data can be found. What used to frustrate people, understandably, is that if we're collaborating, they would go to their local office's file server and it wouldn't be there. Rather than stored locally, a file might be on the "British Columbia" server, or instead on the "Alberta" server. Consolidating all of the data and then communicating to staff that there's only ever now one location where that data or that file can be found, really simplifies finding and retrieving the file that people are looking for. Data structure simplification through consolidation and classification goes a very long way to removing friction for the end user when trying to find a file.

I have recommended Nasuni to many colleagues, and I point out that if they have any sort of multi-site collaboration problem, or if they're thinking of disaster recovery, business continuity, or backup solutions, or if they're tired of refreshing their SAN, then Nasuni is an excellent choice.

My advice for anybody who is implementing Nasuni is to take your time at doing the assessment and classifying your data. This is something that Nasuni helps with. Then, once you have a good understanding of the data classification, take time to get an understanding of everybody's workflow and what they expect things will be like post-change. If this is done correctly and you take your time then the implementation will go a lot smoother. If instead you just rip off the band-aid and do something, and then people wake up Monday and there are all sorts of changes, chaos is imminent.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

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

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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RM
Sr. IT Network Infrastructure Engineer at a construction company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
We can restore deleted files in seconds, as opposed to days or weeks, and manage all our edge devices from one location

Pros and Cons

  • "Another helpful feature, in addition to restoring a file that was deleted within 24 to 48 hours, is that we have the ability to restore a file or a folder that was deleted, going all the way back to the inception of that file or folder. That means we actually have unlimited backups to the inception point of data with Nasuni."
  • "One area that we've recently spoken to Nasuni about is single sign-on. Another is integrating Nasuni with Azure Active Directory. In our particular case, that would allow for third-party consultants to access our Azure Active Directory environment as opposed to coming to our on-premises environment."

What is our primary use case?

Nasuni is our data storage solution. In addition, it's our data backup solution. As a construction company, we have onsite offices where we're building a building, a highway, or a water treatment plant, and we use Nasuni for data storage for all of those job sites. Additionally, for all of our regional offices, Nasuni is our storage solution for our entire company's internal data.

It has on-prem and SaaS components, but for all intents and purposes, it is on-prem.

How has it helped my organization?

Nasuni replaced our previous data storage solution for all our job sites back in 2018. Before that, if we had a job where a data server was stolen or a file was deleted, it was a long and onerous process to get that data back. For us, just like pretty much every other company out there, our data, our intellectual property, is significantly more important than the hardware itself. Once we rolled out Nasuni, we were able to restore deleted files in seconds, as opposed to days or weeks. It takes five or six clicks and we're able to restore data.

Additionally, if one of our offices has an electrical or power issue, we are able to move our end-users to a different edge appliance where they can access their data, minimizing downtime for our end-users.

It has also replaced multiple data silos and toolsets with a single, global file system, and that is extremely important. We have one platform to manage all of our data, to see it and to quickly access it, and that is huge. On top of that, Nasuni provides something called the NMC, or the Nasuni Management Console, which manages all of our Nasuni edge appliances. Not only can we manage the data, but we can also manage the appliances from a single pane of glass. Instead of having to log in to 50, 75, or 100 appliances, we can just log in to one device and manage everything from there, monitor alerts, push out updates, et cetera. It's really helpful.

With the NMC, when we are asked to restore a deleted file, we can do that from that one console, as opposed to going to the specific appliance the end-user was using to access data. From an IT perspective and a support perspective, the fact that we can use one location to access all of our edge appliances and do the work that we need to do, such as a file restore, makes it significantly easier for us. In turn, it makes things easier, quicker, and more efficient for our end-users. When a mistake happens, we can quickly apply whatever the corrective action may be and get our end-users back to accessing the data that they need.

The NMC has made things even simpler by providing one area where we can manage all of our edge appliances, as opposed to hitting each edge appliance individually. The NMC has really made it more efficient, streamlined, and simple for us to manage our data environment.

With Nasuni, our data is stored in volumes. If we have to provide data to an internal business group, it's easy for us to set up a new volume of data, if needed, to make it unique to that business group. We can also just provide remote access for another group internally to an existing volume that we have. In terms of giving the right people access to the data they need, Nasuni makes it pretty easy to do. That makes our business more efficient and more streamlined. It cuts down on internal workload and the tickets to our department, the IT department, to give end-users access to the data they need. As a department, we have become more proactive in recognizing and giving correct access to the data the end-users need.

