Using Panzura Hybrid Cloud Storage for On-Premises and In-Cloud File Services

By: Rich Weber, Product Management at Panzura

Panzura Freedom hybrid cloud storage replaces legacy network-attached storage (NAS) and enables real-time, global collaboration. Panzura Freedom deploys performant file services on premises at each location and in any cloud region—while consolidating all of your data in Cloud Storage.

Data is cached locally in each Panzura Freedom Filer, while the authoritative data is saved in Cloud Storage. Panzura CloudFS, the first enterprise file system that is purpose-built for the cloud, provides you with a global namespace and real-time, file-locking services that use the same path for both NFS and SMB file services.

The following diagram shows how Panzura filers integrate with on-premises resources, Cloud Storage, and Compute Engine instances that are running on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Panzura filers integrated with on-premises resources and GCP

Panzura Freedom offers enterprise customers the ability to integrate their native file services in their on-premises data centers and in the Google Compute environment with Google Cloud Storage. This integration combines local file performance with global high-performance storage to provide a single cohesive data storage solution. Each Panzura filer provides local services that cache data automatically, pulling it directly from Google Cloud Storage. Data is deduplicated, compressed, and encrypted globally by using the customer's cryptographic keys. The Panzura solution provides immediate file consistency with global file-locking services as needed.

You can deploy the Panzura Freedom Filer locally either as a virtual machine (VM) or on Panzura-provided hardware. You can launch deployment of the Panzura Freedom Filer as a Compute Engine instance for in-cloud direct access to the same data that is available on premises as part of the overall Panzura CloudFS global file system.

With the Panzura hybrid cloud NAS solution and GCP, you see the following benefits:

  • Dynamic scale, performance, and efficient use of resources. Panzura takes advantage of Google's massive private network with over 100 PoPs providing in-region caching services to dramatically reduce the latency associated with cloud reads.
  • Real-time global file and byte-range locking.
  • File services to power data center workloads and mobile clients.
  • Flexible deployment options including both on-site and in-cloud virtual machines (VMs) as well as dedicated hardware. Options available include perpetual or term-based software licenses.
  • Automation and centralized management.
  • Enterprise-grade cloud data protection and high availability (HA) with no single point of failure.

With Panzura, you can manage your file services as a single solution for both on-premises and in-cloud compute workloads. Panzura CloudFS puts the data where it is needed: near the applications and users, regardless of their location.

Panzura Freedom features

Here are details about the features in Panzura Freedom.

Protocol support: Panzura Freedom supports use of NFS version 3 and 4 and SMB version 1, 2, and 3 file protocols for connecting to compute farm servers and user workstations.

Storage efficiencies: Because Panzura Freedom independently stores metadata and data in Cloud Storage, each filer has access to the entire data footprint in a single namespace. This approach allows for live global deduplication and compression, reducing the overall storage footprint.

Local caching services: The local caching services in Panzura Freedom filers boost system responsiveness to user and machine requests and provide local data center performance with LAN-speed access to files in a global cloud storage system. The intelligent caching system manages where data is cached for enhanced performance. Data caching helps to provide local performance.

Global namespace: Metadata for the entire file system is synchronized across all filers that are configured in CloudFS through objects that are stored in Cloud Storage, so that each location has access to the same data through a common file path regardless of geographic location.

Global file locking: File-locking services are present locally for read/write access at each filer regardless of the protocol used. Distributed global read/write locking services are available as needed for workflows that use the SMB protocol.

SmartSync: SmartSync provides real-time locking services with immediate data consistency, even if that data hasn't been updated in the cloud, through peer-to-peer services. These services not only exchange locking operations, but transfer changed block data or pointers between filers. This system enables real-time collaboration for SMB workflows.

Data encryption: Panzura Freedom encrypts all data before it is loaded into Cloud Storage, so you can secure your data not only in transit but at rest in the cloud with the Panzura FIPS 140-2–compliant solution. Because you own and manage the keys, you control the visibility and lifespan of your data.

Global snapshots: Panzura supports snapshots of your file system with no practical limits, so you can retain hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly snapshots over long periods to comply with your internal policies or external regulatory requirements.

Mobile data access: Panzura Mobile provides mobile access to the same global data on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and web-based clients.

Support for Cloud Storage tiers: Panzura Freedom offers full support for use of Cloud Storage Nearline and Coldline tiers to reduce storage cost for archive and backup use cases.

RESTful API: Panzura Freedom provides a fully integrated API that you can use to perform automated operational and configuration tasks as needed.

