Customers who depend on cloud computing for subscription-based revenue depend on SoftNAS

Customers who depend on cloud computing for subscription-based revenue depend on SoftNAS

Why do customers who depend on cloud computing for subscription-based revenue depend on SoftNAS? Because revenue-generating applications cannot go down, or you lose revenue, credibility, and customers.

The average cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute, according to a Gartner study.  Gartner is quick to point out; however that is just an average.  The average cost per downtime per minute continues to rise.  IT industry analyst firms more recently have raised Gartner’s average from $5,600 to $9,000 per minute depending on factors like company size and industry vertical.  Some customers report millions of dollars per hour if their apps go down.

In 2020, the ITIC study showed that since 2016 the average cost of downtime that lasts 1 hour has risen by 30%.  In summary, 1,000 companies answered the poll questions, and the results were as follows: More than 30% of the enterprises claimed that they spend from $1 to 5 million on 1 hour of downtime. Meanwhile, over $300,000 is the value of 1 hour of downtime for nearly 80% of organizations. Finally, 98% reported that 1 hour of downtime costs them almost $100,000.

Additionally, users of revenue-generating applications won’t tolerate slow performance. If it’s too slow, users get frustrated and leave, impacting revenues and the business’s bottom line.  It’s too hard and expensive to get new customers to live with the byproducts of slow-performing storage in the cloud. Cloud-native storage systems like EFS and FSx throttle performance and limit performance based upon storage capacity.

A high performance, low cost, and highly scalable cloud storage solution are vital to meet revenue-generating apps demand.  Designing and deploying a cloud solution is complicated, but Buurst SoftNAS helps by giving you control of your instance size for CPU, memory, and network.  The main advantage is tuning your performance. SoftNAS lets you choose the instance size based on performance needs, flexible, cost-effective, and easy to deploy.  SoftNAS provides customers with revenue-generating apps full-on performance that’s never throttled. And only SoftNAS guarantees 99.999% uptime that ensures your revenue keeps flowing, 24 x 7 x 365 without interruption – guaranteed.

Buurst SoftNAS is designed with high performance and cost in mind. It connects to your managed service provider storage so that you can easily harness the capacity of cloud storage without the bottlenecks. The solution makes use of a SoftNAS cloud instance that has direct a direct connection to the cloud block storage and provides a private connection to clients owned by your organization.  SoftNAS supports native protocols to optimize performance with your SaaS applications. The solution also includes  L1/L2 cache support with NVME and SSD, better throughput because you might need to run enterprise applications without sacrificing performance.

Buurst SoftNAS is protocol-agnostic and relies on low-level block storage and an advanced caching layer for logging. Advanced caching results in outstanding performance and extreme affordability. Additionally, it has backup services that enable you to snapshot and recover your files efficiently. SoftNAS offers data deduplication to save storage space. SoftNAS can replicate data to other regions, and availability zones make your data resilient.

Managed service providers have inconsistent performance characteristics. Both Azure File and AWS NFS limit the number of IOPS  and throughput you can get out of the filesystem by default unless you go to a premium storage account. In contrast, cloud providers allow additional throughput for a premium charge.

SoftNAS scales IOPS and throughput based on the number and size of the instance, so the SoftNAS offering is exceptionally flexible and scalable. High performance is a business requirement but avoiding costly downtime is critical.  See why more enterprises with their revenue at stake choose SoftNAS to protect their most critical application data in the cloud today and ensure peak performance that’s never throttled.

For more information, contact Buurst at sales@buurst.com.

Competition? What Competition? Part I – SoftNAS

Competition? What Competition? Part I – SoftNAS

Every company believes they do something better (or cheaper) than others competing for the same marketplace. But to be the best at something often means you have to carve out your niche, which isn’t easy to do. Sometimes, carving your niche means redefining competition. To Buurst, competition is opportunity in disguise, and competitors are partners waiting to happen. 

