Tag Archives: Panasas

Panasas intros faster, customizable storage solutions for M&E

Panasas has introduced three new products that target those working in the media and entertainment world, a world that requires fast and customizable workflows that offer a path for growth.

Panasas’s ActiveStor is now capable of scaling capacity to 57PB and offering 360GB/s of bandwidth. According to the company, this system doubles metadata performance to cut data access time in half, scales performance and capacity independently and seamlessly adapts to new technology advancements.

The new ActiveStor Director 100 (ASD-100) control-plane engine and the new ActiveStor Hybrid 100 (ASH-100) configurable plug-and-play storage system allows users to design storage systems that meet their exact specifications and workflow requirements, as well as grow the system if needed.

For the first time, Panasas is offering a disaggregated Director Blade  — ASD-100, the brain of the Panasas storage system — to provide flexibility. Customers can now add any number of ASD-100s to drive exactly the level of metadata performance they need. With double the raw CPU power and RAM capacity of previous Director Blades, the ASD-100 offers double the metadata performance on metadata-intensive workloads.

Based on industry-standard hardware, the ASD-100 manages metadata and the global namespace; it also acts as a gateway for standard data-access protocols such as NFS and SMB. The ASD-100 uses non-volatile dual in-line memory modules (NVDIMMs) to store metadata transaction logs, and Panasas is contributing its NVDIMM driver to the FreeBSD community.

The ASH-100 and ASD-100 rack

The ASH-100 hardware platform offers the high-capacity HDD (12TB) and SSD (1.9TB) in a parallel hybrid storage system. A broad range of HDD and SSD capacities can be paired as needed to meet specific workflow needs. The ASH-100 can be configured with ASD-100s or can be delivered with integrated traditional ActiveStor Director Blades (DBs), depending on user requirements.

The latest version of this plug-and-play parallel file system features an updated FreeBSD operating foundation and a GUI that supports asynchronous “push” notification of system changes without user interaction.

Panasas’ updated DirectFlow parallel data access protocol offers a 15 percent improvement in throughput thanks to enhancements to memory allocation and readahead. All ActiveStor models will benefit from this performance increase after upgrading to the new release of PanFS.

Using ASD-100, the ASH-100, an updated PanFS 7.0 parallel file system and enhancements to the DirectFlow parallel data-access protocol has these advantages:
Performance – Users can scale metadata performance, data bandwidth, and data capacity independently for faster time-to-results.
Flexibility – The ability to mix and match HDD and SSD configurations under a single global namespace enables users to best match the system performance to their workload requirements.
Productivity – The new ActiveStor solution doubles productivity by cutting data access time in half, regardless of the number of users.
Investment Protection – The solution is backward and forward compatible with the ActiveStor product portfolio.

The ASH-100 is shipping now. The ASD-100 and PanFS 7.0 will be available in Q1 2018.

Panasas intros hybrid scale-out NAS ActiveStor 20

Storage company Panasas has introduced ActiveStor 20, the company’s latest generation hybrid scale-out NAS appliance.  According to Panasas, it features a 65 percent increase in flash and a 25 percent increase in hard drive capacity. High-density flash drives and 10TB HGST Ultrastar He10 helium-based hard drives offer unstructured sequential file and mixed-workload performance with rapid access to both large and small files.

ActiveStor 20 features include up to 208TB (Based on a 1+10 configuration of 10 storage nodes per ActiveStor) capacity per ActiveStor; up to 45PB (No enforced limits. Tested configuration: 130 shelves) max. PanFS namespace capacity; DirectFlow, NFS and SMB protocol support; multiprotocol support for Linux, Mac and Microsoft Windows clients; PanFS 6.1 data availability and management features, including software-based RAID 6+, snapshots, user and group quotas and SiteSync data replication.

“Technical advances in visual effects, virtual reality, 4K and higher resolutions have fundamentally changed the process of creating high-quality entertainment,” explains David Sallak, VP, products and solutions at Panasas. “At NAB 2016, Panasas announced a preview of DirectFlow for Mac — our first M&E-focused enhancement for creative workgroups, unique to the scale-out NAS market of storage products. Building on this media-optimized solution, Panasas has introduced ActiveStor 20. We believe that deploying scalable storage that’s transparent to creative teams and optimized for Mac and Linux while supporting Windows, delivers a compelling experience for media companies seeking to release the full potential of artists, editors and producers to gain competitive advantage in a crowded media and entertainment landscape.”

ActiveStor 20 production systems will ship this month (August).

Panasas intros DirectFlow for Mac

Storage company Panasas has unveiled DirectFlow for Mac, bringing the performance benefits of parallel I/O over Ethernet to the Mac platform and Apple OS X operating system. Until now, DirectFlow has only been available for Linux. DirectFlow is the parallel data access protocol designed by Panasas and offered as part of the integrated ActiveStor storage solution that incorporates the PanFS file system, as well as NFS and SMB protocols.

DirectFlow allows clients to access Panasas storage directly and in parallel, resulting in higher performance than what can be achieved with industry standard protocols, including NFS and SMB. DirectFlow for Mac allows production teams to ingest, process and deliver video in higher resolution, as well as consolidate their workflows under a single global namespace, all while working alongside DirectFlow for Linux users and other platforms using traditional file protocols. Users also have access to the latest Panasas data-protection techniques based on modern erasure-coding methods.

“When you double the performance of client applications accessing scale-out NAS, you double the productivity of all users,” says David Sallak, VP of products and solutions at Panasas. “This leads to higher quality outcomes because you have more time to perfect the product you are creating, while also reducing the cost of getting the job done.”

New hybrid scale-out NAS storage from Panasas targets M&E

Panasas has introduced the latest generation of its hybrid scale-out NAS appliance, ActiveStor. ActiveStor 18 offers linear scalability of more than 20PB and 200GB/s and increased CPU power with twice the storage cache capacity to further accelerate mixed workload performance. The system comes in 4TB and 8TB hard drive configurations.

The ActiveStor platform is designed for high-performance workflows in energy, government, life sciences, university environments, manufacturing and, most recently, media and entertainment. According to Panasas, as companies in M&E moved to higher resolutions and shared storage, this put them in a position to service this market. Current Panasas users include LA’s Asylum Entertainment and Chainsaw Edit.

AS18 Storage blade image_LR_FINAL_2015-07-09

The ActiveStor scale-out architecture incorporates hybrid storage hardware, file system and protocols with a combination of high-capacity hard drives and fast flash devices to accommodate mixed workloads and provide fast access to both small and large files.

Key features of ActiveStor 18 include:
– Linear scalability of capacity and performance
– Field proven at more than 20PB and 200GB/s in a single global namespace with 130 shelves, 2,600 HDDs, 1,300 SSDs
– 33 percent increase in density
– Up to 1.8PB per rack (or 181.2TB per 4U enclosure), leveraging 8TB drive technology
– Flash capacity optimized for RAID 6+ triple parity data protection
– Up to 20 percent faster mixed workload, metadata and small file performance
– 2x more storage cache — up to 2.7TB per rack (or 272GB per 4U enclosure)
– 19 percent faster CPU
– PanFS storage operating system
– A comprehensive single global namespace solution for simplified storage management
– Multiple protocol support
– Panasas DirectFlow protocol as well as NFS and SMB protocols
– RAID 6+ Triple-Parity Protection
– Per-file distributed software based on erasure codes provides a 150-fold increase in reliability over dual-parity approaches and allows reliability to increase with scale

Panasas ActiveStor 18 production systems can be ordered now but are expected to ship this September.