With continuous file versioning, the way our data is backed up allows us to recover quickly if some of our data is compromised by a ransomware attack. We can simply revert back to a different point in time before that attack took place and make that data available to our end-users. That makes things much easier for us and gives us one less thing to worry about.

In addition, with continuous file versioning, there are some tools in Nasuni to very quickly help us restore a file that's been deleted or corrupted, back to a time where it was not deleted or corrupted. We have that functionality in the NMC and we can restore a file in just a few minutes.

Another benefit is that Nasuni has helped to eliminate infrastructure significantly. About 90 percent of our jobs are scenarios where we're onsite building a building or a stretch of highway and, for those jobs, we have saved on hardware costs and have not had to purchase a server. Instead, we have been able to access other edge appliances within the company. We can utilize existing hardware and don't need to buy new hardware for a particular job. That has certainly saved a lot of money on hardware, on the order of a few thousand dollars for the cost of a job-site server.

And that has made our infrastructure support efforts a lot more streamlined. It has reduced the soft costs, including the time the entire IT department spends on getting things up and running, and the time spent supporting users when a file gets moved or deleted and has to be restored to an earlier time.

We can also accurately forecast our costs for replacing the 10 percent of our Nasuni edge appliances that are on-prem, as needed. We know what to expect, how much life we can get out of them, and forecast when we will need to replace one. There is a need for hardware replacement, but that need has decreased. While we have established, internally, that we need to have that on-premises machine, we have virtualized many of our Nasuni edge appliances going forward, minimizing that hardware footprint that we have to manage.

From an agility perspective, our onsite people who are building something have the ability to access their data from any location and they can go back to the data for jobs they previously worked on. An end-user can be starting up a new job and, at the same time, can close out a job that was run somewhere else. Nasuni gives them that flexibility, making them more productive from one location. In addition, many of our end-users work at multiple locations and may be in five different locations from Monday to Friday. They're able to access all the data they need from those different locations and that is definitely a part of what they need to be successful.

What is most valuable?

One of the things we find most valuable is how quickly we can restore a deleted file. An unexpected byproduct of this feature is the ransomware protection that Nasuni provides as well. 

Another helpful feature, in addition to restoring a file that was deleted within 24 to 48 hours, is that we have the ability to restore a file or a folder that was deleted, going all the way back to the inception of that file or folder. That means we actually have unlimited backups to the inception point of data with Nasuni.

In addition, Nasuni enables us to provide file storage capacity anywhere it’s needed, on-demand, and without limits. That's important to our company because, as a construction company, we are often building where nothing else exists. We may be adding a new stretch of highway, or replacing a stretch of highway in a remote area, or building a water treatment plant in a remote, desolate area where one doesn't exist. The ability to give our end-users their data, safely and securely, is huge. When we are informed of a new job that we have to work on, we can usually get that project management team up and running with access to their data within three to four hours. For our transient workforce, where people are at a location for 12 months or 24 months and then move, having the ability to move to a new location and access new data, as well as old data to close out an old job, is critical to the way that our workforce gets the job done.

What needs improvement?

One area that we've recently spoken to Nasuni about is single sign-on.

Another is integrating Nasuni with Azure Active Directory. In our particular case, that would allow for third-party consultants to access our Azure Active Directory environment as opposed to coming to our on-premises environment. 

Nasuni is aware of these issues which are something of a wishlist for us, and we hope they will work on them sooner rather than later.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nasuni for 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Nasuni has developed a good product that is secure and allows our end-users the flexibility they need to access their data. We're very confident in Nasuni and in what they provide. We're hopeful that they can continue to stay up with the times, but we're completely comfortable with the stability and the footprint that they've created in the data storage field.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product was built and designed to be scalable. We can add on new devices, new edge appliances, in less than a day, whether they are physical or virtual devices. The fact that we can do that quickly is really helpful in our environment. If we need to scale down, we can do that as well and move our end-users to a different edge appliance to access data when their primary one is being decommissioned or needs service. The scalability is definitely an asset of Nasuni.

We have about 3,500 to 4,000 employees and all of them are users of Nasuni. They include everyone from upper management and ownership, all the way down to people in the field and college interns at our job sites who help us complete the projects we're working on. Everyone in our company accesses that data.

