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Why SoftNAS Cloud for Microsoft Azure?


You Need:

  • To migrate your applications to Azure with NFS, CIFS/SMB, iSCSI or AFP support
  • To protect business data in your own datacenter or in the cloud with no downtime, outages or data loss
  • Simple yet powerful storage software running on Microsoft Azure
  • No training or specialized storage skills required
  • On-demand, flexible and agile storage options
  • To reduce storage space requirements and associated costs
  • To increase application performance and processing speeds
  • APIs and flexible open architecture, so your data doesn’t get locked-in

Alternatives

  • Build it yourself file servers are time consuming, can be a costly maintenance nightmare, and require lots of in-house technical support. Additionally, all hardware eventually breaks and wears out – so that it needs to be periodically refreshed – not to mention that the hardware has fixed limitations (processing and storage capacity) that likely won’t scale with the growth of your data or business requirements.
  • With ordinary file servers, it is difficult to scale up and down as your business needs and demands rise and fall. In fact, it’s impossible to do so dynamically and in real time. During light periods of activity, you may be paying for a lot more server than you need while during especially heavy periods, you may find that you are running out of computing power, memory resources and storage capacity. To add to the expenses and other constraints of having your own hardware servers; unless you use a managed server, you will also be responsible for the security and maintenance of your own servers.
  • Windows file servers basically have only a single point of failure, leaving you vulnerable to downtime. Plus, the Microsoft “patch Tuesday” update process and taking your servers offline for the Server system reboot for updates is painful and requires scheduling the downtime maintenance windows carefully, as to not severely impact your business operations.
  • Direct attached storage (DAS) options have fixed capacities and are difficult to scale up to larger storage capacities. They also face similar downtime issues as Windows file servers. Also, the DAS hardware systems configurations are limited by the number of physical storage disks that are attached to the server, as well as by the server’s operating system. Furthermore, direct attached storage (DAS) can only be shared at the operating system – a significant limitation.
  • Unlike legacy hardware storage appliances that sit in off-site data centers, outside of Microsoft Azure, SoftNAS Cloud extends the Azure storage capabilities by combining multiple storage options and layers on top of Azure a fully featured NAS cloud product – providing a robust blend of power and ease of use.

Solution

SoftNAS Cloud — The No Compromise Safety Net for Mission-critical Data in the Cloud.  Get a SoftNAS Cloud storage solution, not a file server.


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Credibility

The #1 Best-Selling NAS in the Cloud, SoftNAS Cloud is the most powerful and full-featured Cloud NAS on Microsoft Azure that extends native Azure block and object storage. Used by Fortune 500 companies, SoftNAS Cloud is also built upon industry standard technologies and is brought to you by an experienced management and development team—including former executives from Citrix.

SoftNAS Leadership


Why SoftNAS Cloud for Microsoft Azure?

  1. Simply Powerful — SoftNAS Cloud is a powerful, full-featured NAS filer.
  2. Adds Additional Capabilities to Azure  — SoftNAS Cloud extends Azure’s native file size.
  3. Backend Storage Agnostic —  SoftNAS Cloud allows your applications to use a variety of storage types on Azure without the need to modify your application.
  4. Non-Stop Storage — SoftNAS Cloud delivers continuous data protection.
  5. Frictionless Experience — SoftNAS Cloud is easy to try, buy and use.
  6. Agile Storage Software — SoftNAS Cloud is on-demand, where and when you need it.
  7. Data Security — SoftNAS Cloud offers the most advanced data encryption and protection features.
  8. Performance and Capacity — SoftNAS Cloud is performance-tuned to maximize storage,  IOPS and throughput.
  9. Open Architecture — SoftNAS Cloud is built on proven, trusted, industry standard technology.

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Simply Powerful

With a powerful and complete feature set, SoftNAS Cloud protects mission-critical data in the cloud to ensure your business and applications are safe from downtime and potential data loss. SoftNAS includes the best data protection available for Microsoft Azure.

Maximum Storage: SoftNAS Cloud allows you to scale into the petabytes (per instance/HA pair) on Azure. 

Storage Pools: Storage pools support aggregation of storage devices. SoftNAS Cloud supports easy storage pool expansion and allows for storage pool imports and exports.