SoftNAS 

Buurst (formerly  SoftNAS) fills a marketplace niche that did not even genuinely exist at the company’s conception.  Everyone knew the cloud was the next big thing, but few thought about getting there or retaining the value of current data and data practices once you got there. At the time, no cloud-based solutions were replicating on-premise capabilities. SoftNAS offered cloud customers full enterprise feature capabilities, deployment flexibility, integration, and the use of standard protocols (CIFS/SMB, NFC, iSCSI).

Flexibility combined with stability is a rare thing, one that allows us to fit in where other solutions might not. We can replace existing systems, but we can also supplement and complement them. We can’t say that Buurst  (or  SoftNAS was known then) created the cloud storage marketplace. But I believe we redefined it and continue to do so with our enterprise Cloud NAS solution,  SoftNAS. If not the first, we were one of the first to offer an effective enterprise solution that consistently displays:

Cross-zone high availability

High Availability

Buursts SoftNAS typically exceeds or matches the toughest SLAs. SoftNAS offers 99.999% (5 9s) of availability and backs their solution with a moneyback guarantee. 

Optimized performance

Performance

The best performance to price ratio on the market (for example, look at our performance vs. Netapp ONTAP). 

Cost Management

Cost

The lowest price to performance point available.  

Flexibility

Deploy in any region on the AWS and Azure cloud, or on-premise, and do so without changing your applications or workloads.

Lets take a look at how weve continued to deliver the above core competencies consistently. 

High Availability 

SoftNAS’ patented solutions, SNAP HA™ and SnapReplicate have served our customers reliably for years, delivering five-nines (99.999%) of availability. None that we have seen offer a money-back guarantee to back up their promise. Most of our competitors cannot provide an SLA to match, typically limited to 3 or 4 9s of availability (99.9, or 99.99%). NetApp Cloud Volumes claims 5 9’s availability, but their implementation is not as integrated as SoftNAS’ design, and as far as we can tell, this appears to be a marketing claim that an SLA does not back.  

Performance 

Our competitors often tier their services, bundling both storage and a certain level of performance into a package. Typically, there are three or four tiers, each with defined performance parameters. To achieve higher performance levels, you must purchase the next tier and the increased storage. As you might guess, this interferes significantly with the granularity of their solution and often forces the customer to buy unnecessary storage to reach the desired performance level. 

Native cloud services have gotten better on this front, offering ways of tuning performance to your requirements (IOPS/Bandwidth). Still, such solutions are often themselves only available at certain levels of their performance groups.  SoftNAS allows you to use any Azure virtual machine or AWS instance in any region to marry the right level of performance to any amount of storage you need.  In this way, we can assure you that the solution we provide offers the most bang for your buck. Additionally, flexible deployment options in terms of cloud location boost performance by limiting latency and bandwidth.  

Cost 

Buurst’s SoftNAS only charges for the performance delivered to access the customer’s data. Competitors charge customers for both the performance they deliver and the storage or capacity of managed data. Some competitors mandate that you add more capacity to get more performance, even if the customer does not need the extra capacity, so you again pay for even more capacity and performance.

But it’s not enough to offer the same services cheaper – at some point, that approach results in the “you get what you pay for” adage. If you don’t innovate on behalf of the customer, someone else will, leaving you to play catch up. At Buurst, we actively try to bring features into play that will drive costs down and allow you to tailor your solution even further. It is this drive that resulted in our  SmartTiers feature.  SmartTiers allows our customers to save money by automatically tiering data based on usage.  Frequently accessed data is placed on production-ready, high-performance block storage options, and infrequently accessed data is placed on low-cost, lower performance options.

In an upcoming release, we will be working to save you more money by offering a cheaper high availability method for workloads that do not require 5 9’s of availability, making our product even more flexible in terms of cost.

Flexibility 

Designed to bridge systems together, whether for disaster recovery, transition to the cloud, or any other reason you might need such integration.  As stated, SoftNAS is available in both on-premise versions and the cloud. You can deploy  SoftNAS as an application on RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) or as a VM hosted on VMware on-premise. On the cloud side, you can leverage AWS or Azure, or both. SoftNAS can leverage industry-standard protocols such as CIFS/SMB, NFS, and iSCSI. It is the only solution (we are aware of) that can provide volumes accessible by multiple protocols at once.

