Avere Systems Speeds Up Tiered NAS Appliances

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Avere System’s FXT Series of data tiering appliances are getting an upgrade. The company’s soon-to-be released Avere OS 1.4 will include bi-modal CIFS ACL support, parallel file access and an increased number of back-end connections to heterogeneous NAS filers.

The FXT appliances accelerate the performance of legacy NAS filers by introducing layers of “tiered NAS” consisting of DRAM, NVRAM, 15,000rpm SAS drives, SATA drives and solid state disk (SSD) drives. The Avere OS is the brains behind the FXT Series and provides dynamic tiering that automatically places data across storage tiers.

Inactive or infrequently accessed data is stored on the NAS file server’s storage devices, typically SATA drives. As such, performance and capacity can be scaled independently. In addition to access frequency, data is placed on optimal tiers based on the I/O workload type.

Today’s announced software improvements include support for up to 24 mass storage systems, bi-modal CIFS ACL support and parallel file access.

The latest Avere OS release includes support for 24 heterogeneous NAS filers, allowing users to drop a single Avere cluster in front of a large group of disparate filers to accelerate or handle performance hot spots.

The Avere OS provides NFSv3 and CIFS file access interfaces to support applications running on Linux, UNIX, Windows and Mac servers and clients. With version 1.4, CIFS users can choose how access control lists (ACLs) are implemented (either via standard CIFS ACLs or by mapping CIFS ACLs onto NFSv4).

Avere has also improved its tiering algorithms to allow parallel file access by implementing the ability to stripe and replicate files across nodes within a cluster in high demand, high bandwidth scenarios.

Avere maintains that its appliance-based approach to storage tiering is faster and less expensive than alternative products from competing NAS vendors. “Even though they call it ‘automated,’ tiering, technologies from other vendors require policies that are created manually. Our systems figure it out by themselves,” said Rebecca Thompson, vice president of marketing, Avere Systems. “Computers are a lot faster at figuring out the differences between data at that scale than human beings will ever be.”

Thompson added that Avere’s tiering is done in real time and works in heterogeneous storage environments. “Also, with some other systems, the user has to over-provision a lot of storage on expensive tiers and they typically only work in homogeneous environments,” she said.

The new Avere OS will be available in mid-November as a software download.

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Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.

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