Read what leading industry publications and respected bloggers have to say about SoftNAS.
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We’ve added a fair few thoroughbreds to this week’s storage corral. Let’s send in a wrangler and see what we’ve got.
NAS software supplier SoftNAS says its Cloud NAS product offers limitless, highly durable and highly available cloud object storage.
Customers will get near block storage performance at object storage prices from their chosen cloud platform vendor. This is because if SoftNAS’s ObjFast technology which streamlines parallel IO paths between the cloud NAS and native cloud object storage delivering maximum throughput.
SoftNAS released their newest release of Cloud NAS with up to 400 percent faster cloud object storage performance. Now customers can replace expensive, aging hardware-based storage and on-premises NAS, SAN and file servers with limitless, durable and available cloud object storage.
Software-defined storage company SoftNAS released a new version of its SD-storage product that it says provides up to 400 percent faster cloud object storage performance.
SoftNAS Cloud NAS supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and VMware vSphere. It allows enterprises to replace hardware-based storage and on-premises network attached storage (NAS), storage area networks (SANs), and file servers with cloud object storage, which can be scaled up to accommodate large workloads and massive amounts of data, said Rick Braddy, CEO, CTO, and founder of SoftNAS.
“Object storage has typically been lower cost, but it has also been lower performance,” compared to block storage, Braddy said. “We’ve figured out how to get highly parallel I/O [input/output], in and out of object storage, so it’s almost the same level of performance as block storage but at the object storage price. It’s a price breakthrough for customers.”
Object storage manages data as objects, as opposed to files or blocks, and is typically used in the cloud. It is ideal for unstructured data such as media and web content.
Block storage is typically used in storage area network (SAN) environments where data is stored in volumes or blocks. In the cloud, it’s commonly used to store persistent data like a data bases and log files, and for disaster recovery purposes.
“The biggest problem we had was moving the data [to the cloud] fast enough,” Braddy said. “It takes a long time to move a petabyte of data.”
To improve the speed performance in the latest Cloud NAS release, the company had to develop its own technology, called ObjFast.
“ObjFast streamlines the I/O so you can get the maximum number of parallel streams in and out at the maximum rate without overrunning object storage in the cloud,” Braddy said. “The difficulty is in moving the data fast enough without breaking the speed limit where you get penalized, and doing it in a highly parallel way so you can maximize throughput.”
Additionally, the SD-storage product expands on-demand marketplace capacities, from 1TB and 20TB to include 50TB, 100TB, 250TB, 500TB, and 1PB. Annual licenses can grow up to 16PB.
Moving disaster recovery (DR) data centers to the cloud is another use case, Braddy said.
“We’re seeing a significant number of companies closing down their DR data centers,” he said. “They like the idea of an elastic DR data center in the cloud.”
Braddy started the Houston-based company in 2012 and launched its first software-defined storage product a year later, “in what was a relatively small niche in the cloud for NAS,” he said.
The company has more than 2,500 AWS virtual private cloud deployments to date, and its customers include Adobe, Boeing, Citrix, Netflix, Nike, Samsung, and Coca-Cola.
“A big deal of us last year was a 50-terabyte deal,” Braddy said. “That was like a record deal for us. This year, we see a new record every quarter and it’s in the petabyte scale. And now we’re hearing the next phase is in the tens of petabytes.”
Data-intensive technologies and workload demand highly scalable storage. Braddy has watched the market for SD-storage grow as companies are moving more workloads — and in some cases everything — to the cloud.
SD-Storage Market ‘Finally Here’
IDC forecasts spending on software-defined storage will grow from about $7 billion this year to $9.1 billion in 2019.
As SD-storage products replace legacy hardware-based systems, many traditional storage vendors like IBM, Dell EMC, and NetApp have added SD-storage to their portfolios.
Braddy lists NetApp is SoftNAS’ biggest competitor, but said he’s not worried by traditional storage vendors moving into the SD-storage market.
“We welcome it. Bring it on. We’re just thankful that the market is finally here. We were sitting there for several years going, ‘When are the rest of the big companies coming to the cloud?’ And finally they are coming.”
Backup Review: SoftNAS Breaks Through Cloud Storage Price/Performance Barriers by Delivering Enterprise Grade Block Storage Performance at Object Storage Prices
With Up to 400% Read/Write Speed Improvements, SoftNAS Cloud NAS Provides Customers Best Price/Performance For Moving Business Data to the Cloud
Today SoftNAS introduced new SoftNAS Cloud NAS products. The company claims that the new offerings will see improvements in read and write performance up to 400%. The new products include the Developer Edition, General Purpose Edition, High Performance Edition, and the Extreme Performance Edition.
