Buurst’s Core Principles

Buurst’s Core Principles

Building a company requires a great deal of effort and planning and is more than just having a great idea. It requires a unique convergence of skills, insight, and to some degree, business acumen. But none of these things is enough to achieve long-term success. The final ingredient is consistency – you need to define what you want to do with consistent delivery.

Customer and
Partner Empathy

Entrepreneurial
Spirit

Always Learning and Always Teaching

Lead by Example
and Be Accountable

In founding Buurst (formerly SoftNAS), Rick Braddy was unhappy with the cost to performance ratio of contemporary on-premise storage. Knowing firsthand the implementation of such solutions, the strengths that such implementations offered, and the weaknesses (notably scalability), he saw that the cloud would soon be the only solution. The company or person that managed to harness the stability and strength of on-premise solutions and bring it to the cloud would have tremendous success. But we have to ask ourselves – would Buurst still be humming along nine years later without a consistent plan and ideals? 

Customer and Partner Empathy 

Intuiting what the customer needs is the first part of any successful venture. SoftNAS offered an alternative to the high cost of on-premise storage. But if we had stopped there, building a cheap alternative, we would likely not be building a company today. SoftNAS would likely be a small part of a larger companys toolset, sold to the highest bidder within the first couple of years. Luckily, our founder and his burgeoning crew knew that there were other pain points to consider and that listening to the customer would illuminate others.  

Soon, based on customer feedback and personal knowledge of customer pain points, Buurst was working to solve flexibility in many different ways. First, from the outset, Rick wanted the solution to offer native support for all the standard NAS protocols, CIFS/SMB, NFS, and iSCSI. Ideally, the customer would never see a difference between using cloud storage or an on-premise NAS. Next, platform flexibility. On-premise (VMware) support, coupled AWS and Azure support ensured that the majority of customers could find the right cloud storage option for them, as well as the flexibility to get from on-prem to the cloud. Support for both block and object storage further enhanced flexibility for our clients. 

None of these efforts would mean a thing without understanding another core need of the customer, high availability. Without the comfort of data permanence, no large client would risk a move to cloud infrastructure.  

As the company grew, more needs became apparent, such as the need for tier storage or facilitating the transfer of data from on-premise to cloud. Eventually, we would realize that beyond this, a solution to orchestrate and automate the flow of data across an organization would be the next paradigm shift. None of these ideas would have been sought or implemented without empathy for the customer. This same empathy is employed today in helping our partners achieve success. We choose our partners based on the help they can provide to customers. By finding partners whose clients have expressed the needs we have worked so hard to deliver, we help them find success. Clear communication of the benefits we provide and limitations, too, ensures we do not lose our partners’ trust or the clients they support with Buurst technology.  

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Rick Braddy was fresh off a startup when the idea to forge SoftNAS (now Buurst) came to him. He had a skill set that would be valuable to many large companies and could easily find job security and even growth with any of them. But he wouldnt have the freedom to pursue his own goals and would potentially have to move to where the job was and uproot his family. It was by no means an easy decision. Without entrepreneurial spirit, Buurst would have withered on the vine.   

As luck would have it, Ricks entrepreneurial spirit extended well beyond simply the courage to follow through with an idea. He built the company based on it. What better way to pay homage to a decision to go your way than to allow others the opportunity to do so? Employees at Buurst are all entrepreneurs of a sort, having left the standard local office company template for the freedom of working from home. Buursts distributed office model results from Ricks desire to pursue his goals his way, from where he wanted to be. This model is relatively easy to achieve if you are the boss, much less so for your typical office employee. But at Buurst, the office is wherever you are.  

Buurst continues to manifest an entrepreneurial spirit many years after our founding. We have recently spun off a new product, Fuusion. While the feature set of Fuusion is complementary to our SoftNAS product, implementing the product’s features limited its reach, and compromised the flexibility, we strove to provide. Not the flexibility of SoftNAS, but Fuusion. Working with the data orchestration capabilities of Fuusion, it soon became apparent that it needed a dedicated team of its own to improve. It needed to be deployable on any system, with or without SoftNAS. In other words, rather than trade on the good name of our primary product, Buurst needed to take a chance and build something new. 