We increase our storage by 10 to 20 percent every year. Data storage is a growing need in our company. I don't see that increase in storage diminishing any time soon.

We require two people for maintenance of Nasuni. They do things such as building a new edge appliance and monitoring for and implementing new version installations. They restore files that have been deleted or moved and work with our vendor when it comes to licensing renewal and when we need to purchase physical hardware. They are also the main point of contact for opening support tickets if an issue arises.

How are customer service and technical support?

I give their tech support a 10 out 10. They're great.

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

This is the first vendor that has helped us with all our data storage. Before, we did all that internally.

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

We have a license that we renew annually and we recently renewed about 250 terabytes of data. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

If a colleague at another company told me they have concerns about migration to the cloud, I would say Nasuni has put a great deal of effort into simplifying and streamlining the migration process. We did not go through that, as our process was a little bit unique when we moved our data over to Nasuni. But in the years that I've been working with Nasuni, I have seen them put a lot of time and effort into streamlining that process to move data from an existing storage solution over to their cloud data storage solution.

When it comes to the migration, the amount of time you put into preparing and organizing your data will make that transition smoother and more efficient. If your source data is permissioned properly and the overall hierarchy is as organized as it can be before you move it, that will make that process significantly easier. Also make sure that end-users are accessing the data they need to access. Put time and effort into making sure that is correct, as opposed to making it a "Wild West" and giving everyone access to everything.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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DH
Sr. Systems Analyst at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Amazing implementation support, highly dependable with good auditing capabilities, and makes everything more efficient

Pros and Cons

  • "Its dependability and auditing capabilities are very important to us to be able to maintain a chain of custody of the information."
  • "Its interface design or the graphic user interface design can be slightly tweaked in some areas. Some built-in setup wizards would be very beneficial. Rather than having to go in and configure it by hand, there should be more setup wizards for onboarding new data shares and getting it set up the way you want. I don't know if these are on their roadmap, but I sat down and talked to them about some of the work concerns, some of the things that we liked, and some of the things that we didn't like. They are probably working on that."

What is our primary use case?

We use Nasuni to replicate sensitive data from on-premise to the cloud.

We have a hybrid deployment. It is hosted by a company in the cloud, but it is not our company. 

How has it helped my organization?

It replaced multiple data silos and toolsets with a single global file system. It was important to have data in a central location where the information could be monitored, maintained, and audited. We needed a single point of reference for the data. We needed it in one central location to be able to replicate it to the cloud. Rather than having data spread out all over the place, we wanted it in one place so that everybody has one place to go and get it.

In terms of simplicity of management, previous processes had no management in place. However, Nasuni was very easy to set up and manage. Integrations with Active Directory made it even simpler. It is very easy to manage.

It is very easy to make changes to the system for organizational changes. It is easy to set up new shares, and it is easy to configure who has access to those shares. It is also easy to do some of the replications that are needed with the system. There are some things that are not easy to set up, but that's a specific use case for us. It is not necessarily what most people do.

We use Nasuni's Continuous File Versioning feature. If somebody accidentally deletes something, we have version history available for the file system. So, if somebody were to accidentally go out there and make a change to the wrong document, or go out there and actually delete the document, we have multiple versions of that file that we can recover from to restore it, which is good. So, there is some type of disaster recovery. 

We're saving manpower and man hours. People don't have to do so much individual-task work and side work. They can use this system. It is all connected to our network. It makes everything more efficient. Our workflows are more efficient. It saves our company probably six hours a week with all combined employees.

What is most valuable?

Its dependability and auditing capabilities are very important to us to be able to maintain a chain of custody of the information.

Its file-sharing capabilities via a web portal are huge to us.

What needs improvement?

Its interface design or the graphic user interface design can be slightly tweaked in some areas. Some built-in setup wizards would be very beneficial. Rather than having to go in and configure it by hand, there should be more setup wizards for onboarding new data shares and getting it set up the way you want. I don't know if these are on their roadmap, but I sat down and talked to them about some of the work concerns, some of the things that we liked, and some of the things that we didn't like. They are probably working on that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about a year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate it a 10 out of 10 in terms of stability. In a year and a half, we've had one downtime. You can't give it a 100%, but it is 99.99999%. The way we've implemented it and have it running, it works. It is rarely down. Its uptime is wonderful.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't really had to scale it, so that doesn't really apply to us, but I know the inherent operation of the system, and it is scalable to as big as you want it to go. Our environment is of a hundred terabytes. We have projected to increase its usage within the next five years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support system is helpful and gets the job done, which is important to us. We haven't had to really use their support system because the system is just working the way it was designed, which is good for us.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup was very complex. We are using Nasuni in a non-standard implementation. We are not using Nasuni the way it was designed to work out of the box. We decided to go with Nasuni because there was no solution on the market to do what we were trying to do. So, we worked and partnered with Nasuni to build a solution that fits our custom needs and the needs of many other companies, should they decide to go the same route.