Use cases

Here are some sample use cases for Panzura Freedom and GCP.

Rendering workloads for media and entertainment

  • Provide a centralized cloud data model with local access, making rendering workloads possible both in the cloud and on premises without having to explicitly transfer data.
  • Use in-cloud compute resources for rendering workloads as needed.
  • Reduce cost of the overall storage solution by consolidating and eliminating replicated copies of data.
  • Boost productivity and meet deadlines by using in-cloud compute resources that are working on the same data that is stored locally.
  • Automatically encrypt all data by using customer-loaded cryptographic keys.
  • Reduce consumption of network overhead by eliminating duplicate data replication between data centers and in-cloud resources.
  • Remove infrastructure headaches and let creative talent concentrate on content.

Processing genomics for life sciences

  • Provide a high-performance, centralized cloud data model with local access to large research datasets both in the cloud and on premises without having to explicitly transfer data.
  • Reduce cost of the overall storage solution by consolidating and eliminating replicated copies of data.
  • Automatically encrypt sensitive research datasets by using customer-loaded cryptographic keys.
  • Expand existing research workflows in the cloud while accessing the same data.

Running simulations and archiving data for financial services

  • Provide a centralized cloud data model with local access for financial analytic and simulation workloads both in the cloud and on premises without having to explicitly transfer data.
  • Ingest data locally on premises and store it in Cloud Storage Nearline or Coldline storage tiers for additional cost savings.
  • Expand analytics compute capacity as much as required without the headache of data transport or replicated data management.
  • Make the results of analytical and simulation data processing available to on-premises locations immediately through a unified file storage solution.

Processing seismic data for oil and gas

  • Provide a centralized cloud data model with local access to seismic datasets for processing and analytic workloads. Process and analyze both in the cloud and on premises without having to explicitly transfer data.
  • Long-term retention or archival of seismic and other data in Cloud Storage, using Nearline or Coldline storage tiers for additional cost savings.
  • Expand seismic data processing compute capacity as much as required without the headache of data transport or replicated data management.
  • Make the results of seismic data processing and analytics available to on-premises locations immediately through a unified file storage solution.

Storing medical imaging for healthcare

  • Fully compliant with HIPAA and FIPS 140-2 requirements.
  • Long-term retention for medical images and other unstructured data in Cloud Storage, using Nearline or Coldline storage tiers for additional cost savings.
  • Data is fully encrypted both in transit and at rest by using customer-owned and -managed cryptographic keys for regulatory compliance.
  • Access to the same global datasets from any location or in-cloud compute environments.
  • Use GCP regional buckets for data governance compliance.

Hosting file shares and home directories

  • Panzura Freedom hybrid cloud NAS consolidates all the file shares and user data in Cloud Storage, eliminating replicated data and providing a single global version of the truth.
  • Full cloud-based disaster recovery options. With Panzura Freedom, all data is backed up in resilient Cloud Storage. Recover data from any location either through HA options or a full cloud restoration.
  • With data consolidated and stored in Cloud Storage, and virtually limitless snapshots, there's no need for onsite backups.
  • With global file locking and a global namespace, Panzura Freedom helps users collaborate on the same data even across multiple geographically dispersed sites.
  • Data is cached locally for LAN-access speed and performance. Automated caching policies with advanced manipulation help simplify the most demanding workflows.
  • Mobile client support gets data to traveling employees or third-party collaborators when needed.

Backing up database and VM images

  • Panzura can be the target for database and VM backups that automatically retain data in Cloud Storage by using either Nearline or Coldline tiers at an affordable price over long retention periods.
  • Data is fully encrypted both in transit and at rest, meeting compliance requirements for FIPS 140-2 and HIPAA.
  • Use Veeam to back up VMs on premises and restore them in the cloud to migrate or expand the virtual environment into the cloud compute space.

What's next

Read more about the Panzura Freedom Filer solution:

About Panzura Panzura is the leader in enterprise hybrid cloud NAS and cloud data management. Panzura Freedom, an intelligent hybrid cloud storage platform, represents a breakthrough in managing explosive growth in unstructured data, delivering data center performance with the economics, scalability, and durability of the cloud. Panzura CloudFS underpins Panzura Freedom and incorporates intelligent file services backed by 27 patents. Using Panzura, enterprises shift from legacy storage as they consolidate and simplify their storage into the cloud. Organizations like Milwaukee Tool, American College of Radiology, and Chevron use Panzura for active archive, hybrid cloud NAS, and cross-site collaboration. Visit www.panzura.com for more information.

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