Always Learning and Always Teaching

Empathy for the customer/partner has an inherent benefit that can stand any organization in good stead. As customers’ needs evolve, so too does the product, the company, and its employees. To meet these evolving needs, which would not be apparent without lessons imparted by our efforts on behalf of the customer, Buurst had to adapt and learn. More than that, we had to want to learn. 

Learning allowed us to do more, be more. In so doing, we became experts in cloud storage and had lessons to impart in return. Education went well beyond simply making potential clients aware of our product and its benefits. Whether a client is new to the cloud and needs to know the differences between block and object storage or other key features, success is dependent on imparting enough knowledge to ensure the customer can define their needs. So not only did we have to want to learn, but we needed to communicate and share those lessons. 

Recent lessons from our Fuusion product have shown us that Buurst has only scratched the surface on what is possible in data orchestration and automation, both in the cloud and on-premises. As we learn lessons from each new client, our goal will always be to forward these lessons to the product and prospective new clients.  

Lead by Example and be Accountable 

Buurst utilizes a highly distributed team, which by definition means that people do not see one another all day at work. You cannot peek over the cubicle in such an environment and ask your neighbor about his progress on the latest bug fix or budget report. So trust, and accountability are vitalEven if you cannot see your peers working, you need to know that they are and are as invested as you are.  

Because we do not see each other in a shared office, Buurst ensures that we see each other regularly, at least virtually. Every week, an All Hands Meeting over Microsoft Teams, iheld with the company, focused on good and bad newsUsually, regardless of the news, there is a good deal of camaraderie and inside jokes, just like a typical office meeting. We also have less formal get-togethers every few weeks, as scheduled by the FUUN committee.” These gatherings include games of bingo and jeopardy, among other activities. By staying connected and informed, we ensure the team is invested and accountable. 

In addition to staying connected, each employee has a stake in the company, receiving shares. Put simply, if the company does well, so do the employees shares. Additionally, employees feel more comfortable speaking out, offering ideas and solutions to problems because they are owners 

Lastly, every week an employee is nominated for Buurster of the week,” announced companywide, along with the nomination reasonsThe announcement is via email; however, time is also allotted in the All Hands Meeting to allow the Buursters team to share a few words extolling the employees virtues. This celebrates the employee’s accomplishments, and it provides inspiration and guidance to the other team members. It shows us what our fellow employees are doing with their day and challenges us to match or exceed it. In essence, it allows every team member to peek over the cubicle and give our friend a fist bump. 

There are numerous ways in which Buurst strives to offer more, do more, and be more for both ourselves and our clients. With our core values guiding us, we hope to grow and learn from every new challenge we face.  

Answers to Buurst Questions Videotaneously in our New Video Search Platform

Answers to Buurst Questions Videotaneously in our New Video Search Platform

We are pleased to announce a new self-service tool to find answers to your Buurst, SoftNAS and Fuusion questions quickly with answers coming directly from our large collection of video content. No longer will you have to search videos or watch a complete video to find the answer to an important question.

Just enter your question on the Search bar and the results are instantly playing at the right spot in a specific video.

In addition to asking questions, the Buurst team has setup dozens of pre-loaded questions broken down into Question Groups should you want to look for information by category.

HOW TO USE

Here is an example of how best to use the tool when looking to understand the difference between Self Manage and Managed Cloud storage. There are three paths available for finding the answer:

Path 1: Select a Question Group

Click the “Cloud Storage” Box to see what pre-set questions are available

In this example, wer’re going to choose the question that addresses the question “What is the difference of ‘Self Managed’ and ‘Managed Cloud Storage”. 

Clicking “Watch” will immediately bring up and play the video at the 7:11 mark with the answer to the question.

Path 2: Text Search

Enter the question on the Search box and the tool will also offer additional questions that may be useful.

Within seconds a series of options are available for you to choose from by simply clicking the appropriate Watch button.

