Interview with Nasuni: customizing, shipping and supporting systems around the world

Continuing with our Dell Server customer interview series, I recently had the chance to talk with Nasuni’s Fred Pinkett, Senior Director of Product Marketing and Management and Jay Ferren, Senior Director of Supply Chain Operations. Here’s our conversation:

Ravi Pendekanti: Thanks for talking with me today, Fred and Jay. To kick things off, could you give us some background information on Nasuni and what your role is there?

Fred: Nasuni provides a hybrid solution to store, protect, share and access all enterprise files. It is powered by UniFS, the world’s first cloud-native file system. The combination of cloud storage and local edge appliances enables unlimited scale, continuous versioning and high-performance distributed file access. I am responsible for product marketing content, Nasuni’s hardware product, and other product marketing and management functions.

Jay: I manage Dell premiere integration partners for global distribution of Nasuni Edge Appliances, forward and reverse logistics, and global hardware sparing strategy.

RP: What is the solution Nasuni put together integrating Dell OEM technology?

Fred: Nasuni’s entire line of Edge Appliances are based on Dell OEM technology. We are able cover use cases from small remote offices with tower systems to thousands of users at datacenter locations with all flash, rack-mounted appliances. Dell OEM technology allows us to be able to customize, ship and support systems across the globe. Dell OEM allows us to handle issues of customs, certification and compliance with ease.

RP: Did global support and supply chain help influence your decision to go with Dell?  What other criteria factored into your assessment?

Jay: Dell provided us a product and services that was incomparable to others we looked at.  We needed for the solution to include a number of critical elements such as global regulatory certification, delivery and mission critical support, 4 hour on-site, dedicated account manager and technical account manager, and the ability to escalate to senior support.  In addition, the company we chose needed to provide best in class component manufacturers, customization of standard product, a wide variety of platforms to meet our product needs, product stability options for extended life, and a competitive cost of goods.

RP: We saw that you published a case study with Austin Radiology Association.  Can you tell us a little bit about how that solution solves ARA’s business needs?

Fred: ARA was dealing with massive file growth that was overwhelming their existing storage and data protection systems. As 2D mammography moved to 3D, the files are getting larger and more numerous. By combining Nasuni’s Dell powered appliances with cloud storage as part of Nasuni’s hybrid solution, ARA will be able to scale their file storage without limits, avoid costly hardware refreshes while providing fast access to their files.

RP: How does the Dell and Nasuni offering help meet compliance and security that a healthcare customer like ARA demands?

Fred: Dell’s systems offer all of the certifications required as well as the option of self-encrypting drives to protect data at rest in the edge appliance. Nasuni’s strong security model combines local encryption under a key controlled by the customer and integration with Active Directory to ensure that nobody but ARA can access ARA’s data in the cloud.

RP: If you met someone else who was beginning a similar project, what advice would you give them?

Jay: Consider the factors we’ve been discussing, as well as financial factors such as better management of your cash flow, and how inventory and spares will be managed and billed. Also consider whether you want a fully outsourced model to avoid the costs of managing logistics yourself. Finally make sure you consider all the costs and fees for in-country support and spares as well as whether you’ll need to have local presence to engage with the OEM partner. Outsourcing the end-to-end solution to Dell OEM allows Nasuni to provide our solution with minimal overhead and management.

About the Author: Ravi Pendekanti

Ravi Pendekanti is Senior Vice President of Server Solutions Product Management at Dell, Inc. His organization is responsible for developing and bringing Dell’s flagship line of PowerEdge Servers and Converged Infrastructure systems to market, covering a broad spectrum of global customers from cloud service providers and small businesses to large enterprises and organizations, all running a wide range of workloads. Most recently, Ravi served as the Vice President of the Platform Business Group at Oracle where he looked after GTM activities including Product Marketing and Sales Enablement related to the platform business that included Engineered Systems (Exadata, Exalogic, OVCA and SuperCluster), Servers, Solaris and Networking. With over two decades of extensive global experience in the enterprise and SMB segment in both hardware (servers, storage and networking) and software, Ravi has also held leadership roles at Juniper Networks, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics. He holds a MS in Computer Science and BS in Electrical Engineering.