John De Sousa, Director of Information Technology and Systems, of Cressy and Everett Real Estate was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his organization's use of Nasuni Filer. Here is what he had to say about Nasuni and its cloud storage service.
Please introduce your organization and your role within the organization
Cressy and Everett Real Estate is a regional, full-service real estate firm founded in 1946 that serves northwestern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. I am the Director of Information Technology and Systems in charge of IT operations that serve 150 agents and staff across 8 offices. Cost control and simplicity of deployment are of paramount importance in Real Estate today.
What were you doing that needed this technology?
More than ever before, the ability to be fully connected to the tools and data from anywhere in the field is no longer a luxury but a necessity in today's competitive marketplace. The need for continuous access to information from anywhere in an industry especially affected by the current economic downturn led us to question how we can best satisfy our ever-increasing storage needs while driving down costs. In addition to satisfying mobility needs, we had to account for more and larger media files that add value and enhance real estate listings. In order to get their listings to be noticed, Agents are using more photos and videos than ever before. Listings that used to be accompanied by six pictures now include between 20 to 30 - in much higher resolution. Videos are slowly becoming the preferred means of communications, so much so that I liken us to being in the video production business.
What did you consider before making a selection?
With larger data storage needs than we previously had, the question became how much storage do we need and how do we go about increasing it? Do we add more drives to our existing ReadyNAS? Do we replace our hardware with larger devices? Or do we go for a bottomless solution like Nasuni. How do we do off-site backups affordably? We'd used small file servers in the past. And we didn't have the need for the rapid sharing of a SAN product. We needed a solution that could provide simplified file storage and protection with local-like performance and fast restore in case a hard drive needed to be quickly replaced. Also, as business trends go, cloud storage is something that we needed to explore and adopt if the value existed.
Why did you select this product?
With centralized storage accessible from anywhere, an aggressive cost per gigabyte and set-it-and-forget-it simplicity, we decided to implement the Nasuni Filer in our IT operations to help cut costs and drive efficiencies. The cloud storage industry has succeeded in getting its message of offering unlimited storage at a lower cost than businesses can provision on their own to the point where I said I wanted to be a part of it and made me wonder how do I do it? That's where Nasuni fits in. We already have VM capabilities, so installation was effortless.
What tangible benefits have your received through the use of this product?
Nasuni brings us all the benefits of the cloud including practically unlimited capacity and reliability while overcoming its weaknesses through a secure, high-performance virtual appliance, giving us access to all the storage we need today and as our business grows ? from any location. For a small IT shop, it is hard to overstate the value of simplicity of deployment and management.
What advice would you offer others?
We found Nasuni's product to be the quickest way to get content to cloud storage is by using it as an off-site backup repository but there's so much more to it than that. All businesses should be asking what cloud storage can do for their operations and how the best way to access the cloud. They should ask how economically can they satisfy their ever-increasing storage needs. They should consider who has access to their data and know where their content is in case of audits. Nasuni has a great grasp on what they are doing. We joined the cloud storage revolution, thanks to the Nasuni Filer.