Path 3: Choose a Topic

On the left-side of the tool is a list of Topics that might match the area of focus for your inquiry. In this example, I would choose “Cloud Storage” which is listed on the top of the list

The results provide a series of options that are available based on that topic and can be viewed by clicking the Watch button.

The option to register your contact information is also available which we will leverage in the future as we take advantage of specific features that can allow customization of the tool for individual users.

Finally, we offer a link to our Savings Calculator to see how SoftNAS provides significant savings over AWS EFS and Azure Files while providing additional features such as high availability, data performance, and data compression to reduce the overall storage footprint.

If you found this search tool useful or would like to provide feedback please contact Buurst so we can enhance our web search for finding the information our customers are looking for.  

Rick Braddy Talks Data and Edge on The Edgevana Podcast

Rick Braddy Talks Data and Edge on The Edgevana Podcast

Rick Braddy, Founder and CTO of Buurst recorded a new video podcast with Mark Thiele, CEO and Founder of Edgevana on the Edgevana Podcast.  

Time Content

0.29 – 1.48 Rick Braddy Introduction and Background
1.48 – 4.07 Why customers choose cloud for data and why some leave?
4.07 – 5.58 How Buurst perceives edge from a data perspective?
5.58 – 8.01 If latency is not key driver for edge, what is?
8.01 – 9.20 Lightweight vs Heavyweight at edge?
9.20 – 10.17 Will Edge data growth continue?
10.17 – 14.26 How can we manage distributed data latency?
14.26 – 17.27 How much of Buurst’s business is around tota storage vs data efficiency?
17.27 – 24.42 Are there methodologies for assessing return on investment for data?
24.42 – 27.40 Open Source Apache NiFi Project Overview and Use by Buurst
27.40 – 30.51 Wrap-Up and Buurst 30-Second Pitch

 

The Podcast is also available in audio only  on SoundCloud.

Announcing SoftNAS Availability for RHEL Customers

Announcing SoftNAS Availability for RHEL Customers

Buurst is excited to announce SoftNAS is now supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2!  All Red Hat customers can now quickly and easily deploy SoftNAS on RHEL, opening up the value of SoftNAS to companies that have standardized on RHEL. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 adds enhancements to increase user’s overall experience, including security, compliance, monitoring, performance, lifecycle management, and extended developer support.  One of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 releases’ significant highlights is the comprehensive security and compliance by implementing new OpenSCAP profiles.  

SoftNAS, an enterprise virtual software NASwhen run on RHEL 8.2 allows you to leverage all of the enterprise benefits of both RHEL and SoftNAS, whether running in the cloud, off-cloud, as a virtual machine, or on physical hardware.    

SoftNAS on RHEL 8.2 provides the high level of consistent performance that enterprise applications rely on.  SoftNAS can improve application storage performance with up to 23x faster throughput, 18x better IOPs, and 24x less latency than other storage solutions. 

Enterprise-class high availability provided by the SoftNAS SNAP HA backed by Buursts No Storage Downtown Guarantee SLA ensures Red Hat Enterprise Linux with 99.999% data uptime.  Additionally, data duplication across zones with automatic failover help SoftNAS and RHEL 8.2 users have availability to data at all times.  

SoftNAS running on RHEL 8.2 can help you manage overall storage costs.  Most NAS storage providers charge based on data capacity, further increasing cost. SoftNAS offers the right blend of price and performance for RHEL 8.2 workloads and applications in the cloud and never charges extra for storage capacity. Users can save up to 80% in cloud storage fees by paying only for the performance they need and not for data capacity or capacity they dont need just to get extra performance. 

Working together, SoftNAS and RHEL 8.2 provide a complete cost-effective storage solution for Red Hat Enterprise Linux users in terms of security, performance, and availability.  For more guidance on smart cloud storage solutions and what they can do for you, contactBuurstorrequest a demofrom our team.  

Instant Cloud Storage Trial on AWS or Azure with SoftNAS

Instant Cloud Storage Trial on AWS or Azure with SoftNAS

Buurst is pleased to announce a new Try It Now feature to get a free 30-day trial of SoftNAS on either AWS or Azure. This new step-by-step guide walks users through the process to create an account on either the AWS Marketplace or Azure Marketplace with an activated SoftNAS solution enabled for cloud storage management.