SoftNAS provides software-defined NAS and file systems for object storage solutions. The company revolves around providing secure and powerful storage that works with any hardware, any data type, multiple storage backends, across any geography, and with any IT environment, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, CenturyLink Cloud, and VMware vSphere.
Along with the new cloud editions, SoftNAS is also offering new capacities including 50TB, 100TB, 250TB, 500TB and 1PB. The full-featured SoftNAS Cloud NAS includes patented high availability, replication, deduplication and compression, encryption (at-rest and in-transit), storage snapshots, and data synchronization. And all editions of SoftNAS Cloud NAS 20TB or greater are now bundled with 24x7x365 Gold Support. The four new products and their benefits include:
- Developer Edition – Free from SoftNAS up to 250GB in perpetuity on AWS and Azure Marketplaces
- General Purpose Edition – Balances cost against memory and CPU resources
- High Performance Edition – Ideal for read-intensive workloads that need additional CPU cores
- Extreme Performance Edition – Supports very demanding workloads that require thousands of concurrent filesystem connections
SoftNAS is also releasing its new ObjectBacker Backend Storage Acceleration feature and patent-pending ObjFast technology. According to the company, customers can potentially see up to 400% increase in backend object storage (Azure Blob, AWS S3) performance versus the previous version. This can improve TCO and give customers more options when selecting block storage backends.
And finally, the company released the new SoftNAS Developer Edition. This is a free to use solution, with up to 250GB, that allows developers and architects to learn about and test SoftNAS Cloud NAS for non-production deployments.
Availability and Pricing
The new cloud editions are available now on AWS and Azure Marketplaces. All Marketplace editions of SoftNAS Cloud NAS of 20TB or greater are bundled with 24x7x365 Gold Support. Prices as low as $.01 per GB/month (volume annual pricing up to 16PB) and from $0.21/hour for on-demand marketplace pricing.
The new integrated solution enables high-performance global file locking, file access and sharing for all local users across a global enterprise.
SoftNAS, which makes a software-defined cloud network attached storage system for midrange-size companies, has solved a problem for many smaller IT shops: Those who are used to a data center NAS or a SAN (storage area network) and are coming to cloud environments and finding that those conventional functions are nowhere to be found.
To take this transition up a notch for those struggling to implement global systems, Houston-based SoftNAS announced May 2 that it has joined forces with Talon, a Mount Laurel, N.J.-based provider of enterprise-class file-sharing software for distributed locations, to enable global storage consolidation into an enterprise cloud.
The combination of Talon FAST and the SoftNAS Cloud NAS provides joint customers with an alternative central cloud-based storage namespace that is secure, highly resilient and can grow on-demand, Michael Richtberg, SoftNAS Vice-President of Business Development, told eWEEK.
The new integrated solution, available May 2, enables high-performance global file locking, file access and sharing for all users across a global enterprise, Richtberg said.
Moving Everything to the Cloud Without Re-Engineering
“Our customers are generally looking for secure, easily accessible cloud storage for unstructured data. AWS and Microsoft Azure are our lead partners; what we do is what they can’t do: help customers move to the cloud without having to do any re-engineering,” Richtberg said.
One of the key targets for moving to the cloud are unstructured data stores. The combination of Talon and SoftNAS delivers a petabyte-scale topology for distributed file servers to be consolidated into limitless, highly-available cloud storage, Richtberg said.
Talon FAST enables a global fabric which gives virtually any enterprise location the ability to access and use cloud-resident file shares because they traditionally have on-premises file servers, without changing user experience or workflow. The combination of a distributed network file system, intelligent caching and global locking allows globally distributed enterprises to operate under a central storage system view.
This ability to centralize data has large benefits as enterprises decommission costly-to-maintain file servers around the globe. Talon FAST optimizes the flow of information within the enterprise, enabling all offices to work off the same set of data.
Operate Globally, Think Locally
“Talon gives you what the cloud doesn’t, which is enterprise-class file shares with all the resiliency and performance enhancements you would expect from an on-prem system,” Talon Senior Vice-President Chuck Foley told eWEEK.
