Scale-out NAS vendors like to brag about what they’ve done inside their storage architecture to distribute data evenly and allow the performance of their systems to scale as additional storage nodes are added. And at Panasas, we’re no exception.
However, while linear performance scaling inside a storage architecture is indeed critically important, that is only one half of the picture. With many scale-out NAS systems, system administrators frequently run into a serious challenge – how to evenly balance their compute clients across the storage system.
In late February, Red Hat announced the release of Enterprise Linux 6.4 with pNFS support. This validates the pNFS standard that Panasas and its founder and chief scientist, Dr. Garth Gibson, have long been championing. While the announcement did not receive much fanfare in the press, Red Hat adoption of pNFS is a key advance for the pNFS standard which until now has lacked a mainstream commercial release vehicle.
Panasas founder and chief scientist, Dr. Garth Gibson, and Steve Conway, research vice president in IDC's high performance computing group took some time recently to discuss HPC trends and forces affecting storage in the HPC market. The role that pNFS will play in HPC storage is discussed in this first of three video chapters. The role for solid state technology in HPC installations and big data will both be explored in upcoming installments.
2011 was a year of investing and building for Panasas as we prepared for continued success in the coming year. I want to take the time, before the year winds down to thank our employees, our partners, and most importantly our customers for a great 2011 and in so doing, I would like to remind all of us of some of our 2011 highlights:
In 2008 the first computer broke the petascale barrier, allowing a supercomputer to exceed 1015 operations per second. The Panasas parallel file system was instrumental in accomplishing this major milestone, achieving extreme performance for big data sets.
Any of us who have been around the storage industry for a long time knows that standards adoption happens at what sometimes feels like a snail’s pace. It takes the vision and dedication of people like Garth Gibson, Panasas founder and CTO, to bring momentous change to the industry by pushing the boundaries of technology.
It all started more than ten years ago when Panasas founder and CTO, Garth Gibson, realized that there was a strong emerging need for something faster than NFS to satisfy the growing I/O performance requirements of HPC Linux clusters. In 2004, Panasas started shipping its first ActiveStor™ scale-out NAS solution running the PanFS™ storage operating system.
A clear sign that parallel computing is starting to go mainstream is that the general press starts to cover the topic. Recently The Economist ran an article on the need for parallelism for applications that run in multi-core environments – http://www.economist.com/node/18750706