Solving the Distributed Storage Challenge by Centralizing Your Data – Talon FAST Software Briefing Note

Modern organizations continue to face an uphill battle as they struggle to meet the challenges of storing ever-growing amounts of unstructured data while also cost effectively managing their distributed storage environment. Many organizations are now moving data and operations to the cloud in an effort to reduce their infrastructure costs and address these challenges. Nevertheless, approximately 60 to 80 percent of unstructured file data is created and still resides at the ‘edge’, in distributed locations on local storage, which locally manages and backs up data. The irony is that usually only 10 percent is active data.

Managing and protecting the disparate data silos, including their infrastructure, across multiple locations has a very significant impact on business productivity and budgets. This decentralized model, where every location works of their own ‘island of data’ also makes it difficult for workers in different locations to be able to collaborate with co-workers in other offices. Workers often resort to emailing copies of data to other offices, or replicating data to other locations or using consumer-grade “shadow IT” solutions, like Dropbox, to share and collaborate on files. This frequently results in data consistency issues as changes are being overwritten by other changes as well as duplicate copies, all of which increases the storage footprint. Additionally, all this extra data must be backed up and secured.

There is a definite need for a solution that enables an organization to create a single, data set and that provides the following features:

  • Centralized in a private data center or in public clouds
  • Secure – fitting into their existing authentication and authorization environment
  • Data Consistency, which assures users always have access to most current versions
  • Distributed file locking support for most complex applications like MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk, etc.
  • Easy to scale out horizontally and vertically
  • Flexible to deploy – easy to manage and implement by their administrators

Talon FAST™ Software is a software defined storage solution (SDS) that provides these capabilities and features. Talon FAST™ fits into traditional, or private or public cloud environments like Microsoft Azure and AWS.

Talon FAST™ creates a software-defined storage fabric, which transparently extends enterprise’s corporate file shares, providing an intelligent file caching appliance at each location, running on top of Microsoft Windows Server. The software overlays the Microsoft file sharing mechanism, fully integrating with the Microsoft security principles like Active Directory, ACLs and NTFS permissions and allows it to work at a global scale, even in locations that are challenged with poor connectivity (low bandwidth or high latency). The software intelligently caches the active data sets, which drastically reduces the storage footprint throughout the enterprise. This means that users have immediate access to all corporate data, while only caching the data that is relevant to them. Additionally, Talon FAST™ leverages distributed file locking, centrally managed, which allows for full data consistency and solves data integrity issues.

Talon FAST™ is available as a software installation package or a virtual appliance template. The solution is storage agnostic and works with storage platform supporting SMB/CIFS, iSCSI or Direct-Attached Storage. Talon FAST™ is available as an annual or multi-year software subscription with the cost based on the amount of sites or distributed locations. All software, documentation, updates, web support and phone support are included.

StorageSwiss Take

Talon’s FAST™ is a powerful solution that can provide a high level of centralization and consolidation of unstructured data to any data center or cloud, while also providing secure, high performance access to users from any location. This modernized approach of creating a software-defined storage fabric allows remote users to benefit from high performance real-time access to corporate file shares as if they were in the same office, regardless of where the actual data is stored.

Organizations needing to meet the data access needs of their users across disparate geographical regions, in a secure and efficient manner, should take a close look at Talon’s FAST™ Software solutions.

Joseph is a Lead Analyst with DSMCS, Inc. and an IT veteran with over 35 years of experience in the high tech industries. He has held senior technical positions with several major OEMs, VARs, and System Integrators, providing them with technical pre and post- sales support for a wide variety of data protection solutions. He also provided numerous technical analyst articles for Storage Switzerland as well as acting as their chief editor for all technical content up to the time Storage Switzerland closed upon their acquisition by StorONE. In the past, he also designed, implemented and supported backup, recovery and encryption solutions in addition to providing Disaster Recovery planning, testing and data loss risk assessments in distributed computing environments on UNIX and Windows platforms for various OEM's, VARs and System Integrators.

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One comment on “Solving the Distributed Storage Challenge by Centralizing Your Data – Talon FAST Software Briefing Note
  1. James Rees says:

    The problem with branch based caching solutions is they require server mods to be performant or bespoke hardware.larger environments can suffer with performance issues if a lot of file data is hitting the DC or Cloud at the same time.Then there’s risk. All these companies are start-ups and Talon is tiny.

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