Its deployment took two months. It was a pilot implementation. We had designed the system from the beginning and then implemented it. There was no real time frame or deadline. 

What about the implementation team?

The Nasuni team was there for implementation. They were very knowledgeable of their product and of things that we needed answers to that were not their project. Their team that helped us implement was awesome. In particular, they had one guy with whom we worked. He just knew everything and was very smart when it came to software programming that was required on our side to implement the system. He was critical to the project's success. I called him a Wizard because he was very good with PowerShell commands. If we didn't have Nasuni's team working with us, it would have taken us a lot longer.

Their support during and after deployment was definitely a 10 star because they maintained contact with us. After we got everything deployed, they were available for answers and information to make sure everything was working. The system needed an update or something like that or had a couple of errors, and we reached out to them, and within 48 hours, they answered back on whether it was a concern or why it was happening. From the start to the fix, the whole thing took less than 48 hours. After we wrapped the project up and called it done, we haven't had to really use their support system because the system is just working the way it was designed.

What was our ROI?

We have slightly seen an ROI. We're not having to micromanage multiple data locations because it is all centrally located, so we don't have to buy that product anymore or that material anymore. For our use case, we had slight cost savings to hardware since implementing the system, but the amount of money that it is saving us time-wise is huge. That's the main reason we went with the solution. We can make everything more efficient.

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

I would not say it is economically priced, but it is affordable. If you can afford to pay for it, it is worth the money, but it is definitely not overpriced. It is priced about where it needs to be in the market. 

We were satisfied with the way they did their licensing and how they handled it. I believe they actually license by data size. It is based on how much data is being held on the machine and replicated, and that's completely understandable. So, for us, their pricing was as expected and affordable.

There are additional costs depending on how you set it up. If you want to host an on-premise solution, you've got to have the hardware to do that. If you deploy their solution in the cloud, you're going to pay more for it. If you host in your own personal cloud, there are costs associated with that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I can't remember the name of the other company, but basically, we went to a test environment to try to set up the solution, but the company could not get it to do as we wanted it to do. So, we had to cancel the project with that company and find a different company.

What other advice do I have?

To someone who has concerns about migration to the cloud and about Nasuni's performance in that area, I would say that there is no worry at all about using it. Nasuni's software does data replication. So, it takes the data that's on-premise and replicates it to another server or to the cloud. If you want an offsite backup and a stable solution that is affordable, you would have no worry whatsoever. This would be a highly recommended product to do that because that's what it is designed to do.

I would advise making sure that you've got everything planned out of what you want to move. Have a good project plan, and at the beginning, have all the data on the table of what you want to move to the cloud or what data you want to replicate from one point to another. As you set the system up, it is easy to go through and add more data entry points into that replication process, but it would be better to have that at the beginning and get it all set up from the beginning.

It can provide file storage capacity anywhere it is needed, on-demand and without limits, but we are not using Nasuni in that capacity. We have also not used Nasuni to provide file storage capacity for VDI environments.

It has not helped us in eliminating on-premises infrastructure. It has eased our concerns related to data recovery, but it has not affected our IT operation. We specifically put a certain type of data into the system that we knew that we could not lose, and we needed it replicated. The system has so far been doing an awesome job and working as advertised. We have things in place, and with other solution providers and whatnot, this one had to live in its own environment. Nasuni gave us its own environment where it could be replicated, but it has not affected our concerns about timely backups and restores or other areas of IT.

I'd have to give it a 10 out of 10 because we haven't had any issues, and the amount of technological experience and expertise that they brought to the table in our project was amazing. 

