Eliminating the Need for WAN Acceleration Using the Cloud

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1 Eliminating the Need for WAN Acceleration Using the Cloud Using Cloud-based Storage to Optimize Data Distribution and Access

2 Introduction Data is an organization s most important asset and the ability to provide access where and when it is needed is vital to the success of every company. In traditional storage solutions, data is typically stored centrally on hardware located in headquarters or a primary data center. The problem is, this arrangement does not align with today s organizations, often comprised of multiple locations, dispersed teams and a subset of employees that are truly road warriors. Users in different locations frequently need access to the same set of data, or need to efficiently share and distribute information to users and teams in different locations. In order for data to be where it is needed, when it is needed, most organizations rely on moving data over a wide area network (WAN). Due to the inherent challenges with sending data over this slow, high-latency network, many organizations implement WAN acceleration to distribute the data quickly, costeffectively and reliably between headquarters and remote offices. WAN Acceleration The Good and the Bad The traditional method of moving data to multiple locations over a WAN can result in several challenges; among the most prominent are performance and cost. Due to the chattiness of both CIFS and NFS protocols, running them over a WAN results in high levels of latency, producing undesirable performance issues for the end-user. Exacerbating the challenge of moving data over a WAN, the ever-increasing size of files drives higher costs due to increased bandwidth. Most organizations that experience either or both of these challenges turn to WAN acceleration as a solution. WAN accelerators, through protocol optimization and data reduction, optimize the use of the WAN to move data. With the use of WAN acceleration, organizations typically experience faster data transfers, resulting in improved performance at remote locations as well as a reduction in bandwidth costs. However, WAN acceleration does not come without its own set of challenges. As growing organizations increase the number of locations, WAN acceleration becomes increasingly complex and costly. The additional components and the requisite management time increase the burdens on existing IT staff. Resource constrained IT teams are tasked with not only managing the basics of data storage backup, replication, protection, DR etc, but must also manage a separate WAN acceleration solution with the sole purpose of making the data available where it is needed. Oftentimes, the predicted cost savings due to reduced WAN bandwidth are not fully realized, resulting in an insufficient ROI for WAN acceleration. Due to their cost and complexity, many organizations prioritize locations for WAN acceleration, leaving smaller offices with suboptimal data performance and a poor user experience. In the end, due to limited resources, IT is not able to sufficiently support the needs of the business. In summary, WAN Acceleration is a single point solution in a complex storage and data access infrastructure. Moving forward, as organizations invest in next generation storage technologies like cloud storage, the value of existing WAN acceleration investments diminishes. However, the need for fast, dependable access to data in multiple locations remains a priority. Enter the Cloud The New Data Center One option organizations have to address the challenges with making data available in multiple locations is to centrally store data in the cloud and provide access from each location. Compared to traditional infrastructure, cloud storage has the distinct advantages of instant scalability and 2

3 outsourced management. Typical use cases for cloud storage include primary storage, backup, offsite disaster recovery and archive storage. Cloud storage is effective in providing a central data storage repository for data, but by itself, does nothing to address the requirements of high performance and fast access to data. As a result, applications and end-users may experience undesirable latency when accessing data directly from the cloud. Traditional WAN acceleration does nothing to solve this issue because when using cloud storage, data flows directly from the cloud to the local site, bypassing the traditional path from the data center to a remote location over the WAN. One option to address these performance issues is to place WAN accelerators in the cloud, but this adds additional expense and yet another solution to manage. However, with the right solution, the shift to cloud storage presents a unique opportunity to deliver a single, consolidated storage system with the same functionality of the traditional storage stack including WAN acceleration. Nasuni s Approach Storage Infrastructure as a Service Storage Infrastructure as a Service (SIaaS) replaces traditional storage by consolidating the necessary storage operations to protect, manage, store, access and share data, into a single service. Nasuni combines the advantages of cloud storage with an on-premises controller, all powered by a proprietary technology designed to deliver the same functionality of traditional storage including the benefits of WAN acceleration. WAN Acceleration Built-in SIaaS delivers high performance with minimal bandwidth requirements by managing an onsite cache of data at each location and efficiently synching data to the central repository in the cloud. Nasuni s Storage Controller, the on-premises component, maintains the most commonly accessed data in the local cache, resulting in local high-performance for users at each location. Since the cache is designed from the ground up to support storage needs it is larger than the local storage of a traditional WAN accelerator ensuring local access in all but the most extreme circumstances with the minimum amount of on-site storage capacity required. At frequent intervals, changes to the local storage are synchronized to the Nasuni Service, resulting in a single master copy of the most current data, centrally stored and with local access for all offices and users. Data is stored, secured and protected and made available to all locations quickly and reliably. From an IT perspective, it is the best of both worlds: centralized control of storage combined with distributed local access for enterprise class performance. With SIaaS, the syncing of local data with the cloud is optimized using sophisticated data chunking, deduplication and compression built-in to the Nasuni technology. Together, these functions minimize the quantity of data flowing over the WAN and the number of round trips required. Quality-of- Service controls further extend the administrators control over WAN usage and costs, all without the budget and personnel investment in additional WAN acceleration appliances. One distinct advantage of SIaaS over traditional storage is the ability to distribute and share information where and when it is needed, eliminating the requirement for additional replication or synchronization software and further simplifying multi-location storage management. Unlike WAN acceleration, SIaaS can employ a push method to provide data locally; the data most likely to be requested by local users is automatically synchronized to the on-premises appliance, making it immediately available when requested by a user. This push method is exactly the opposite of how traditional WAN acceleration is implemented, where users request or pull information from the central location, at which point the transfer of information 3

