This process included a complete deletion of the entire Nasuni Filer and re-installing it. As you will see in the video that we recored in real-time, having a complete NAS server back up and running in less than 10 minutes would only be possible with this type of combination of virtual NAS services and Cloud Storage.

A key capability in the recovery effort was that the software intelligently only re-downloads data from the cloud as you actually need it, instead of recovering everything. In a NAS / Home directory situation this makes perfect sense. Typically you only really need the files you were working on at the moment before the crash. Not last years files but when you do need those files, they are there and all you need to do is access them.

This was also our first test of data being returned to cache from the cloud. The performance was excellent and for the most part we can't tell when a file was local or being accessed from the cloud. Once accessed it is held in the local cache until it fills back up again, of course changes to the file are replicated to the cloud on an hourly basis (as a default). Testing of the restore from cloud process is important beyond just a disaster, as your local cache fills up you have two options; you can either expand its size or let older data just age out of cache and into the cloud. The value of this kind of performance is that there is really not much need for a cache much larger than the default.

Imagine buying a mirrored set of 64GB solid state disks, using those for your local cache and then have the older data simply age off of those drives as needed. This would allow you to offer very high performance file access to your users without spending a lot of money on expensive SSD capacity and without having to protect millions and millions of files that have not changed.

Next up in our Nasuni testing will be upgrading to the 2.0 release, which as we highlighted in our recent briefing report adds some key features to the Filer as it becomes enterprise ready.

George Crump, Senior Analyst

Case Study

Nasuni is a client of Storage Switzerland

Lab Report

Cloud Storage Provides Disaster Recovery in 10 Minutes