How Does FileFly Make Windows Data Management Better?

Organizations today deal with daunting storage challenges. To handle the ever-increasing deluge of data, they need the ability to scale-out storage to handle multiple terabytes and millions of files. They also face the need to upgrade their Windows File Servers to high-speed network attached storage (NAS) systems that can handle the demands of critical legacy applications. However, these high-performance storage systems are expensive to implement, manage and maintain. For most organizations, extending their investment in Windows File Server is the better alternative.

The Old Cold Data Problem

But while many organizations have on-premises and cloud object storage solutions to meet escalating storage needs while containing costs, many of them are still dealing with the very old problem of large quantities of “warm” or “cold” data needlessly consuming expensive primary storage. Various studies found that most primary storage contained from 65 to 95 percent “cold” data. “Warm” data is data users access infrequently while “cold” data is rarely, if ever, accessed. So, it makes sense to move this old data from expensive primary storage to cheaper secondary storage tiers. The trick, however, is to accurately identify the old data and then migrate it to less-expensive tiers of storage, whether they are on-premises or in the cloud. With flat budgets and limited IT personnel, doing this task manually is impractical.

There is a need for a comprehensive, modern solution that solves the shortcomings of legacy data management and goes beyond those capabilities to provide organizations with the means to more effectively manage Windows File Servers and avoid a costly upgrade to a dedicated NAS system.

A Modern and Cost-Effective Solution

A very good example of a comprehensive solution that addresses all the challenges of automating the identification and migration of cold data from Windows file systems to object storage is Caringo’s product, FileFly for Swarm. It is storage software that enables Windows File Servers to automatically migrate selected data sets to a Caringo Swarm managed secondary storage pool, based on user-defined policies. FileFly and Swarm work together to bridge the gap between Windows File Servers, NetApp filers, and object storage. This data migration is completely transparent to both Windows admins and end users. It also provides the ability to securely encrypt all data, both in flight and at rest to help prevent unauthorized access.

Caringo FileFly works seamlessly with Windows Distributed File System Replication (DFSR), Windows Resilient File Systems (ReFS) and NetApp OnTap and facilitates consolidating, synchronizing and replicating data from remote offices. It can be easily customized to automate multi-directional workflows based on business requirements. It also supports active/active and active/passive setups for replication and consolidation.

Caringo Swarm combines the concepts of software-defined storage (SDS) and object storage while also handling file, block and big data formats like Hadoop. Swarm is a distributed scale-out object storage system that supports file and block access as well as APIs. Its software can run on any Linux x86 compatible hardware or on VMs. Nodes can be of different sizes and performance. Administrators can add nodes to the cluster without a disruption of operations. It also has a multi-tenancy management and content portal that enables private and public cloud storage with unified cloud protocols SCSP, S3, Swift and HDFS. Erasure coding and replication protect all data stored in a Swarm cluster. Swarm also provides robust, dynamic metadata query and search capabilities as well as next generation data management organization and analytics.

StorageSwiss Take

Caringo FileFly for Swarm is a comprehensive solution capable of handling almost unlimited amounts of data while also securely protecting that data. It also automates the task of intelligently migrating cold data from Windows File Servers, avoiding the upgrade to expensive NAS systems, to cost-effective object storage systems while facilitating data lifecycle management.

Organizations looking to rein in storage sprawl and truly manage their data should take a close look at Caringo’s FileFly for Swarm.

Sponsored by Caringo

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Joseph is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and an IT veteran with over 35 years of experience in the high tech industries. He has held senior technical positions with several OEMs and VARs; providing technical pre and post sales support as well as designing, implementing and supporting backup, recovery and data protection / encryption solutions along with providing Disaster Recovery planning and testing and data loss risk assessment in distributed computing environments on Unix and Windows platforms.

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