In the section above, we already mentioned SmartTiers, which offers additional deployment flexibility, allowing you to define and automate the level of performance needed for your workloads. And as stated, we are also working to deliver a less costly HA option in tandem with our current SNAP HA solution. Stay tuned for more information on that in the weeks to come.

Lastly, because we have worked with AWS and Azure for many years, our integration is second to none, meaning we can seamlessly connect with AWS and Azure services and products, such as AWS Outposts or Azure Stack Hub.

Conclusion 

Buurst’s  SoftNAS  product represents our company values well. It is a product that offers capacities second to none but is accessible and flexible in a way that allows us to work with others seamlessly. As stated, competition is opportunity in disguise. We fully believe that the addition of  SoftNAS can improve nearly any solution, as much as we also know SoftNAS is an excellent solution on its own. In other words, here at Buurst, we look forward to proving it, one way or another.

 In our next blog (Competition – Part 2), you’ll see how  Buurst Fuusion extends this philosophy even further.  

Buurst Wins the 2021 Digital Innovator Award from Intellyx

Buurst Wins the 2021 Digital Innovator Award from Intellyx

Intellyx, the first and only analyst firm dedicated to digital transformation, today announced that Buurst has joined the inaugural class of their 2021 Digital Innovator Award.

As an industry analyst firm that focuses on enterprise digital transformation and the disruptive vendors that support it, Intellyx interacts with numerous innovators in the enterprise IT marketplace.

To honor these vendors, Intellyx has established the Intellyx Digital Innovator Awards.

Intellyx will bestow this award on any vendor who makes it through Intellyx’s rigorous briefing selection process and delivers a successful briefing.

“At Intellyx, we get dozens of PR pitches each day from a wide range of vendors,” said Jason Bloomberg, President of Intellyx. “We will only set up briefings with the most disruptive and innovative firms in their space. That’s why it made sense for us to call out the companies that made the cut.”

For more details on the award and to see other winners, visit the 2021 Intellyx Digital Innovator awards page here.

Intellyx may announce a new set of Digital Innovator awardees in the future. To be considered for a briefing–and hence a Digital Innovator award–and use the authorized award badge, please contact Intellyx at pr@intellyx.com.

A Fresh Take on Edge and Cloud Services

A Fresh Take on Edge and Cloud Services

The ever-changing world of Data Storage and Management requires a never-ending quest to stay ahead of the curve. As any surfer will tell you, the ideal spot is ahead of the wave and somewhere near the crest. If you imagine the wave as your clients’ needs, it is this sweet spot, anticipating the needs of your clients and positioned to deliver – that will allow your organization to go on an epic run. That’s how we feel at Buurst, poised for an epic run.

Why do we feel this way? Because we’ve been watching the trends of the cloud and data marketplace, and we see the next wave. We knew that data storage was shifting to the cloud and see this change is accelerated by factors such as Covid-19. The work from home phenomenon, experts agree, is far from a passing trend. 90% of HR managers say they plan to allow employees to work from home more often, even after the pandemic. Work from home has increased at least 300% during the pandemic. This translates to more data generated overall, and much of it unstructured. We will not entirely know how this skews the already gigantic data predictions for 2025 and beyond for a few years yet, but we know it will.

Flexible data storage is one of the keys to the upcoming wave, one which Buurst’s SoftNAS product was explicitly designed to handle. Our company was founded on the principle of “disrupting the traditional storage market by not selling you more storage.” This approach allowed us to create an agile, cost-effective data transfer management and performance management tool that will help our customers do more than even they thought possible with their data. We do not charge by the petabyte, the terabyte, or the gigabyte. Our solution is entirely based on performance, no matter how much data flows through.

