New SONAS release offers enhanced performance
Businesses continue to search for storage solutions that save money without sacrificing performance. Last year, IBM introduced Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), the industry’s first such network-attached storage (NAS) offering to address this business need. SONAS is an enterprise class, NAS system that provides extreme scalability, availability and security—and does so with record-breaking performance. It’s designed as a single global repository to manage multiple petabytes of storage and billions of files all under one file system.
In April, IBM announced significant performance enhancements to SONAS: improved information lifecycle management (ILM), hierarchical storage management (HSM) as well as ease of deployment and antivirus integration.
Todd Neville, SONAS program leader at IBM, says SONAS is unique in that it can very near-linearly scale to almost any performance level. With SONAS, he says, “You can build a system that’s as fast as you want it to be; but it’s not just about absolute size, it’s also about bang for your buck. We’ve significantly increased the software performance in our upcoming release 1.2, so customers see a significant performance increase on their current platform with no additional costs.”
Funda Eceral, SONAS market segment manager at IBM, says SONAS is the only true scale-out NAS system available in the marketplace. “While you can nondisruptively add capacity with storage building blocks,” Eceral says, “you can also still continue to independently scale out your I/O performance with interface nodes. It brings operational efficiency and extraordinary utilization rates for each customer.”
Three Key Features
This version of SONAS offers three key features, according to Neville:
- Ease of deployment. Using Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP), a SONAS device can be easily integrated into existing data-center backup infrastructures. “If you have an enterprise backup deployment using NDMP, you will be able to take SONAS and quickly connect with a wide variety of popular backup systems,” Neville says.
- Built-in antivirus integration. Scalable NAS storage devices must have a way for an antivirus function to perform scans on files intelligently, such as when they’re opened or closed. SONAS includes a built-in functionality that lets a third party like Symantec integrate into the SONAS device to perform antivirus operations, as simple “full file-system scans” become cumbersome at enterprise scales.
- Physical size. Neville says customers asked IBM to make the SONAS device more compact, although it supports almost a full petabyte in a single rack, making it the only offering in IBM’s NAS portfolio that can do so. It’s now 10 inches shorter than the original device, can scale up to 14.4 petabytes (with 2 TB drives) and has a single point of management, which can significantly reduce storage-administration costs.
“Everyone says, ‘We do tiering, HSM and ILM,’ but design matters—IBM does it differently.” —Todd Neville, SONAS program leader, IBM“Everyone says, ‘We do tiering, HSM and ILM,’ but design matters—IBM does it differently.” —Todd Neville, SONAS program leader, IBM
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