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Panasas ActiveStor is a high-performance scale-out NAS platform that drives industry and research innovation by accelerating workflows while simplifying data management. Based on an advanced bladed architecture, ActiveStor is a fully integrated clustered appliance solution that incorporates flash and SATA storage nodes with Intel® compute, a distributed file system, and client protocols.

All ActiveStor appliances combine high-density flash drives and high-capacity HGST® helium-based hard drives for superior unstructured sequential file and mixed-workload performance with rapid access to large and small files alike. To leverage these components, Panasas engineered the patented PanFS® clustered storage operating system and the DirectFlow® parallel data access protocol to deliver high performance and reliability from a scale-out NAS appliance that is as easy to manage and grow as it is fast to deploy.

ActiveStor 20 ActiveStor 18 ActiveStor 16
Capacity per ActiveStor platform appliance 82.4 or 208TB
  • SSD: 2.4 or 8TB1
  • HDD: 80 or 200TB1
82.4 or 164.8TB
  • SSD: 2.4 or 4.8TB1
  • HDD: 80 or 160TB1
82.4 or 122.4TB
  • SSD: 2.4TB1
  • HDD: 80 or 120TB1
Max. PanFS namespace capacity 45PB2 21.42PB2 12.24PB3
Performance per ActiveStor platform appliance4 1,800 MB/s read
1,600 MB/s write
1,700 MB/s read
1,600 MB/s write
1,500 MB/s read
1,600 MB/s write
Max. PanFS namespace throughput 360GB/s2 200GB/s2 150GB/s3
IOPS per ActiveStor platform appliance5 14,150 14,150 13,550
Max. PanFS namespace IOPS5 >2,600,000 IOPS2 >1,830,000 IOPS2 >1,300,000 IOPS3

1 Based on a 1+10 configuration of 10 storage nodes per ActiveStor
2 No enforced limits. Max tested configuration: 130 shelves
3 No enforced limits. Max tested configuration: 100 shelves
4 Performance based on aggregate load of 3 compute clients per ActiveStor
5 4KB file, random read test


ActiveStor eliminates the scalability and performance bottlenecks associated with legacy NAS architectures. Simply scale out the number of blade enclosures to non-disruptively increase the capacity and performance of the global file system as storage requirements grow. Parallel data access and automated load balancing ensure that performance is optimized and hot-spots are eliminated. This makes it easy to linearly scale capacity to over 45 petabytes and performance to a staggering 360GB/s or 2.6M IOPS.


At the core of every ActiveStor solution is an intelligent per-file distributed RAID architecture implemented with erasure codes in software instead of traditional hardware RAID controllers. Data is safeguarded by RAID 6+ with triple parity protection for superior enterprise-class reliability and availability without compromising performance. By optimizing data placement, data reliability on ActiveStor actually increases with scale, rather than decreasing as would normally be expected with traditional storage systems.


A single point of management for a single, scalable file system allows storage administrators to focus on managing data instead of their storage systems. Capacity and performance planning, mount point management, and data load balancing across multiple pools of storage are all common administration problems that are easily solved with Panasas storage. ActiveStor easily integrates into growing heterogeneous IT environments through enterprise-grade multi-protocol support for Linux, Apple Mac, and Microsoft Windows clients.


ActiveStor appliances provide exceptional performance at an attractive price point and outstanding total-cost-of-ownership. With ActiveStor customers experience excellent investment protection, increased storage utilization rates, and simplified management.

Scale-Out NAS Architecture Integrated SSD/SATA tier: high-speed SSD drives for faster access to metadata and small files combined with cost-effective, high capacity SATA drives to provide the best price/performance.
Optimized Price/Performance Integrated SSD/SATA tier: high-speed SSD drives for faster access to metadata and small files combined with cost-effective, high capacity SATA drives to provide the best price/performance.
Fully Integrated Parallel File System Panasas PanFS delivers a parallel file system with a single, scalable namespace. PanFS offers a fully journaled, fully distributed, and globally coherent read/write cache and stores files as smart data objects, dynamically distributing and load balancing data transfer operations across the blade architecture.
Scalability Scales to more than 45 petabytes and up to 360GB/s or 2.6M IOPS of aggregate performance, accessed by thousands of concurrent users. Throughput and IOPS scale linearly with capacity. Automated load-balancing ensures optimal performance and eliminates hot spots.
High Availability No single points of failure. Self-healing design protects against failures throughout the system, including disk, storage blade, director blade, and power failures. Redundant networking data paths with automatic failover.
Advanced Data Protection and Reliability Intelligent per-file RAID optimizes reliability, based on file size and performance requirements. Data is safeguarded by sophisticated dual parity algorithms, based on separate horizontal (blade) and vertical (disk) parity protection. With ActiveStor, only damaged objects are rebuilt, not entire drives, minimizing rebuild times. More importantly, RAID constructions are performed in parallel to rapidly restore data protection in case of blade failure. This means that, unlike traditional storage systems, ActiveStor rebuilds get faster as the system grows.
Simplified Management Single point of management via GUI or CLI. Enterprise management features include snapshots and user & group quotas. System sets up in under ten minutes. System scaling is performed without downtime.
Protocol Support Panasas® DirectFlow®; NFS v3 (UDP or TCP); SMB 1.0, 2.0, 2.1 (CIFS); NDMP; SNMP; LDAP; ADS
Client Support Linux®, Microsoft Windows®, Apple® Mac®