Panasas File System is an advanced hybrid scale-out parallel file system that scales linearly to maximize aggregate throughput which makes it an ideal choice in technical computing environments. These systems are easily expanded by their modular approach using storage shelves called ActiveStor.
Panasas ActiveStor shelves consist of director and storage blades. Director blades control file system activity outside of the data path, and also virtualizes data objects across storage blades while providing a global namespace along with unified management capabilities. Storage blades use SSDs to deliver maximum metadata performance and large capacity HDDs to store user and application data as objects to ensure optimal performance and reliability.
The PanFS file system developed by Panasas allows a pNFS server to be layered on top of PanFS without a protocol gateway which eliminates traditional NAS bottlenecks Panasas supports multiple protocols (Panasas DirectFlow, NFS, and CIFS) which increases the flexibility of the solution.
Panasas File System high parallel performance scales linearly with capacity, without the manageability and reliability compromises that often occur at scale. ActiveStor is a next-generation storage appliance that delivers the high performance benefits of flash technology with the cost effectiveness of enterprise SATA disk drives.
ActiveStor is specifically designed to accelerate innovation and discovery in technical research and enterprise environments including the energy, finance, government, life sciences, manufacturing, media, and university research sectors. Exceptionally high aggregate performance results in faster time-to-results and more efficient workflows resulting in greater productivity and profitability.
Large volumes of unstructured data are increasingly used to drive innovation and discovery. Data sets to be processed and analyzed continue to grow rapidly presenting challenges to IT staff. Failure to cost-effectively address these challenges inhibits innovation and discovery — and ultimately bottom-line financial results.
For these reasons, NAS products for technical enterprise and research environments must deliver fast time to results and efficiently and linearly scale to extremely high levels of aggregate performance. While performance is critical, performance that comes at the expense of manageability can hamper workflows and impact productivity.
Some scalable NAS products use clustering to improve manageability, but cluster overhead and serial file processing in the data path can bottleneck performance. Finally, reliability and availability are critical to workflows as hard drive failures occur directly in proportion to the number of hard drives in the system. As such, the benefits of greater capacity and performance at scale can be negated by lower data availability.
It is critical to select storage that addresses all three needs without compromise — fast performance, ease of management, and high reliability — all in a single scale-out NAS solution.