Storage Volumes: Many companies now require storage space that can support hundreds of millions to billions of files and directories efficiently.

Unified SAN & NAS: A unified storage system simultaneously enables storage of NFS and CIFS file sharing and block-based I/O. This system is simpler to manage than separate SAN and NAS devices and meets a broad range of needs and use cases.

Storage Pool Scrub: Over time, storage devices can become corrupted. SoftNAS Cloud provides storage pool scrubbing, which checks each block of data, compares it to its checksum, and corrects the data if it has become corrupted.

Snapshots: Meet Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). With SnapReplicate™, manual and scheduled snapshots provide low-overhead recovery points and writable clones that enable efficient recovery from data deletion or corruption events without restoring backups. RTO of seconds, RPO of hours.


Non-Stop Storage

SoftNAS Cloud delivers continuous data protection and you can easily perform non-disruptive online storage administration for maximum maintenance agility.

Online Array Rebuild: Hard drives break unexpectedly. After a logical or physical drive failure, SoftNAS Cloud uses online array rebuilding to rebuild data redundancy from parity data on remaining drives, with no interruption or loss of data.

Hot Spares: SoftNAS Cloud offers spare drive support, so there can be a backup drive waiting “hot” in standby mode for immediate use in case of drive malfunctions.

Asynchronous Replication: Data replication is essential to maintaining multiple up-to-date copies of business-critical data. SoftNAS Cloud uses asynchronous replication to backup and transfer data in near real-time from one controller to another. Asynchronous replication throttles bandwidth usage and is ideal for long-distance data transfers, across regions or data centers.  All remote data replication is also authenticated and encrypted for maximum security.


Frictionless Experience

SoftNAS Cloud is easily configured in minutes for IT administrators and DevOps personnel with no specialized storage training required.

Simple Administrative User Interface: The StorageCenter™ GUI simplifies storage configuration and administration. The GUI is designed to allow any IT professional—ranging from virtualization engineers, system administrators and even software developers—to use SoftNAS Cloud with ease. Additionally, the SoftNAS StorageCenter HTML5 user interface is compatible with browsers running on Windows PC, Mac, iPads, tablets and smartphones (Android, Apple and Windows).

No Storage Training Required: Most storage systems require advanced user training that can cost hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars which can take up to weeks or months to complete. SoftNAS Cloud is intuitive for an IT person to use and requires no specialized storage training.

Getting Started Wizard: Opening up a command line and programming can be tedious and a time waster. SoftNAS Cloud includes a getting started wizard that typically cuts initial setup time, to less than 30 minutes.

Console or Command Line: For IT “power user” professionals that prefer a command line interface to automate certain tasks, SoftNAS Cloud includes command line options as well. SoftNAS Cloud also provides a way to use the REST API and the command line interface to automate SoftNAS administration without the use of a GUI Interface.

Dashboard: Monitors disk space, CPU, memory and other resources in one convenient dashboard, including automated email alerts and notifications. The SoftNAS StorageCenter provides complete storage management and administration, as well as, being accessible from any mobile device. With the Administrator Applet, configure monitoring thresholds, email notifications, login session timeout, logging levels and other settings is possible.

Systems Management: Systems management interfaces support Linux, provide robust monitoring, alerting and management using existing management tools and frameworks. SoftNAS Cloud is compatible with most systems management tools that support SNMP.

Active Directory Integration Wizard: SoftNAS Cloud is easy to configure and integrate with Active Directory for granular access control using Windows ACLs.

Flexible Pricing Model: Dynamically spin storage use up or down as needed or cover steady-state production workloads. SoftNAS Cloud for Azure offers on-demand hourly pricing.

Easy NFS Configuration: Configure NFS on Azure without hassle. The NFS UI Module simplifies NFS configuration and set up.

Simple Storage Provisioning: Add Azure block storage directly from StorageCenter.


Agile Storage Software

On-demand, where and when you need it, SoftNAS Cloud is so easy to configure, you will have basic storage up and running in mere minutes.

Software-based Cloud NAS: SoftNAS Cloud is a software-based virtual storage appliance that doesn’t require any proprietary hardware. SoftNAS Cloud is instantly downloadable, quick and easy to implement, uses your existing hardware and software and IT resources.

