Panasas Debuts New Products as It Emphasizes Storage Software in Business Shift

Panasas commenced off specializing in storage hardware, but more than 20 years on, the enterprise is inserting a huge guess on its software package stack to satisfy storage demands for substantial-effectiveness applications.

The corporation on Wednesday introduced new storage items called ActiveStor Ultra XL and ActiveStor Flash for high-performance computing and synthetic intelligence purposes. The products and solutions are crafted on the company’s PanFS file process, which orchestrates details motion in large clusters deployed in excess of a community.

The ActiveStor Extremely XL storage item has up to 5.76 petabytes of storage in a solitary 42U rack, while the all-flash ActiveStor Flash with NVMe (shown in the header) supports up to 368.64TB of SATA SSDs and 30.72TB of NVMe SSDs in a 4U rackmount chassis.

The PanFS file process talks with storage parts above a community to tackle massive facts sets. The file program, designed on major of Linux, has components that incorporate the DirectFlow consumer software, which is a loadable file procedure driver that lives on the compute node or a client’s laptop a director application stack, which operates on director appliances to cope with metadata management and also keeps the technique nutritious by monitoring the storage cluster and cache coherency. A vital PanFS component orchestrates info and file movement at all nodes in the storage hierarchy.

“I know what storage nodes hold what items of that file, goes out to chat to them in parallel, delivers all the pieces back again and then hands them to the software as if it was just an NFS ask for, but it’s not,” said Curtis Anderson, program architect at Panasas.

The PanFS file technique can run below Kubernetes, Anderson mentioned, incorporating “we give a POSIX file process namespace that is, in complex conditions, cache coherent across all the customers.”

In POSIX file units, an software sees both the prior info or facts that was prepared. “We have the exact semantics, apart from across nodes,” Anderson stated.

The new storage merchandise are the very first introductions to the company’s portfolio in additional than 20 years. Until now the firm offered 1 merchandise, ActiveStor Ultra, which has witnessed a lot of iterations.

“Prior to 2018 we were a programs business, just after 2018 we are a application business,” Anderson explained.

The enterprise beforehand designed its individual components as commodity areas weren’t accessible. But with storage now a commodity, the business anticipates to ship its application stack on other OEM platforms as higher-effectiveness computing computer systems normally want to get the compute nodes, networking and storage from one particular vendor.

“When the purchaser would like to purchase PanFS, they will invest in our software package pre-bundled with Supermicro hardware. That is the system we’re now doing work with. We’re setting up on growing to other platforms,” Anderson mentioned.

To make PanFS viable for commodity hardware, the corporation rewrote the application stack, which now runs on leading of Linux soon after a port from FreeBSD.

“That was the major exertion of having commodity hardware — reorganizing all of that software program stack into Linux,” Anderson said.

A technological know-how named dynamic info acceleration, which uses knowledge dimensions to make a details placement determination, was created though shifting the storage stack to Linux. That is in comparison to a common flash-and difficult-generate storage stack in which “hot” facts moves up to a quicker storage tier and moves down when it cools off.

Supply: Panasas

“The insight in this article is that hard drives are good at providing overall performance if they do a request and then a truly large transfer. They’re terrible if they do a seek out and little transfer. The important is to only put pretty significant matters on a difficult generate. We have to set them somewhere so we put them on capacity flash. We segregate the metadata out so we know in which anything lives, the [index nodes] and directories all that, [and] put that on to the reduced-latency NVMe flash. We can provide about twice the general performance for each tricky travel in contrast to our competitors since we’re performing this magic within the storage stack,” Anderson claimed.

Mark Nossokoff, investigate director and guide storage analyst at Hyperion Research, commented on the Panasas goods and new instructions. “The newest additions to the Panasas product or service relatives are addressing a blend of complicated storage necessities ensuing from the convergence of regular compute-intensive HPC modeling and simulation workloads with AI-driven data-intense workloads,” Nossokoff explained to HPCwire.

“By enhancing PanFS and providing it on standard components platforms … Panasas is aiming to present a one storage remedy capable of fulfilling the expected equilibrium of cost, performance, and feature wants regardless of the employment becoming operate.”

The pricing for ActiveStor Ultra XL and ActiveStor Flash differs dependent on the shopper, the firm stated.