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Panasas ActiveStor 16: The Director Blade

The Director Blade in the Panasas ActiveStor 16 Scale-Out NAS performs a combination of tasks.

The most important thing the ActiveStor 16 director blade does is serving up metadata for the whole file system. Metadata is the information about files--where they reside, who owns them, what their sizes are, and other similar characteristics. When you have hundreds of millions, maybe even billions of files, being able to transact metadata quickly is one of the most important tasks of the file system.

In the video above you can view the director blade. The Hybrid Scale-out NAS director blade from Panasas has the capability to scale director performance and metadata performance just by scaling the number of director blades in the system.

Director Blades also perform the function of being the pathway into the file systems for standard legacy protocols. One of the many advantages native to the Panasas ActiveStor 16 is the Panasas Direct flow protocol where the system facilitates direct access between the computer clients and the storage. The beauty of Direct Flow lies in the lack of a filter head being required to speak to the storage. With Panasas, the user simply asks the director blade for a particular part of the file system, and which storage blade the user should talk to and everything else happens directly. In a situation where the user wants to talk to legacy storage protocols like CIFS, for example, for Windows or if the user wants to speak NFSP3 for UNIX access, then a gateway is required to access the storage. By scaling the number of director blades, you have the ability to scale the amount of legacy protocol performance. For protocol performance reasons and for meditative scaling, that's the function of the Panasas ActiveStor 16 Hybrid Scale-out NAS director blade.

Hybrid Scale-Out NAS
ActiveStor 16
Director Blade

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