REVIEWER: John De Souza, director of information technology and systems for Cressy & Everett Real Estate.
BACKGROUND: Cressy & Everett Real Estate has been helping homebuyers and sellers in the Michiana area (north central Indiana and southwestern Michigan) since 1946. We are the largest residential real estate company in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties in Indiana, and in Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties in Michigan.
PLATFORMS: We operate on various Windows-based desktop and laptop computers in addition to accessing the network via smartphones. The Nasuni Filer supports Windows CIFS Shares and Active Directory. As a result, the virtual appliance communicates and integrates with the system like any other NAS device.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The ability to be fully connected to real estate tools and property listing data from anywhere in the field is a necessity. We have 150 agents and staff in the company, so the push for mobility is a major factor in how our two-person IT operation develops and maintains our storage infrastructure. We decided we needed a way to centralize storage so that it could be accessible from anywhere, and cloud computing seemed an attractive option to help us fulfill our storage needs in an economically feasible way. In addition to satisfying our mobility needs, we also have to account for more and larger media files that add value and enhance real estate listings. With larger data storage needs than we previously had and an industry trend pushing towards increased mobility, we turned to the Nasuni Corporation to be our gateway to the cloud.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Nasuni Filer is a virtual NAS file server that runs on VMware and leverages the resources of the cloud to simplify file storage and protection. Nasuni’s solution simplifies file access, storage and protection and eliminates the need for incremental storage hardware and the resulting capital expense. The Nasuni Filer features automatic provisioning, high-performance caching, synchronous snapshots, deduplication and encryption plus key management.
STRENGTHS: Nasuni partners with leading cloud storage providers to combine online storage for offsite file protection and backup with local caching, making Nasuni the only company to provide the performance to enable the cloud for primary storage. With unlimited cloud capacity, we use and pay for only what we need, when we need it.
WEAKNESSES: After we first implemented the system, there were some performance issues early on that Nasuni was right on in correcting. We were fortunate to also be able to make contributions to their technical database, which resulted in significant improvements to the Filer’s simplicity.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The cloud storage industry has succeeded in getting their message out there, even outside of IT. The cloud computing label had become so prevalent that I wanted to be part of it. That’s where Nasuni fits in. They have an aggressive cost per gigabyte.
For companies with traditional storage needs, cloud storage is an easy and convenient way to implement an off-site backup solution. But there’s so much more to it than that. Nasuni leverages the resources of the cloud to deliver unlimited file storage with built-in file protection, radically simplifying file storage and protection for business.
DELIVERABLES: The administration interface is elegant and easy to use. Quite frankly, their approach is better than what I’ve seen. Nasuni sends out monthly statements that break out storage usage totals, comparing each month's charges with the previous month as a point of reference to see how we are utilizing the service. Everything is itemized showing average daily use, so I have a good idea of the amount of data being transmitted to the cloud. I also can see what the subscription plan that I've chosen entails , along with details for upcoming charges or discounts.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Nasuni's responsiveness has been great. Overall, they have a great grasp on what they’re doing. They handle all support issues for both the Filer and cloud provider. The Nasuni Filer has been instrumented to provide support staff with plenty of diagnosis data. Their technical support staff is available 24x7.
DOCUMENTATION: One of the strengths of using the Nasuni Filer is its simplicity – I set it and forget it. Administration is easy and straightforward. If I need additional information, the Nasuni website has an entire section devoted to resources, including demos, FAQs, white papers and industry briefs, which are always kept up to date.
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