Panasas Gets Funding, New Focus

Hoping to find new markets for its high-performance parallel storage technology, Panasas is moving into the secondary storage market, and it has added $24 million in new funding to aid in that effort.

Panasas, which launched with great fanfare five years ago and whose technology forms the basis of the next-generation pNFS protocol, is now making a more affordable version of its high-end ActiveStor 6000 and 4000 storage clusters for secondary storage in response to customer demand, said Panasas product marketing director Matt Reid.

“Parallel computer architectures will need parallel storage,” said Reid.

Parallel storage boosts performance by removing the file server from the data path, thus eliminating a bottleneck. From its HPC roots, Panasas has seen enterprise demand grow for its products, and commercial HPC customers now account for 80 percent of its business. The company is now seeking broader enterprise adoption.

To lower the cost of its technology for secondary storage, Panasas is pricing the new ActiveStor 200 at about $1.25 a gigabyte, said Reid, significantly lower than the $3.50 to $5 its high-end arrays cost.

The AS200, 4000 and 6000 all come with the company’s ActiveScale 3.2 architecture, which includes NDMP support, the company’s tiered parity data protection, RAID 10, NFS failover, and support for up to 12,000 clients.

The 4000 and 6000 come with 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 600 MB/s throughput, while the 200 uses standard GigE. The 6000 also offers greater availability and recovery capabilities. Panasas claims “nearly unlimited scalability” for the three clustered storage offerings.

Panasas also says it saves bandwidth-sensitive customers as much as 50 percent on storage, power and cooling and floor space.

Panasas also announced that its has closed on $24 million in new funding from Focus Ventures, Itochu Corp. and Northgate Partners.

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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