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Morro Data 3.0 – Introducing Azure AD and Replication

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April 12, 2018
Morro Data 3.0 – Introducing Azure AD and Replication

By Michael Clegg, COO Morro Data

In our latest release, 3.0, we have added two new capabilities, Azure Active Directory (AD) and Replicate Shares, to enable CloudNAS customers to take advantage of industry developments to significantly lower their cost of providing global file services to their users.  

First, we are introducing support for Azure AD  which is used for Office 365 user authentication. Many businesses use Microsoft Exchange and Windows Server products and we have supported local AD for some time. Now more businesses have migrated their Microsoft installation to Office 365.   Our customers have asked us for Azure AD support to enable them to use a common Identity Management system for their O365 installation as well as their CloudNAS file services, and we have responded. With Morro Data Azure AD, admins can manage share permissions with their users Microsoft work identities, enhancing security and simplifying user maintenance.  

A common question we see is “If I have O365 with SharePoint, why do I still need a File Server?”.  SharePoint is an excellent collaboration tool especially for Office documents, however, it is not a general-purpose file server and has many limitations including the number of files and file sizes supported, does not have a share drive interface, and lacks file locks. Once you exceed the initial allocated storage, as low as 1TB, additional SharePoint storage cost is a horrendous $100/TB/month. A general-purpose file server is still required for many applications and file types, including Engineering CAD, BioTech, Software Development, Backups, and Archive.   

What people do appreciate about SharePoint compared to the on-premises Windows File Server or NAS is the cloud benefits including a simple Web interface, multiple office file sync, cloud security and scalability, and share links. These are also all the benefits of CloudNAS 3-in-1, which also gives real-time sync and file locks for non-Microsoft applications, unlimited storage space, large file compatibility, and a Share Drive interface people are used to. With CloudNAS you get all the File Server capabilities and more, plus all the cloud benefits. 

Microsoft has itself recognized this and introduced Azure Files and Azure File Sync. Compared to Azure Files, CloudNAS is simpler, better and cheaper. With a simple web portal and appliance format, no advanced Windows Admin expertise is required. CloudNAS supports real-time file sync and locking, which Azure File does not.  Starting at just $19/TB/month, CloudNAS is 1/3rd the cost of Azure File Sync for storage. All available with zero data transfer fees versus Azure files $50/TB and up. 

With CloudNAS Azure AD support, Microsoft AD users can now completely replace or supplement traditional on-premises file servers or NAS devices with a low cost, high-performance CloudNAS 3-in-1 Global File Services solution that seamlessly integrates into their existing Azure AD user management environment. 

Also Included in our 3.0 Release is support for Replicate shares. From the outset, Morro Data CloudNAS has supported real-time, bi-directional many-to-many sync across multiple endpoints and Cloud Storage. For many application, Sync is an unnecessary overhead or even undesirable. With the introduction of Replicate, which is unidirectional and one-to-many, files can be transferred with low overhead and higher speed.  

Replicate is ideal for creating a secondary site backup and moving files into object store, e.g. as a backup target. Replicate shares are also a  very effective way to perform low-cost file transfer or file distribution to one or more locations. Utilizing our no egress fee Wasabi storage pool option, there are no data transfer fees, the only cost is the monthly service fee and storage cost incurred. Compared to traditional File Transfer Services that can charge hundreds of dollars per TB, this is highly disruptive. Take advantage now. 

Keep a watch for our follow up tech blogs that gives more details on Azure AD and Replicate. 


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