Nasuni Implemented by APi Group, Inc. For Enterprise-wide File Storage

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Multi-Billion-Dollar Company Uses Nasuni to Store, Protect and Access 120 TBs of Primary File Storage Spanning 5,000 Users and 200 Locations

“We needed a robust disaster recovery solution, something that could not only do file replication, but could also facilitate the increased collaboration we were seeing between our companies and offices." - Brian Erickson

Nasuni, the leading provider of cloud-scale enterprise file services, today announced that APi Group, Inc. has fully implemented the company’s flagship solution to store, protect, and access 120 TBs of file data. APi Group is a multi-billion-dollar parent corporation to more than 40 independently managed life safety, energy, specialty construction and infrastructure companies. It needed a solution that could keep pace with the growing amount of unstructured data generated by its 5,000 employees. APi Group deployed Nasuni backed by Azure object storage to replace legacy NAS filers, backup systems, and file access software with a hybrid cloud solution that better supports its many one and two-person project sites, regional branch offices, and large main offices across the US, Canada, and the UK.

Serving the file storage needs of more than 200 locations had been straining APi Group’s IT infrastructure as well as the network and server group’s IT staff at the company’s New Brighton, Minnesota headquarters. Past incidents such as a file server failure would impact data access at the local site as well as project collaboration at other locations. Furthermore, restoring the data was costly and labor-intensive.

“We needed a robust disaster recovery solution, something that could not only do file replication, but could also facilitate the increased collaboration we were seeing between our companies and offices. Additionally, we needed to enable file locking between sites so users could work on the same files without conflict," said Brian Erickson, IT Implementation and Acquisitions Manager at APi Group.

Nasuni Professional Services helped design a solution based on Nasuni enterprise file services and Azure object storage that is enabling APi Group to centrally manage and reliably backup 300 volumes distributed across all locations. The final design takes advantage of Nasuni’s UniFS® global file system, which stores all files and metadata in the cloud, and uses Nasuni edge appliances to cache the most frequently accessed files locally for secure, high performance access. The design called for multiple Nasuni edge appliances to be deployed in the company's main datacenter, enabling other sites to automatically fail over should their local edge appliances experience an issue.

The benefits were immediate. Support requests related to files plummeted, freeing up IT resources for other projects. Erickson, himself, used to spend many evenings babysitting the previous replication system because it would often fail. With Nasuni, he and other members of the IT team can centrally manage the global file system and edge appliances in all locations and provide faster support.

“Previously, we were overwhelming the replication system with the size of our file shares and the sheer number of locations we served,” Erickson said. “But Nasuni is much more scalable, with all edge appliances centrally managed. Even if something happens with one, each site remains independent. Nasuni is resilient – one site going down doesn’t affect any other site’s ability to access files. It’s been a game-changer.”

Nasuni is also a key enabler of APi Group’s growth through acquisition. New offices can be quickly on-boarded now that the acquired company’s existing file shares can be easily migrated into the Nasuni file system. Since APi Group has deployed Nasuni using virtual edge appliances in each office, IT can quickly bring new locations online without a physical visit.

“I push the Nasuni edge appliance to the VM server, quietly do the data migration behind the scenes, and, when we do the cutover, employees arrive the next day, reboot and they have full access to their files,” Erickson said. “The ‘gold copy’ of the files are in the cloud, but users don’t notice any difference. It might take two ticks instead of half a tick to open the file the first time, but after that, the file is cached locally and is as fast as or faster than before the cutover.”

Because Nasuni only caches the most recently used files, physical disk size requirements for each location have dropped, freeing up funds that can be invested in higher performance disk drives and other IT needs.

“It’s like stuffing 20 pounds of potatoes into a 5-pound bag,” Erickson said. “Because we don’t have to buy as many large capacity drives as we did before, we are able to upgrade to fewer, lower capacity but higher RPM or even SSD drives. We saved money, and employees are seeing a significant performance bump.”

“Traditional NAS, backup, DR, and mobile file access products can no longer meet the needs of the many enterprises who are experiencing explosive file growth,” said Andres Rodriguez, Nasuni CEO. “We’re delighted that APi Group is realizing the many employee productivity, business continuity, and cost-saving benefits of cloud storage with Nasuni enterprise file services and Azure.”

About Nasuni
Nasuni (“NAS Unified”) is the leading provider of cloud-scale enterprise file services. Powered by UniFS®, the first cloud-native file system, Nasuni leverages private and public cloud object storage to integrate and surpass the “silo” capabilities of traditional NAS filers, data protection software, mobile file access software, and DR infrastructure. Enterprises benefit from unlimited primary and archive storage capacity, unequaled recovery points and recovery times, unrestricted file access and unrivaled cost savings, along with the ability to meet “cloud-first” and business agility objectives. Nasuni is a privately held company based in Boston, MA. For more information, visit http://www.nasuni.com.

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Louis Abate
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