This blog is a guest post by Tom Rose, Vice President, Product Marketing, Nasuni - Microsoft Azure Global ISV of the Year. Nasuni's cloud file services platform is backed by Azure object storage and helps government agencies store, archive, protect, synchronize, and collaborate on fast-growing unstructured data at scale.
This article outlines best practices for government agencies faced with the challenges of storing, sharing, and protecting rapidly growing file data, and explains how the Nasuni global file system with Azure Government storage works for agencies needing to consolidate outdated NAS and file server infrastructure and collaborate across agency boundaries.
The growing need for Government file storage
As one of the world’s largest consumers of unstructured data, US federal, state, and local government agencies are generating massive quantities of files of all types and sizes – Microsoft Office documents, Adobe creative files, CAD, Lidar, video, audio, GIS, images, and more.
These files need to be stored, shared across multiple locations, accessible on-demand, and recoverable in minutes. And the traditional infrastructure and processes behind it – NAS, file servers, backup, DR, archive, volumes, shares, directories, and data propagation – need modernization so they are easier for IT to manage.
Cloud object storage is “the new disk” that can more cost-effectively and efficiently deliver these file services at scale.
Why Nasuni with Azure Government
Every file storage container needs a file system to store and organize the unstructured data it holds and provide fast, shared access through standard file sharing protocols. Traditional NAS devices and file servers typically have NetApp WAFL/ONTAP, Dell EMC Isilon OneFS, and IBM GPFS. However, these device-based file systems have capacity limits, as well as limited abilities to share data across locations.
Cloud object storage, with its virtually limitless capacity and the ability to span the globe, offers greater scalability, durability, and lower cost than traditional block storage. All it needs is a file system to unlock this potential for file storage.
Nasuni UniFS® is the first file system designed to live natively in object storage such as Azure Blob Storage, so it scales without the limits of traditional device-based file systems. With Azure Government storage, UniFS can accommodate almost any volume, directory, and file size, and any number of files and file versions.
UniFS also has another key differentiator – the ability to cache pieces of itself (i.e. active files and metadata) wherever high-performance file access is needed. Government agencies can store all their file data in secure Azure Government storage, but still achieve secure, high performance access to the frequently used files inside the four walls of their offices. This hybrid cloud deployment model, with all files stored in Azure Government and cached copies of just the active files cached on-premises in Nasuni Edge Appliances deployed in any number of locations, enables fast, efficient file access and collaboration.
Features and benefits of Nasuni and Azure Government
With Azure Government and Nasuni, government customers benefit from:
- Unlimited primary and archive file storage capacity, with Nasuni presenting a familiar folder and directory structure in front of Azure Government storage, high-speed access to files through standard CIFS and NFS file sharing protocols, and support for existing applications without having to rewrite them for cloud object storage.
- Advanced data protection with Nasuni Continuous File Versioning, which automatically propagates file changes as they occur to Azure Government storage. Each change is stored as WORM (Write Once Read Many) to create an immutable, infinite version history of every file. The cost and complexity of traditional file backup can be eliminated, and recovery points and recovery times can be reduced to minutes to mitigate malware, ransomware, and accidental deletions.
- Advanced security. File data is encrypted at rest in Nasuni edge appliances, in transit to Azure Government, and at rest within Azure Government storage using agency-controlled AES encryption keys, in accordance with government compliance requirements. Nasuni edge appliances integrate with existing Active Directory infrastructure for secure file authentication and access in each agency office.
- High-speed file change propagation using affordable internet bandwidth keeps edge appliances in sync, ensuring government employees and contractors in all locations are working on the latest versions of files.
- Rapid edge appliance deployment and Azure Government geographic storage redundancy for disaster recovery (DR) eliminates the cost and complexity of dedicated DR sites and enables agencies to quickly restore file access when needed.
Try Nasuni with Azure Government today
With the new Azure Government offering, Nasuni brings U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies and their partners a modern, cloud-based solution to consolidate NAS and remote office file data and enable collaboration across multiple offices.
Learn more about why cloud storage is now as secure as traditional data centers in the eGuide, "6 reasons cloud storage is as secure as traditional data center," and accelerate your agency’s cloud-first initiative and your transition to digital government. Try Nasuni with Azure Government today!