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: IT Central Station 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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WK
Systems Analyst at a outsourcing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Makes consistent field data available almost immediately to all our users in multiple locations

Pros and Cons

  • "The snapshot functionality and the unified file system are definitely the most valuable features for us. The UFS allows everybody across the organization to see the exact same data at the same time, instead of having different file servers with different structures on them, and that's mission-critical. We have different branches throughout our organization that have to act on that data."
  • "I would like to see improvement in the training Nasuni provides. Compared to some of the other vendors out there, like Microsoft, where you can find how-to videos, Nasuni only has a lot of PDF documents that you have to go hunting for. It's workable, it certainly isn't a problem, but video walkthroughs would always be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for a couple of business units that need to quickly transfer data from the field to our offices. They run tests in the field and then they have to get that data uploaded quickly. They connect to the filers in our cloud, and that allows the data to snapshot across to all the Nasuni environments within our organization.

It's deployed through a combination of on-prem and cloud. It's more of a platform as a service or infrastructure as a service because we have hardware appliances that connect to our Azure infrastructure in the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

When our field techs collect data from the units they're inspecting, that data is being uploaded and made visible on-demand. The way we're configured, those snapshots commit every five minutes. Within a five-minute window, based on bandwidth, that data will be available to any of the business units that are looking for it at our various locations.

Nasuni has definitely simplified our data management. Before we implemented it, we were struggling to figure out how to get data to different locations. It was a challenge. But the unified file system turned that into a very straightforward process. Everybody uploads their data to that directory structure and the data becomes available for everybody in all our locations.

Thankfully, we've never had a ransom attack, but the fact that we can restore data within that five-minute window, after each snapshot, has been extremely helpful. The continuous file versioning also makes recovery of a deleted file a very straightforward process through the NMC, the Nasuni Management  Console. One of the server administrators for Nasuni follows a few quick steps to restore that file. We've had to do that several times, and it has been a very straightforward process.

In addition, the snapshotting, which is our backup, has made Nasuni extremely easy when it comes to maintenance. It's a set-and-forget type of operation. With that snapshot continually running and always capturing the latest data, it's providing a backup at that point. It's very straightforward in terms of the impact on our IT.

What is most valuable?

The snapshot functionality and the unified file system are definitely the most valuable features for us. The UFS allows everybody across the organization to see the exact same data at the same time, instead of having different file servers with different structures on them, and that's mission-critical. We have different branches throughout our organization that have to act on that data. When it's uploaded to Nasuni and it's snapshotted out to all locations, each one does something specific with that data. It has to be consistent across the board, with multiple people accessing it. We have to make sure that everybody's on the same page.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvement in the training Nasuni provides. Compared to some of the other vendors out there, like Microsoft, where you can find how-to videos, Nasuni only has a lot of PDF documents that you have to go hunting for. It's workable, it certainly isn't a problem, but video walkthroughs would always be helpful. Microsoft offers that a lot for its infrastructure.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Nasuni for about six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Early on, there were some concerns, but over the last couple of years, the stability has been flawless.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems that if we were to have to scale out, it would be a very straightforward and simple process.

We have a couple of hundred technicians who connect to Nasuni, and on our engineering team there are 30 to 40 people who are retrieving and relying on the data that's coming in.

In terms of maintenance of the solution, it's taken care of by our infrastructure team that consists of three to four members of our IT team, but it does not require full-time attention. They handle administrative duties, assigning access to folders and directories. It uses Microsoft's NTFS permissioning and they add members to the group. It's not really Nasuni maintenance, it's actually the directory structure that makes up the day-to-day maintenance. There is also quarterly maintenance when we provide software and security updates, and that's a very straightforward process.

We have no plans at this time to increase our usage of Nasuni, but the potential is always there. It really has served its purpose in our particular use case scenario.

How are customer service and support?

Over the later years, I would definitely give their tech support a nine or a 10 out 10, as they've been responsive. Early on, when we were implementing, it was a little bit of a challenge, but in recent years, which is what matters, they have been excellent.

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

We didn't use a solution before Nasuni. We just had a legacy file system, legacy Windows Servers on a standard network.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, but we had the assistance of a product specialist that they assigned. They held our hand through the whole implementation process. It could have been complex, but the product specialist came out and gathered our requirements and made the whole process very straightforward. They walked us through the whole implementation process, including how to set a filer up and the proper way to configure our file system for our scenario.

The configuration portion was very straightforward. After shipping out the filers to each of the locations and getting the hardware set up, the configuration process took just a few days. But the process took a bit of time because we were transferring large amounts of data from our legacy systems over to Nasuni. That wasn't really a Nasuni issue, it was a bandwidth issue with the amount of data that had to be transferred. That ended up taking closer to a month but through no fault of Nasuni.

