Panasas® PanFS® advanced data protection delivers superior reliability and availability compared with traditional RAID data storage offering 150 times the reliability of dual-parity approaches. Yet it creates no significant degradation in performance, making it suitable for critical applications.
The PanFS platform offers an advanced per-file, distributed software implementation with two levels of data protection.
The first level applies dual-parity erasure-coded protection to files distributed across storage nodes. This feature corrects up to two simultaneous failures and rebuilds data blocks on failed nodes from other nodes, eliminating a time-consuming full restore from archived backups.
The second protection level handles failures on a portion of a drive, such as sector failures. This feature is useful when only a range of blocks within a drive is inaccessible. The system enables faster recovery by detecting and correcting sector-level errors and other low-level issues without performing a full node-level rebuild.
When a drive fails, traditional storage products pull an idle drive from a hot spare pool and fill it with data from the failed drive. Instead, the PanFS operating environment uses distributed, per-file horizontal and vertical data parity protection to enhance storage reliability.
By organizing storage nodes into groups called blade sets, the PanFS platform creates a set of storage nodes that function as a failure domain for data protection. Parallel reconstruction allows the PanFS solution to restore a failed drive in minutes.
The PanFS operating environment performs background scrubbing of all files. It checks each file to ensure that all levels of data protection information match the data in that file. If the software detects inconsistent erasure-code parity information, for example, it corrects the error with file-level reconstruction using the other two levels of protection.
The vertical parity layer at the bottom of the data protection system can detect and correct latent “bit rot” errors in the drive media. Data scrubbing helps catch latent failures early so you can fix them before data is lost.
The PanFS platform provides extended file system availability (EFSA), an additional layer of data protection for the namespace, directory hierarchy, and file names.
In the extremely unlikely event of errors that the erasure-coding feature cannot recover, such as the simultaneous failure of three or more storage nodes, the PanFS solution identifies and segregates the affected files.
EFSA provides users with uninterrupted access to all files unaffected by the failure and logs the affected files for restoration.