• 15 Nov 2023
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    Article Summary

    How Does Wasabi Cloud NAS (WCN) Work?

    As soon as you install and activate WCN on the computer, you can create as many pairs consisting of a source and a bucket storage system as you wish. While in most cases users and applications work directly on the source location, the virtual storage unity displays the contents of both the source and the bucket, as if it is stored locally. By applying one or more of the following data management mechanisms, WCN distributes data among the two layers of the virtual unity:

    Data Replication — WCN copies a file from the source to the bucket. Automatic replication is performed based on user-defined criteria. You can also manually replicate a file or a whole folder from the source to the bucket, using the WCN shell extension. While Data Replication is indispensable for all other data management mechanisms, it can also be used standalone for addressing the simplest scenarios, such as data backup and disaster recovery. To learn more, refer to Configuring Automatic Data Replication.

    Space Reclaiming — WCN frees space on the source by replacing a replicated file with a nearline file. A nearline file is a stub file, which looks exactly like the actual file it replaces, but does not contain any data and does not take up space on your source. A nearline file points to the actual file on the bucket, which allows its retrieval back on the source. The retrieval from the bucket is automatic if a user, an application, or a process attempts to access the nearline file. Or, the retrieval can be manual through WCN. Automatic Space Reclaiming is performed based on user-defined criteria. You can also perform manual Space Reclaiming, using the WCN shell extension. The most common scenario with Space Reclaiming is the alignment of data with storage costs. To learn more, refer to Configuring Space Reclaiming.

    With a NAS source, nearline files are located in the control folder and not on the network share. Still, retrieving a nearline file in the control folder will retrieve it directly on the NAS source. To learn more about Space Reclaiming on NAS sources, refer to NAS Source Prerequisites and Setup.

    Active Sync — The contents of multiple sources are automatically synchronized, each on a different computer running WCN through a common bucket. Designed to facilitate geo-replication scenarios, this mechanism allows you to select whether to synchronize the contents across all sources paired with the same bucket or set some sources to update their contents with updates from other sources. To learn more, refer to Configuring Active Sync.

    Data Synchronization — WCN allows you to manually synchronize the contents of a bucket with its source. In case WCN detects that a file on the bucket is not available on the source, the synchronization mechanism automatically creates a nearline counterpart for the missing file. Manual Data Synchronization facilitates scenarios involving data migration from one source to another and disaster recovery of data. For more information, refer to Synchronizing Data on the Source and the Bucket.

    In combination with additional configuration parameters, WCN can be deployed for any of the following purposes:

    • Data backup and disaster recovery
    • Alignment of data with storage costs
    • Extending local storage or a file server’s storage capacity to Wasabi
    • Interfacing object storage
    • Geo replication

    Data Protection

    While WCN gains programmatic access to your data at the source location and the bucket location, it takes care to prevent unauthorized access to it both when at rest and in transit.

    To gain access to any WCN functions, you need to authenticate yourself as the administrator of the computer on which WCN runs. For more information, refer to Wasabi Cloud NAS Interfaces.

    • The WCN workflow supports applying any Windows techniques for controlling access to and protecting data at rest at the source level.
    • WCN does not require maximum privileges of the credentials used for access to the bucket and adopts the bucket’s own mechanisms for ensuring credentials protection is not compromised.
    • The credentials for access to the bucket are stored in the registry of the computer running WCN and are encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard with Wasabi’s 256-bit key.
    • Data in transit to cloud buckets is protected, allowing users to benefit from secure transfer (SSL/TLS) and also relying on the bucket provider's mechanism for protecting data in transit.
    Wasabi encourages you to use any applicable best practices for data protection specified by Microsoft Windows and by Wasabi.