Traditional NAS solutions can be configured in failover cluster but scalability is limited by the amount of CPU/memory and disk that a single NAS device can make use of. Clustered NAS allows horizontal scaling across a number of devices with all of them being active and able to see all files in the cluster.
The ability to scale performance and capacity requirements independently of each other is an important feature of clustered NAS solutions; it allows more effective use of resources compared with traditional NAS, as it is no longer necessary to purchase new NAS devices to add capacity or to purchase storage when all that is required is more throughput at the storage server level.
Violin Memory announced its scale-out Tier-1 NAS solution. Based on Violin’s Windows Flash Array (WFA), this solution has delivered linear scalability to more than 2 million random read IOPS and 1.6 million random write IOPS on only a 2-node NAS cluster.
“Service providers and other consumers of cloud-based infrastructure typically require both extremely high performance and continuous availability to meet demanding server level agreements,” said Eric Burgener, Storage Research Director, IDC. “Violin Memory’s Windows Flash Array is well integrated with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 for ease-of-use, and in a Scale Out File System Cluster, delivers the performance, availability and scalability that allow these types of customers to meet extremely demanding requirements.”
The WFA is the first all-flash high-performance array solution powered by Windows Server 2012 R2 to deliver a rich set of storage features and data services for scale-out Tier-1 NAS deployments.
WFA provides a tier-zero and tier-1 scale-out NAS all-flash array for enterprise Microsoft deployments, including as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint, and Windows Server with Hyper-V for both server and desktop virtualisation.
The scale-out NAS WFA offers a full set of capacity points, as well as Violin’s Pay-As-You-Grow capacity licensing model for optimum solution delivery, including support for 56 Gb FDR InfiniBand or 10 Gb Ethernet. In both cases, users benefit from the efficiency and high performance afforded by SMB Direct and the rest of the SMB 3.0 feature set.
The WFA supports NFS 3.0 and NFS 4.1 for connectivity with application servers running operating systems such as Linux and UNIX. NAS scale-out file shares on the WFA are simultaneously available as Windows file shares over SMB 3 and as NFS exports to simplify data sharing across the data centre.
Download the Microsoft white paper - Building High Performance Storage for Hyper-V Cluster on Scale-Out File Servers using Violin Windows Flash Arrays to read about user deployments that benefit from the performance, scalability, data services capabilities and availability of Violin’s WFA scale-out Tier-1 NAS solution.