StorNext File System
Increase productivity and reduce time to critical business insights with StorNext® File System. StorNext architecture delivers the necessary performance to get your business moving forward.
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First, there was a monolithic storage system that addressed the majority of applications’ needs for storage performance and capacity. Then came virtualization with demands for storage diversification. Today, organizations seek solutions that address their specific IT challenges and enable them to drive competitive advantage.
StorNext File System is a software platform architected to manage data through its lifecycle, delivering the required balance of high performance, data protection and preservation, scalability, and cost.
Other systems may deliver throughput performance, but not across thousands of parallel streams at sub-millisecond latency. Other systems can provide capacity, but not the ability to dynamically move data to media with the most appropriate mix of performance and cost. Other systems offer long-term retention in lower-cost storage, but cannot automate data movement and ensure integrity, resiliency, and accessibility on-premise or in the cloud.
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StorNext delivers full data lifecycle management from data creation to the end. As data moves across storage media, from NVMe or SSD to HDD, tape, or cloud, StorNext provides continuous access. For performance-sensitive applications, StorNext leverages iSER/RDMA or IB direct to storage connections for up to 25 GB/s single-stream throughput. The storage media can be NVMe or SSD Flash for sub-millisecond latency. Thousands of parallel streams are supported to maximize data ingest and streaming. Once data no longer has performance demands, it is automatically placed on lower cost storage, per policy.
If data requires preservation over time, it can be copied or moved to Quantum LTO supported tape libraries, ActiveScale™ object store on-premise, or S3 in the public cloud. Data placed in object storage or S3 in the cloud is self-describing with vast benefits: leverage applications in analytics directly against data in the cloud, facilitate collaboration across departments or organizations, and protect data assets from infrastructure obsolescence or vendor lock-in.
Appliances and Primary Nodes
- Clients and Connectivity
- StorNext Client
StorNext clients running MacOS, Linux, or Windows may connect to a StorNext File Storage system in a variety of ways. Each connectivity method benefits from unique characteristics, enabling you to maximize performance, affordability, and simplicity.
The highest performance is achieved by connecting to a StorNext cluster using StorNext client software. Apple machines may take advantage of the XSAN client built into MacOS. Windows and Linux machines require a simple code installation. StorNext clients connect in direct mode or proxy mode. For the fastest performance and lowest latency route to the storage, RDMA, FC SAN, and IB SAN clients connect directly to the storage network. LAN clients use proxy mode – gaining access to the shared storage through a proxy using a custom high-performance protocol.
NAS connectivity is simple and requires no separate client software installation. In a StorNext cluster, one or more nodes may be configured as NAS gateways. NAS gateway nodes work together to provide automatic load balancing and failover, and support both SMB and NFS for universal connectivity.
- Data Services
There is more to StorNext Scale-out File Storage than the file system. A robust selection of integrated data services provides data protection and cost control, enable collaboration, and open avenues for integration with other applications.
FlexTier makes StorNext self-protecting. FlexTier policies write files to secondary storage or cloud upon arrival, track copies and versions, and automatically offload unused files from primary storage to make room for hot content. The Offline File Manager plug-in for Windows Explorer and Mac Finder gives end-users visibility and control over content location.
FlexSync is a simple, high-performance tool for creating local or remote replicas, from single directories to complete file systems. FlexSync is the only replication and synchronization tool that protects all StorNext-specific metadata, providing an absolute one-for-one copy.
Every file system needs rules to ensure the equitable distribution of resources. StorNext supports quotas for managing and reporting on usage of both primary and secondary storage. User, group, directory, and project-level quotas provide a flexible structure. A system of soft limits, grace periods, and hard limits enables enforcement from simply reporting violations to blocking new data from being written.
Storage performance is a valuable resource. StorNext Quality of Service (QoS) rules enable administrators to control bandwidth allocation to clients based on their needs and priorities. Critical users can be guaranteed bandwidth, while other clients share the remaining throughput based on a hierarchical priority structure.
- File System Architecture
- Stripe Groups
- File System Pools
- Storage Allocation
- Metadata Management
The StorNext File System (SNFS) is at the heart of every StorNext cluster, responsible for much of the system’s power, scalability, and flexibility. Refined over two decades of continuous development, SNFS extracts maximum performance from your storage. A comprehensive selection of data services provides additional value.
StorNext introduces two layers of abstraction that provide important expanded capabilities. Stripe groups enable scaling both file system performance and capacity by aggregating multiple storage arrays and allowing the separation of data with different access patterns.
File system pools maximize the utility of your high-performance storage and reduce overall storage cost. Pools are an optional, second layer of abstraction within a StorNext file system, and enable primary storage tiering, which transparently moves data between different classes of primary storage, such as NVMe and HDD.
One of the most important jobs of any file system is determining where to place files on storage. Allocation is a critical function because it affects performance. StorNext uses multiple intelligent allocation techniques, including optimistic allocation, a patented method known as Allocation Session Reservation, and a patented method for avoiding the read/modify/write penalty incurred by short writes.
|8190736||Reducing messaging in a client-server system|
|8554909||Reducing messaging in a client-server system|
|9456041||Method and apparatus for reducing messaging in a client-server system by selectively transitioning state mode|
|9342568||Reducing metadata controller communication volume|
|Compressed Metadata Cache|
|9176887||Compressed level two block buffer metadata cache|
|8977590||Front-end intelligence for monitoring back-end state|
|9069790||Multi-threaded message passing journal|
|9483356||Heuristic journal reservations|
File system metadata includes file names, locations, timestamps, permissions, flags, and other attributes. This is distinct from content metadata – things like artist, track number, and bitrate. StorNext manages file system metadata, leaving content metadata management to external applications. Metadata operations must be fast and efficient, so they don’t impede file system performance. To achieve this, StorNext stores metadata separately from file data, and can even flow metadata communication over a separate network from the data. A patented compressed L2 metadata cache ensures that all or most metadata reads are from RAM, and a patented buffering system accelerates metadata writes. Many additional patents cover advances in metadata communication and file system journaling. A custom, patented spatial database is used to archive all metadata changes, eliminating the need to scan to detect changes to the file system.
- Management Interfaces
- Web GUI
- Web Services API
- Command Line
Whether for day-to-day monitoring and admin tasks, automating routine processes, or power scripting, StorNext has the right GUI interface for the job with a corresponding CLI for power users and scripted automation. The Web Services API is ideal for interfacing with other applications in your workflow. Cloud Analytics enables you and Quantum Support to proactively monitor the health of all of your Quantum systems from anywhere.
Quantum’s optional Cloud Analytics console enables administrators to monitor all of their StorNext systems and Quantum tape libraries from anywhere. Quantum Service and Support provides proactive troubleshooting.
While the Web GUI and CLI are useful for everyday administrative activities, the Web Services API (WSAPI) is a modern, secure interface for connecting applications to StorNext. Many Quantum Technology Partners have integrated their applications with StorNext, using the WSAPI to gain information about StorNext’s internal state, or drive operations directly from their applications.
Every system administrator knows that automation of commonly performed tasks can save time and reduce errors, and automation means scripting. StorNext provides a comprehensive command-line interface (CLI) enabling administrators to script any action available in the GUI, and more. Scripts may be run ad-hoc or scheduled.
Clients and Connectivity
File System Architecture
StorNext File System Datasheet
Accessing StorNext Self-Describing Objects Tech Brief
SPEC-SFS - The Fastest File System on the Planet for Video Workloads
StorNext File System: Architecture, Features, & Differentiators
Ingesting, Protecting, and Preserving Data Solution Brief
Deploying StorNext with Object Storage & Cloud Storage