Panasas Pushes Scale-Out Storage Performance Envelope

Scale-out storage specialist Panasas is pushing the performance envelope with a new addition to its parallel storage system family. The company today announced it is now shipping the Panasas ActiveStor 12 (PAS 12), offering more than double the performance over previous PAS systems, raising the bar from 600MBps to 1.5GBps per chassis.

The fourth model in the PAS family, the PAS 12 features the Panasas PanFS parallel file system, 64-bit multi-core processing and integrated 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) connectivity. It also touts aggregate system performance of up to 150GBps.

Each PAS 12 chassis houses 40TB of RAID protected storage, expandable to 4PB of capacity per system. Performance and capacity scale the non-disruptive addition of individual blades, chassis or entire racks. A global namespace presents a single pool of virtualized storage, and any number of chassis can be networked to create large, high performance storage pools.

Panasas includes RAID data protection as a component of its parallel file system, eliminating the need for third-party RAID controllers, and side-stepping performance bottlenecks and single points of failure. The company’s Scalable Panasas Object RAID technology enables system-managed parallel rebuilds that mitigate the risk of successive drive failures and provides fast rebuild times, which actually decrease as the size of the storage pool increases, according to the company.

The PAS12 is available in modular configurations starting at 40TB of storage and 1.5GBps performance for $110,000.

Panasas’ chief marketing officer, Barbara Murphy, said the company’s Board is making changes to transition Panasas from a “science project” to more of a traditional business model.

“Until recently, we have been a high performance computing company on the lunatic fringe of storage. Our new CEO, Faye Pairman, is part of a concerted effort to bring us into the commercial space,” said Murphy.

In related news, Panasas extended the PAS platform to include high capacity archiving earlier this year when the company debuted the PAS HC, a scale-out NAS system that interoperates with the PAS 7, 8 and 9 families of NAS products.

The PAS HC touts nearly 1PB (960TB per rack) of raw storage capacity, and can scale a storage pool into the multi-petabyte range under a single global namespace. It runs Panasas’ 64-bit operating system architecture and 64Gbps Fibre Channel back end. The system is said to deliver more than 5GBps throughput per rack, with initial customer implementations expected to exceed 160GBps per system.

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

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