Nasuni is cultivating resellers and MSPs to help market its newly released cloud storage gateway offering. The venture-backed startup this week emerged from stealth mode to reveal its Nasuni Filer, a virtual appliance that sits in VMware. Here are some more details.
Nasuni Filer serves as a network-attached storage (NAS) front end that sends an organization’s file data to cloud storage providers -- rather than an in-house disk array. At launch, Nasuni works with Amazon and Iron Mountain storage clouds. Company CEO Andres Rodriguez, said Nasuni plans to link up with Nirvanix and Rackspace as well.
Nasuni aims to move primary storage to the cloud and views SMBs with 200 to 2,000 employees as its key market. In addition to the VMware environment, Nauni’s technology requires 1 G of RAM, disk space for the desired cache size (carved out from existing onsite storage), and a high speed Internet connection.
The filer is priced at a monthly flat rate of $300. The monthly charge drops to $250 for customers prepaid for one year and $200 for those prepaid for 2 years. According to Nasuni, the cost of the storage is used as a pass-through from the cloud provider; Nasuni doesn’t mark up cloud storage and absorbs all transmission costs.
Channel PlanRodriquez said he plans to enlist the channel to target SMB customers. The company will offer its Nasuni Filer at a discount to resellers, who will also be able to resell storage if they have made a volume buy with a cloud provider.
Potential allies include the reseller partners of cloud storage providers and MSPs.
Nasuni gives MSPs “a way to move customer files to a hosted model” without having to invest in their own cloud infrastructure, Rodriguez explained.
Resellers of online backup services and integrators focusing on VMware environments are also potential channel partners, according to Rodriguez. Nasuni expects some white-box resellers will seek to package the filer and sell a-pre-packaged server.
Rodriguez said the channel strategy will let Nasuni move into bigger accounts that are under reseller control. Nasuni, however, will also sell direct, letting customers download its virtual appliance.
To this point, cloud storage has been mainly associated with backup and archiving.
Is the notion of cloud-as-primary-storage too much of a jump for MSPs and their customers? Nasuni is testing those waters. The company has a public beta underway to “get people comfortable with ... using cloud for primary storage,” Rodriguez said.
The beta lets customers evaluate Nasuni’s solution without incurring licensing and storage costs.
General availability for Netsuni Filer is slated for Q2 2010.