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Private Cloud Storage for Technical Workloads

Geoffrey Noer

VP of Product Management

Whether you choose to call it a private cloud or not, storage consolidation is certainly not a new concept as it’s been a top objective of Enterprise IT organizations for many years. However, until recently, the full benefits of consolidation have been elusive for technical workflows, as no one type of storage could satisfy all three of the most common use cases:

  • Scratch space: dedicated storage for Linux cluster access. Very high aggregate performance and storage capacity requirements, with reliability and availability secondary to performance as the files tend to be temporary in nature. Access is primarily batch-mode (not interactive).
  • Home directories: user-specific files accessed from computers running Linux or Windows. High reliability and availability are mandatory. Data sets are more heavily skewed towards small files. Interactive performance is very important, whereas aggregate throughput requirements are somewhat more modest than scratch.
  • Project storage: primary storage for large data sets, often accessed by Linux clusters but also by engineers/researchers from their workstations running Linux or Windows. High reliability and availability are mandatory. Interactive and batch aggregate performance can be equally important. Of these three use cases, scalability is arguably more important for project storage because data is rarely deleted and more capacity is required as new projects are added.

ActiveStor® hybrid scale-out NAS systems running the PanFS® 5.5 storage operating system can make a huge difference for customers considering consolidation of their technical workflows onto a single, scale-out NAS solution. Both home directories and project storage typically require multi-protocol support so that users can access data from Linux and Windows computers. While Panasas has always been strong at data access for Linux systems, PanFS 5.5 adds true enterprise grade Windows support—taking IT interoperability to a new level.

Another important factor is that as a hybrid system, ActiveStor uses flash to accelerate metadata and small file performance. This means that simultaneous access of mixed workloads and multiple types of data sets are handled with grace.

Panasas is dedicated to making its hybrid scale-out NAS solution the premier “no compromises” choice for technical deployments in enterprise and research—delivering screaming performance, plug and play simplicity, and high reliability and availability. Without question, PanFS 5.5 is a big step forward but we have a lot more planned for an even brighter future. Be sure to visit us again for the latest!