Our implementation strategy was to move all data from the legacy system over to the Nasuni system. We then had to train all of our technicians on how to use that system. It was a straight cut-over from legacy to Nasuni.

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

Licensing for the data is something that is handled on a yearly basis. Pricing is calculated per the number of terabytes to be utilized with Nasuni. We're in the 60 terabyte range. We have to keep in mind our cloud storage costs. Although that's unrelated to Nasuni, Nasuni consumes cloud resources.

There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The original business unit did do some investigations but I don't know which products they looked at. When Nasuni offered to do a pilot, they ran through a pilot with it. I don't think the other vendors ever got that far with us. Nasuni stood out as soon as the pilot was kicked off.

What other advice do I have?

Get together with a product specialist, as we did, so they can walk you through the process based on your use case scenario. That's what they did when implementing it for us, which made it very easy. There is no way we would have been able to configure this on our own, without that support at the very beginning. It's a completely different type of technology. But they handled it and performed the knowledge transfer very well and it was easy to take over supporting it once it was working.

We haven't really had to use Nasuni's on-demand abilities. We renew our storage capacity once a year for a fixed price. We're not continuously changing that. We have to contact Nasuni and get an estimate on any price increase for additional demand.

We've been running in the same configuration the entire time, but if we had to make any changes it would be very fairly straightforward. It's all done within a central management console that communicates to all the hardware appliances and filers in the cloud.

And while Nasuni has not eliminated on-premises infrastructure for us, because we use hardware filers, it has the potential to do so. We have to have our data in the data center to create that local experience for the end-user. If we were to push those filers up into the cloud, we'd be looking at more latency, perhaps, due to network connections. We're using their hardware appliances by design, as opposed to putting them in the cloud, as we're dealing with very large files.

What I would tell a colleague at another company who has concerns about migration to the cloud and about Nasuni's performance is that Nasuni is straightforward. Once you get migrated over to Nasuni and get your data in place, it's a very easy, very secure process to maintain that data, as opposed to having to run different backup agents for particular servers. I would also say that you've got the unified file system, which allows all users at different locations to see the same data, and that is very difficult to do with a Microsoft system. And the snapshot technology is very reliable and very simple. Once it's configured, you can pretty much set it and forget it, with just some basic monitoring of it.

Overall, it has been straightforward and we're very pleased with the Nasuni system. I would definitely give it a high rating.

Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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Josh Goldman
IT Infrastructure Manager at McLaren Construction Group
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Scales well, good support, and provides valuable insights about our data estate

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the simplicity of the backup and restore functions."
  • "One thing to consider is that Nasuni will have the same limitations that a traditional file storage solution will have, although that is because they are taking the place of a traditional architectural model. For example, Office 365 supports collaboration on documents such as Excel files and Word documents, but because Nasuni is a traditional file server, in that sense, it can't make use of that functionality."

What is our primary use case?

We need a traditional file server-type solution while reducing all of the complexities around the management of it.

How has it helped my organization?

Using Nasuni enables us to provide file storage capacity anywhere and on-demand, without limits, which is important to us because we're quite a distributed company and we have lots of different remote locations. We don't have enough storage to have a server on each site, so it's really beneficial that we have easily accessible, centralized storage. The bottom line is that it's easy for us to support lots of different remote users in one simple solution.

Nasuni gives us a single platform with a 360-degree view of our data, which is important so that we know the size of our estate and the amount of data that we hold. As a construction company, we have to retain data for 10 years, or sometimes more. This means that having a central platform that can control our data and ensure that it is intact, is extremely valuable for the way we do business.

Although we are using Nasuni in a cloud environment, it has not really affected the costs of our on-premises infrastructure. This is because we were relatively ahead of the curve, so our previous file solution was already in the cloud. However, it was just more complicated with multiple servers. They were Windows Servers that had to be managed by us. These have been reduced into two single devices but there is no change in terms of on-premises hardware.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the simplicity of the backup and restore functions.

The performance is good for everything from the backups to the file copies, to the mobility.

We use the continuous versioning feature and although we have not had to recover from a disaster, it has given us the confidence that if something like a ransomware incident should occur, we have the ability to restore to a previous safe version. We are also confident that we would have the technical solution and support to ensure that we do not have a bad experience or a negative impact on our business.

What needs improvement?

