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Network Protocols

Flexible, Multiple Protocol Access

The PanFS storage operating system delivers great flexibility in its support for multiple protocol access, suitable for a diversity of customers, applications and types of users:

The PanFS storage operating system offers three protocols that can be used simultaneously:

  • DirectFlow: high-performance, parallel protocol access for Linux clients
  • NFS v3: for Linux and Unix clients
  • SMB: for Microsoft Windows clients


Panasas storage delivers scalable aggregate performance with all three protocols, however DirectFlow deserves special attention, as it is ideal for the high performance Linux clusters commonly found in technical computing environments. DirectFlow eliminates I/O bottlenecks by allowing cluster nodes to access Panasas storage directly and in parallel. By leveraging a per-file RAID architecture, compute clients calculate RAID parity in parallel, without the performance limitations of hardware RAID controllers. Files are then written as objects directly to Panasas storage blades without having to first funnel the I/O through a file server. Similarly, clients read files by fetching objects directly from the Storage Blades containing those objects. As a result of this parallel access, DirectFlow provides unmatched performance for Linux clusters of all sizes.

Panasas Multi-Protocol Access


PanFS also supports scalable performance for compute clients that require standard NFS or SMB protocol access. No matter what protocols are employed, Panasas storage seamlessly integrates into existing infrastructure to accelerate return on investment and delivers an unprecedented level of flexibility to optimize the utilization of the storage system.

Enterprise-grade SMB (sometimes also called CIFS) enables users to easily manage files from Microsoft Windows environments – minimizing user and group authentication issues. More information on SMB features and benefits in PanFS are listed below:

Feature Description
Enterprise-grade Microsoft Windows Support
  • Commercially licensed SMB protocol
    • SMB 1.0, 2.0, 2.1
  • Comprehensive Windows client support
    • Windows Server 2003, 2008 (including RC2)
    • Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Improved integration into heterogeneous IT environments
    • High-fidelity Access Control List (ACL) support (including inheritance)
    • Active Directory enhancements: trusted domain support
  • Simplified manageability
    • Single computer account/single domain join

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