“What Talon does is this: Let’s say you are a user in London, and your file shares are somewhere in Azure U.S., for example. You can navigate just like you do today to an engineering directory, go to your projects sub-folders, find Project 123, hit point and click – and that might be a 100GB file or more. That file that is stored and managed in the cloud and locked for data coherency, but the bits can be presented locally while the main file is stored, managed and locked centrally. Any changes or additions to that file are differenced back to the main file in SoftNAS.
“It literally treats every user in the world as if they’re in the same location using the same file server in the basement.”
The SoftNAS/Talon package doesn’t store data at the edge, and it doesn’t replicate data at the edge—the data is all stored in one place: the SoftNAS cloud. Often-used files, however, can be cached in edge devices as needed.
The collaboration can provide organizations with a single software-defined storage footprint, versus the legacy distributed storage architecture which requires localized management, backup, security, and audit for the proprietary hardware footprint in each location.
Talon FAST is available as a site-based annual subscription or as a joint offering with Microsoft Azure Storage and Hybrid Cloud solutions in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. SoftNAS is available as an annual subscription and on-demand in Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.
With an eagle eye for the emerging problems of moving current business application storage needs to the clouds come a newly announced partnership between Talon and SoftNAS. Now that the (terrible) puns are out of the way, let’s get into the announcement.
The Cloud Storage of Tomorrow, TODAY!
Cloud storage is pretty cool. It’s scales on-demand, has virtually limitless capacity, reasonably reliable, and cheap to boot. If you were creating a new application for an enterprise, it would probably have cloud storage integrated in, it just makes sense. But for existing applications, it’s a much tougher sell. First, inertia in the enterprise is very real. It’s often the rule of thumb to grind it out with an inferior solution as long as you can, even if grossly inefficient because.. well money. Large organizations slowly go numb to the disadvantages of traditional storage, or just have such a volume of data sitting on NFS shares that it seems impossible to move to the cloud.
Talon and SoftNAS started working together late in 2016 to solve this problem. Their goal is to move traditional enterprise storage to the cloud without making organizations fundamentally rewrite apps, to provide a single software-defined storage footprint.
As far as who’s doing what, in the simplest terms, SoftNAS is leveraging the physical properties of the cloud, and Talon takes care of the edge, solving the last-mile to the enterprise problem. SoftNAS provides the addressable cloud backend for your apps to write to via their Cloud NAS. Talon provides a lightweight VM sitting on your network edge via their Talon FAST “global fabric”. It makes for a potent combination.
The network edge part does some pretty interesting intelligent caching. The idea behind this is to not constantly replicate everything that you need across all your different edge devices, rather to cache just a potion of what you need for local access generally about 2-5% of total storage, and includes metadata to speed access. From a user perspective, it just looks like one mass of addressable storage, you just see a single namespace.
Aside from scale and flexibility, the caching methodology works well for cost savings as well. Since you’re being charged for data egress from the cloud, intelligently caching locally massively reduces the need to pull from storage. Additionally, it’s WAN friendly, since only deltas are sent and received. SoftNAS and Talon are touting their solution as costing half to a third of what traditional on-premises storage would run over three years. What you’re spending in egress and licensing, you’re saving in maintenance, power, and future provisioning.
This partnership seems pretty significant to me. Cloud storage is surely the way of the future, but the enterprise is built on a legion of applications made before that was even a glimmer in the public cloud’s eye. It’s easy for me to sit back and mock organizations for being slow to adapt to a new paradigm. But the truth is doing so requires a significant amount of additional investment that’s often hard to justify. SoftNAS and Talon are wisely providing a way to give the enterprise as it exists today an onramp to cloud storage.
Digital transformation is changing the business landscape, with companies leveraging data to increase operational efficiencies, focus marketing efforts, and create products that align with customer preferences.This digital transformation requires new levels of speed and agility from IT. Not only are businesses competing with traditional competitors, but they also compete with new startup companies built from the ground up to maximize on the latest digital innovations. New approaches must be taken in the deployment of both hardware and software technologies to thrive in the era of digital transformation. Software-defined storage (SDS) and the cloud are two approaches that assist data centers in storing the deluge in new data and leveraging the information for business advantages. This impact brief explores if SoftNAS can marry these two technologies to the benefit of IT operations.
The cloud NAS specialist believes its file services are blossoming at the right time to take advantage of the movement to hybrid clouds. Will SoftNAS’s early-mover advantage give it growth opportunities in the face of growing competition?