One thing to consider is that Nasuni will have the same limitations that a traditional file storage solution will have, although that is because they are taking the place of a traditional architectural model. For example, Office 365 supports collaboration on documents such as Excel files and Word documents, but because Nasuni is a traditional file server, in that sense, it can't make use of that functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Nasuni for just over one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no problems in terms of stability or availability.

The limitations to accessing file data in our environment are related to our networking, and it's not something that can necessarily be overcome when we have sites that are on 3G or 4G connections, that do not warrant having on-premises hardware. When those networks go down, that's where we will face limitations, but we've never had any limitations with regards to Nasuni itself. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With respect to being able to support organizational changes, it is very quick to expand and support new parts of our business. The infrastructure is already there and it's scalable. This means that creating new business units and storage for those business units is really quite simple, especially once you've documented the very few basic steps that you need to take to create a new file storage unit.

Being a construction company, I'm always told that our two biggest technical requirements are print and file. File is one of the biggest and most important technologies without our business and in that capacity, Nasuni is being used every day by everyone throughout the business.

At this point, we are fully using it for all of our data storage and as our data requirements grow, the data we input into Nasuni will grow.

In general, they have done a very good job of architecting the product, designing for scalability, and educating customers on how you can scale. To this end, I can't foresee any way that they could improve what they currently do.

How are customer service and technical support?

My experience with support was very positive. I had 24/7 support and there were moments when I had to contact them out of hours. The only negative experience when contacting out of hours was that they had a call handler, who wasn't able to put you straight through to a technical person. You had to wait for a call back before you can get support.

Overall, I would rate their support a nine out of ten.

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

Prior to Nasuni, we had a traditional file server set up, and it included multiple servers. With Nasuni, it brings it all together into one solution. This consolidation helped to reduce and move some of the management overhead.

Compared to what we did before implementing Nasuni, it reduces the vast majority of management. With our traditional server, we had to do updates, including Windows updates, hardware repairs, and regular maintenance. We had to be concerned about running out of storage space and thus had to plan ahead to increase or replace hard drives or storage. We would also have to factor in other things such as an operating system upgrade, from Windows 2016 to Windows 2019. With Nasuni, we don't have to consider any of those management overheads. It's all self-contained in the way it's run and managed.

If our previous solution was managed well, backups and restores can be relatively smooth and simple, although that involves a fair amount of management. With Nasuni having such a powerful backup and restore functionality, we find all of the positives of an advanced backup and restore solution, but with very few of the management overhead negatives.

Continuous versioning helps to provide a good experience for our users in cases where they lose files or something becomes corrupted. Lots of users don't want or don't need to understand the technicalities behind the scenes. All they know is that if something gets deleted or just disappears, they want it returned. The value for us is really felt by IT in this case, when we can return those files to users confidently and quickly. That's where the real value comes in for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple. We had lots of support directly from Nasuni.

Our deployment took approximately a month and a half to complete. The process began with building the infrastructure and then implementing it in the IT department. From there, our strategy was to start with the smaller departments and ramp up to the bigger departments with larger existing data storage requirements.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team was responsible for the implementation.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen a return on our investment. The old file infrastructure took lots of human intervention to maintain and expand and repair. One way that we've experienced a return on investment is that we haven't needed to hire additional staff. Furthermore, the current staff has been able to focus on different areas of the business.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in the product investigation stage and am not aware of what other products were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

Nasuni appears to be constantly releasing new features or new functionality which, although at this point we don't use, gives us a potential in the future to expand or improve our offering to the business.

If I had a colleague at another company that was concerned about migration to the cloud and Nasuni's performance, I would tell them that if they're happy with the architecture, being a traditional file server type of design, then I would fully endorse Nasuni as a product. In particular, for the ease of migration and the performance thereafter. 

We have definitely gained insight from using Nasuni. For example, understanding how big our estate is in terms of data is something that we didn't accurately know before. We also have insights into how quickly the data we store is growing.

My advice for anybody who is looking into implementing Nasuni would be that if you're currently using the traditional file server architecture, then this is definitely an improvement and reduces a lot of the complexities. If you are looking for a future-proof file storage solution, then you would need to consider things around how the new cloud files are being accessed or modified. For example, SharePoint, Google Docs, and Amazon WorkDocs are examples of things that require a different architecture.

Overall, our experience with Nasuni has been positive and it is difficult to say where it is that they can improve.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

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?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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