Campbell CA-based unified storage vendor Nexsan has announced Nexsan UNITY, which adds private cloud file synchronization and true data mobility support to their unified enterprise NAS product with block and object storage capabilities.
“What we have primarily done here is enhanced our NST unified storage with the Sync and Share capabilities of Transporter,” said Bob Fernander, Nexsan’s CEO. “We have also enhanced the NST, but the main change is the sync and share capability.”
Transporter, acquired last fall as the core product of Connected Data, provides Sync and Share capability like Dropbox and other Web-based competitors, but does it through behind-the-firewall appliances which have superior security and more cost control compared to the public cloud. Until this UNITY announcement, Nexsan did not have this capability integrated directly into its core offerings, although last month, Fernander telegraphed this was coming.
“What we have done is create a road map with enterprise features that will integrate what Transporter does with our NST, to make this part of a native and highly differentiated storage product,” he said. “There is real value in bonding these things together because almost everyone has a use case where access to storage from a mobile device is a valued service.”
Fernander said that UNITY’s enterprise n-way sync, as they are branding this integrated capability, will be valuable in multi-site collaboration.
“A key use case comes from NAS provisioning creating a synchronized volume, with replicates of each other providing for collaborative use cases,” he said. “Thousands of VMs can be maintained this way, with copies through all physical sites, and this keeps them all up to data with a shared volume through all their sites so everyone has most current one.”
While this is the first delivery of the fully integrated Nexsan platform, it won’t be the last. Unity Phase Two is scheduled for Q3 2016, with the key element being the addition of apps for mobile use, including both iOS and Android. Phase Three, slotted for Q4, will complete the Transporter integration, and will include desktop access on Mac OSX or Windows, endpoint backup, and the ability to send links to files without having to e-mail large files.
While the addressable market for NAS and hybrid is a multi-billion one, Fernander said UNITY will provide the diversification for Nexsan to expand its share of wallet.
“Our NST products fit well into this, but they were less differentiated from competitor products than they should have been,” he indicated. “UNITY provides partners with a feature set that is strongly differentiated from a vanilla filer.
“We believe our channel will benefit from this for many reasons,” Fernander added. “Organizations are being pushed to migrate to the cloud, and this solves a cloud problem for them. It also solves sync as an extension of storage – unlike Box and Dropbox.”
Of course the UNITY’s upgraded functionality allows Nexsan’s partners – who are their entire route to market – to provide a souped-up model to their existing customers as well.
“This enables our partners to go back and resell these to the NST install base,” Fernander said.
While Transporter’s core functionality has now been embedded into the NST, it will continue to be sold as a separate line.
“We see it having a good market as a standalone sale for companies who are customers of another storage vendor,” Fernander said. “We anticipate that this demand will be for large units – 500 users, not five.”