4 begins. In some cases, organizations require access to data immediately and implement a push method of distributing data by adding an additional solution and process to manually synchronize important data and push it to remote locations utilizing WAN acceleration. While this solution improves enduser performance, it adds a cumbersome layer of complexity to an already complicated system. For many organizations, this unwieldy Band-Aid is an unavoidable requirement to keep the business running and users productive. The functionality built-in to SIaaS eliminates the need for additional components to deliver data. The capability to automate data distribution to multiple locations is one of the main reasons SIaaS delivers more efficient and effective data availability and a better user experience than any other storage solution available today. Benefits of SIaaS include: Cost Effective Organizations pay only per Terabyte of usable storage with Nasuni; there are no additional license fees or expensive components to make the data locally available in multiple locations. All users around the globe have access to the same volume of data. Flexible The solution scales easily and provides access to data from any office location or mobile device. New locations and devices can be connected to corporate data in minutes. Easy to Manage Delivered as an all-in-one service with 24x7 monitoring, Nasuni does the work to guarantee data availability, security and protection. Organizations no longer have to spend time and money managing multiple components and can focus on more strategic initiatives. of costly hardware solutions. Users and teams in different locations are more productive with fast, easy access to the same set of data from any location or device. Individuals or groups can immediately distribute data to users everywhere, standardizing on the same set of information. IT organizations are more productive and efficient, with the ability to focus on managing data and controlling access rather than maintaining hardware infrastructure. With SIaaS, data is stored in a system that enables the efficient availability of data where and when it is needed for maximum business productivity. Conclusion Making data available to end-users where and when they need it is critical to driving business initiatives and maximizing user productivity. Today, WAN acceleration is a single point solution that adds to the complexity and expense of an already complicated multi-component storage infrastructure. With the rise of cloud storage, the need for fast, reliable access to data in remote locations does not diminish, but the effectiveness of WAN acceleration solutions does. Storage Infrastructure as a Service is designed to deliver the benefits of cloud storage with the added value of efficient data access and distribution built-in. In this new data storage delivery model, the need for standalone WAN acceleration hardware is eliminated, but the value remains, providing a dramatically better ROI, more productive teams and an IT organization that is an asset to the business. With one solution to manage, Enterprise organizations experience flexible, cost-effective and streamlined storage that delivers the full features of protection and access. With Nasuni s Storage Infrastructure as a Service, organizations can implement a storage solution that fits their unique requirements, providing centralized data protection with localized distribution and access all without the need for a complex matrix 4

5 About Nasuni Nasuni is an enterprise storage company that provides distributed organizations with a powerful Cloud NAS service. By combining on-premises hardware and software with cloud storage, Nasuni delivers a secure file storage solution that provides high performance for users, simplified and centralized management for IT, and an easily scalable, complete storage service for the global enterprise. Nasuni Corporation 2015, All Rights Reserved NAS_WP_10.14

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