We offer two videos for users interested in seeing the complete process for either AWS or Azure so you can be sure to understand the requested information needed at each step in the process:

SoftNAS Azure Quick Start Launch Wizard

SoftNAS AWS Quick Start Launch Wizard

PROCESS

To get started, visit the SoftNAS Free Try It Now page to begin the SoftNAS Wizard and enter your contact information so we can pass it along for either the AWS or Azure registration.

Once your data is entered, please select either the AWS Wizard or Azure Wizard. In this blog’s example I will choose AWS.

You are taken to the home page of the Quick Start Wizard (either for AWS or Azure) where we provide a complete step by step video and answers to more questions in our “Looking for more info?” section. Please note that you are not required to enter your name or email address in this page as that information is already captured previously.

Below this is the Launch Wizard button to begin the process:

At this point, you will complete the 8 steps required from AWS to setup the SoftNAS installation on the cloud. The video on the process shown earlier in this blog provides additional information on each of these settings.

After completing these steps, you will have an AWS (or Azure) SoftNAS instance running for your exploration in optimizing your cloud storage. If you have additional technical questions please leverage our Support services or contact our team to setup a Demo of SoftNAS for a complete personal introduction to our solution.

Fuusion Use Case: Data Migration from a Manual to Digital Process

Fuusion Use Case: Data Migration from a Manual to Digital Process

Modern ship engines are complex engineering pieces, easily as complex as modernday cars, complete with internal computers, sensors, and gadgets to ensure optimum efficiency at every process. And like any computer, ship engine computers have software and firmware, which need regular updates. A ship engine company has to support all the ship engines it produces, wherever in the world they might be. And that can be a lot of places.  

Modern ship engines are complex engineering pieces, easily as complex as modernday cars, complete with internal computers, sensors, and gadgets to ensure optimum efficiency at every process. And like any computer, ship engine computers have software and firmware, which need regular updates. A ship engine company has to support all the ship engines it produces, wherever in the world they might be. And that can be a lot of places.  

This interactive map shows the sheer number of shipping vessels traversing our globe at any given moment. Now imagine if even a fraction of these vessels, say all from a particular engine producing company, required updates even two or three times a year. Imagine that sensor data needed to be gathered and brought back for analysis? Imagine this had to be done manually, by physically traveling to the ship with a USB key, to manually update the ship’s systems? Well, you don’t have to imagine it, because this was indeed the process until recently. 

The ship engine company sent employees to ships worldwide, rendezvousing wherever was most convenient to update a ship on a given schedule, then manually applying the update to ship systems. As you can imagine, this was a very timeconsuming process and not at all costeffective. They needed an automated way to update ship firmware on-demand over slow, transient networks. This solution needed to be one that did not involve travel or human intervention. 

Buurst Fuusion was ready to tackle the unique challenges by offering complete solution for the ship engine company. Despite the many moving parts and the significant distribution of the endpoints, the solution was pretty simple. Data and firmware updates for the ship engine company are centrally stored and managed in Microsoft Azure. To combat the challenges of low latency and intermittent satellite connectivity, Fuusion UltraFast was used, making the most of satellite linkups whenever they became available. On the ships themselves, containerized Fuusion Edge nodes receive the updates and configurations that need to be pushed to the engine’s firmware and deliver the firmware to the targets. The same Fuusion infrastructure could also be leveraged to return engine sensor data and statistics back to the ship builder for monitoring status as a bonus. 

Switching from a manual process, which involved significant travel and manual intervention on thousands of engines a year, to an automated system, pushing updates globally based on satellite connectivity schedules, will save the company a great deal of time and expense. Considering the vast number of companies still utilizing a manual process for updates, the market for such a solution is clear. We are here to help show you the value that Fuusion could provide for your company. 

Anyone with long-distance updates to numerous endpoints over spotty network connectivity can benefit from a similar solution. This could be oil and gas, from wells in remote locations to a central hub, gathering tracking data from oil tankers across the world’s many oceans, or any number of things. Contact us to find out how we can help!