Unlike surfing, in the data world, sometimes you can ride more than one wave at a time, and we think we can do just that. Because we know that data usage and generation is not only growing but ever more often shifting to non-central locations, or the edge as industry experts have coined it. Buurst is poised to deliver a solution for managing/shifting/processing, and transferring this data. This product, Fuusion, allows our clients to seamlessly shift data from the edge to the cloud or any other central repository. Not only this, but it can perform data processing at the edge to ensure the data hits your repository in an instantly usable fashion.

In the linked article, Vic Mahadevan discusses both of these solutions and why Buurst feels poised to be the next big thing in data storage. Enjoy the read!

Hitachi Vantara and Buurst Data Transfer Management

Hitachi Vantara and Buurst Data Transfer Management

Hitachi Vantara and Buurst presented a webinar focused on the newly available joint solution of Buurst Fuusion availability with the Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service platform.

Webinar Details

Customers are pushing data from the datacenter to the cloud, but they will task Colocation facilities as part of the Data Journey to the Cloud. It is important to have a Data Storage Platform that is built for Hybrid Cloud operations with the ability to scale from Datacenter to Edge.

Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service provides a rich Hybrid Cloud experience for customers from Mid-Market to Enterprise. One of the biggest hurdles to achieving Hybrid Cloud Storage and Data Operations is the ability to ensure the data transfer and data operations to move and shift data between the Datacenter, to the Colocation and to the Public cloud.

Ensuring the data transfer is accomplished precisely, accurately and at the highest line speeds consistently requires strategic technology that works over all type of desperate network connectivity and latency. Failure to deliver the data is not an option, and Buurst Fuusion in strategic partnership with Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service delivers the best in breed Data Transfer Management and Data operations in the Industry.

Combined Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service with Buurst Fuusion ensures the data delivery in Hybrid Cloud deployments will be bullet proof.

For more information contact Buurst at sales@buurst.com.

Lessons Learned in Remote Working Before and During the Pandemic

Lessons Learned in Remote Working Before and During the Pandemic

As many parts of the world start to emerge from the pandemic, many of us working from home, it seemed a good time to share with the world Buurst’s experiences. As for Buurst, one could say that not much has changed for many of us. You see, Buurst has always employed a remote workplace strategy, finding ways to collaborate effectively with co-workers across the globe. Still, the choice to stay at home and work is not the same as being forced to by external complications. As such, we thought we’d share some insights from a company that was working from home “before it was cool.”

First, let us look at some of the reasons that Buurst has employed the remote office strategy in the first place. It all begins with our founder, Rick Braddy. According to Rick, it all began with his employment at Citrix, a company that made remote work software allowing work from home options a selling point for their company. As a result, he knew first-hand that remote work was not only feasible but could be potentially even more productive.

“From the outset, I wanted to create a ‘virtual workplace’ type of experience, both for our employees and me. Countless hours of people’s lives are wasted in traffic, not to mention the frustrations it causes everyone (and the pollution). I also observed a lot of wasted time and productivity from people’ visiting’ in the office a lot of their time. My theory was that between the increased productivity and increased work/life balance that working from home offers employees, is that it would result in lower turnover, happier people and better results.”

His experience at Buurst, operating a 100% remote workforce for over eight years, has only reinforced this idea.

Rick Braddy also mentioned that remote work allows folks to improve quality of life simply by living where they choose rather than in geographic proximity to the workplace – places where rent or housing prices might be higher, along with other expenses. I can attest to this, as I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada, 50 miles outside of Calgary, where rent and housing (and groceries) can be considerably more expensive. Not only this, but I have been able to work remotely to extend vacations, allowing me and my family to spend a bit more time in desirable locations, such as family trips to Vegas and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. As long as I have wi-fi access, I can sneak in a couple of hours of work nearly anywhere. As a single father, this flexibility has proven indispensable.

