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Avere CloudFusion virtual NAS debuts for AWS tiers

Avere Systems introduced its first CloudFusion virtual NAS last year for the cloud. It now offers a scaled-down version for three tiers of the AWS public cloud.

Avere Systems Inc. expanded its cloud storage strategy this week, with CloudFusion virtual NAS software designed specifically for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The CloudFusion virtual NAS filer is a 64-bit file system that Avere claims can scale to 1 exabyte in the public cloud. It follows Avere's 2014 launch of its Virtual FXT Edge Filer, a software-only version of its FXT Edge Filer that works as network-attached storage (NAS) in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). CloudFusion is based on the same vFXT Edge software technology designed for big data processing and storage in the cloud.

CloudFusion uses three tiers of AWS, storing data on EC2, Elastic Block Storage (EBS) or Simple Storage Service (S3), depending on usage patterns. It supports Network File Storage and Server Message Block protocols, and comes in two versions -- one that supports four virtual CPUs and includes 30.5 GB of DRAM, and larger version that supports eight virtual CPUs and 61 GB of DRAM. Both support snapshots, compression and data tiering in RAM, solid-state drives and SATA disk drives.

CloudFusion intelligently uses data access patterns and internal caching algorithms to automatically place the hottest, most frequently used data on Amazon EC2 RAM, while warm data is placed on an Amazon EBS General Purpose SSD volume for quicker response times to Amazon EC2. Cold or inactive data is placed on Amazon S3 SATA drives for less cost.

"Traditionally, Avere sells into larger enterprises or midsize organizations," said Scott Jeschonek, senior director of product management and marketing at Avere Systems. "We have found small groups in these organizations want to use cloud tools. They don't want hardware. For larger organizations, it's one-off projects. Smaller organizations use it for Web hosting, big data, video, simple file sharing and home directory."

Traditionally, Avere sells into larger enterprises or midsize organizations. We have found small groups in these organizations want to use cloud tools. They don't want hardware. For larger organizations, it's one-off projects. Smaller organizations use it for Web hosting, big data, video, simple file sharing and home directory.
Scott Jeschonek, senior director of product management and marketing, Avere Systems

CloudFusion pricing starts at $0.99 per hour. Customers must also pay the subscription fees for EC2, EBS and S3.

CloudFusion does not scale as high or include as many storage management features as Avere's Hybrid Cloud NAS, which supports the Google Cloud platform and AWS.  

CloudFusion uses only one core filer compared to Avere's larger virtual filer offering, which scales up to 50 nodes. The larger virtual NAS also offers data migration, analytics, multi-controller high availability and mirroring for disaster recovery. CloudFusion does not have those capabilities.

George Crump, founder of storage analyst firm Storage Switzerland LLC, said Avere's NAS provides an interface to EBS, giving customers the ability to move data to S3.

"They didn't have this before," he said. "[The previous product] was designed for on premises. You either moved data on premises or moved data to the cloud. This is cloud to cloud."

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