Private/Public/Hybrid Cloud Support: You don’t have to choose between private, public, or hybrid cloud. SoftNAS allows both on-premise and hosted data storage to combine the simplicity and instant accessibility of local storage with the peace-of-mind and infallible protection of off-site storage for disaster recovery and business continuity. Securely replicate data across any platform, data center or cloud.


Data Security

SoftNAS offers advanced data protection features, so your data is always safe, secure and available.

Large-scale Windows Filer with Active Directory: SoftNAS Cloud integrates with Active Directory to authenticate Windows servers and users, ensuring data access is properly restricted to those who are authorized within the Windows domain.

SoftNAS Cloud supports thousands of concurrent users with billions of files for an enterprise-scale file server and VDI user file storage via CIFS/SMB 3.1 protocol —  for user home directories, mass storage, 4K and HD video storage and other Windows file sharing needs.

Large-scale NFS Server: Scalability for your business. The Large-scale NFS server supports thousands of NFS clients sharing billions of files, videos and other large-scale file server applications.

Encryption: If you choose to replicate to off-site Azure storage, ensure the security of your data. SoftNAS enables encrypted Azure storage to be used for secure archiving, backups and low-cost user storage. Data is encrypted at rest and in-flight for cloud-based storage.

File Sharing Protocols: Insecure file sharing protocols can lead to security breaches that could threaten your data. SoftNAS Cloud prevents security breaches by supporting authenticated and trusted file sharing protocols such as NFS, CIFS/SMB, iSCSI and AFP on Azure to ensure files are transferred quickly and securely.

Networking: Varied networking options are essential to ensure data accessibility. SoftNAS supports a broad range of networking configurations, including: 1GB Ethernet and 10GB Ethernet, to ensure that your data is transmitted at the highest possible speeds.


Performance and Capacity

SoftNAS Cloud takes advantage of SSD caching for increased performance to support demanding workloads, increase storage IOPS and throughput limits by fully leveraging SSD and RAID striping. Deduplication and compression accelerate storage even faster by reducing storage I/O by up to 60%, while also reducing storage costs.

RAID Arrays: RAID arrays allow the balanced storage of redundant data to increase fault tolerance and boost performance via data striping. You can choose any RAID level you need.

Caching: Storage performance can get bogged down processing data from spinning storage media. SoftNAS Cloud supports as much RAM and SSD caching as your applications need, to significantly increase read/write performance and minimize latency.

Deduplication: Managing duplicate copies of redundant data is a waste of time and storage space. SoftNAS Cloud will handle deduplication for you.

Compression: Uncompressed files waste disk space and slow down read/write throughput by requiring extra disk I/O and occupying available cache memory space. By compressing data, SoftNAS Cloud can save between 20%-60% of available disk space, increase read/write speeds, and allow for greater data caching efficiency to improve performance while increasing storage density — which helps contain storage growth costs.


Open Architecture

Most storage vendors lock you into their vendor-specific platform using proprietary storage, proprietary hardware and proprietary operating system platforms. SoftNAS provides you with a truly open architecture storage solution that’s built upon open source technologies at its foundation—Linux and ZFS, proven open source technologies that have become industry standards. And because SoftNAS Cloud runs across the broadest range of available cloud and on premise-based platforms, you have the ultimate flexibility of where to run your applications and workloads.


What’s holding you back?

SoftNAS Cloud is the market-leading NAS filer in the cloud today. SoftNAS is run by experienced IT and software professionals with many decades of technology experience, and is built on trusted Linux and ZFS technologies. SoftNAS has already claimed the top-selling cloud NAS filer spots on several cloud platforms and is used by the largest global companies with some of the most mission-critical data and applications around today.

My data is too valuable to be lost.

Yes it is, which is why SoftNAS Cloud is the no compromise safety net for mission-critical data in the cloud—with hundreds of thousands of hours of production operation with no data loss. Our No Storage Downtime Guarantee offers 99.999% uptime – or your money back.

Too busy to learn something new?

Your time is valuable. That’s why we made SoftNAS Cloud easy to learn and use for IT professionals. Even if you have no storage experience, you will find SoftNAS Cloud is intuitive, simple to install and configure — usually within 30 minutes or less.