But how do you establish a remote resource strategy for your company? Where do you find quality resources? For Buurst, the answer was in a freelancing site called ODesk, which, after a merger with rival site Elance, became known as Upwork. (Interestingly, I was a member of both sites when first starting my freelancing career. I found each to have strengths that, for the most part, carried over in the merger. Concentration on a single platform soon shored up weaknesses.) As Rick tells it, “Early on, we discovered Upwork, then known as ODesk. We began using part-time contractors early on to gain access to the skills we needed from a worldwide contractor talent pool. As Buurst grew, we continued using Upwork as a means of finding full-time employees who continue to lead the company from wherever they live.” Without this active global network, Buurst’s remote office strategy would not have been possible. Upwork ensured that Buurst (then SoftNAS) gained a trusted employment track record that attracted high-end talent while at the same time providing freelancers with the opportunities that best fit their needs.

Buurst uses several tools to keep in contact during communication and collaboration, notably several staples such as Microsoft Teams. For the development team and technical writing (as the technical writer needs to connect closely and often with the development team), Assembla has been the tool of choice for several years. Github integration and other features help keep the dev team on track, of course. Still, the ticketing system is also invaluable in tracking changes to the product as they happen or, in the best cases, well before. Asana manages tracking projects such as web design, white papers, and other activities for marketing and sales. But it was often cumbersome for those who bridged teams to keep track of notifications from a separate project management solution. Microsoft Teams proved very helpful, allowing us to link Office 365 functionality, replace Skype as a meeting tool internally, and serve as a repository hub via SharePoint for all our files and documentation, organized according to teams. The file repository and team organization proved immensely helpful in adopting Microsoft Teams for everything not directly related to development. Files are more easily found within team folders and shared readily across departments and teams, and past meetings are shareable.

More importantly, meetings are simple to organize and schedule, and team members can find one another at any moment for face-to-face calls without the need to share contacts or search a global database of users. As Vic Mahadevan, CEO of Buurst, tells us,

“I previously always enjoyed meeting the team and the camaraderie that develops face to face in the office. However, I have been very pleasantly surprised how technologies like Teams and Zoom have allowed us to stay connected to our employees, customers, and partners worldwide. We have been able to delight our customers and partners with our efficiency and productivity without skipping a beat during this pandemic.”

To create this sense of community and camaraderie, Buurst has leveraged Microsoft Teams to set up a company-wide meeting every week to highlight all things Buurst and contributions from team members.

Buurst also has leveraged meeting capabilities for fun and games to break the daily grind. A couple of times a month, an open meeting is set up to play a game with fellow Buursters. The last activity chosen was a game of Bingo, complete with prizes. Bingo resulted in some good-natured ribbing of the Bingo caller for not calling “the right numbers” and jokes about the Finance team rigging the game, with the Dev team claiming they would tweak their algorithm for better results the next time. In other words, a typical office get-together, with the same banter, the same relationships built over time and conversation, with the help of technology and shared goals.

But while it might seem that the remote office strategy is pandemic proof, there are a few challenges that have arisen. The most notable of these is that everyone else is staying home too. We, too, had to shift schedules on occasion simply because our children are home too. Noise levels during the day can determine meeting schedules and work schedules. Stephen Spector, VP Marketing, notes,

“The biggest challenge for remote work is finding a location in my house to work while still having to set up space for my two children who are both attending junior high primarily virtual this year. With my ‘office’ in the family room, having my kids at home has created plenty of daily chaos. I find that working early in the morning and taking time late at night to finish up work offers a few extra hours a day with minimum disruption.”

You might think that we parents who work from home all year long have practiced for this covid-related chaos every summer when school gets out. But unlike summer break, Covid has meant we can’t simply send children outside or to a friend’s place to gain a few more hours of blessed silence.

For those considering remote office employment, remember that it requires a different mindset. It requires discipline to ensure that the distractions inherent in the home environment do not affect your work. As Rick tells us, “It takes a shift in the mindset from ‘show up to work’ to ‘deliver excellent work results’. ” as a non-office-based company holding employees accountable for results and develop a level of mutual trust. Over the years, we have seen that some people just aren’t cut out for remote work as they lack the work ethic and self-discipline required. But for those who can separate work from where it takes place, remote working is a great way to go.” This shift may become more and more necessary until Covid-19, and its variants have run their course. Embrace the change and the challenge, and the experience will serve you well long after. Who knows, your office may be the next to be “pandemic proof.”