The demand to manage and store massive amounts of file data continues to challenge data centers. IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS) is designed to embrace and deliver cloud storage in the petabyte age. SONAS can meet today’s storage challenges with quick and cost-effective IT-enabled business enhancements designed to grow with unprecedented scale.
SONAS can also deliver storage services that make the supporting technology almost invisible. It allows applications and services to be uncoupled from the underlying infrastructure, enabling businesses to adjust to change quickly. As a result, SONAS can easily integrate with your organization’s strategies to develop a more dynamic enterprise.
Organizations with fast-growing, rapidly multiplying file systems are beginning to discover that traditional network attached storage (NAS)—even clustered NAS—has serious problems. Managing and supporting storage as it scales to millions, then billions, of active files is extremely complex. When such massive numbers of files require separate file systems connected with many separate servers, operational complexity grows exponentially. Consolidating tens, even hundreds, of these file servers into high-end scale-out NAS becomes a necessity. This is where SONAS helps. SONAS is designed to scale out to store millions to billions of active files in a single namespace. SONAS offers operational efficiency and administrative savings, combining massive scalability with automated file management to quickly deliver information around the world.
Ideal cloud storage: The IBM Active Cloud Engine in SONAS
The unique IBM Active Cloud Engine™ at the core of SONAS gives users the ability to efficiently manage large numbers of files, rapidly locate the data of interest and seamlessly get that data to where it is needed. It is a “policy-driven” engine tightly coupled with a file system that enables you to manage “file” data with ease, efficiency and at a scale. This unique SONAS capability, offered at no charge, enables ubiquitous file access from across the globe quickly and efficiently. It localizes file data where it is needed. The IBM Active Cloud Engine offers clients not only a high-performance file-serving function, but also reduced network costs. It can cache files to remote sites in advance of file requests coming in. This provides for high availability and very fast access of those files at remote sites. It also eliminates unnecessary replication of files to remote sites, thereby significantly lowering network and storage costs.
SONAS is an ideal solution for cloud storage implementations as well. It is designed to consolidate files that are scattered in multiple storage locations and allow them to be efficiently shared and managed. The IBM Active Cloud Engine is a unique capability of SONAS (offered at no charge) that enables this and many more management abilities. The IBM Active Cloud Engine is a suite of capabilities specifically designed to manage files in an automated, scalable manner. It creates the appearance of a single system despite geographic, physical, media or other discrepancies that may exist in the physical world. It is designed to put the right file in the right place at the right time, and to give users the fastest possible access with the same view of their data no matter where they are. It enables ubiquitous access to files from across the globe quickly and cost effectively. The IBM Active Cloud Engine offers clients not only a high-performance file serving function, but also reduced network costs. It localizes file data where it is needed. It can prepopulate files to remote sites in advance of that file request coming in, which allows for high availability and very fast access of those files at remote sites. This capability allows for file sharing and content distribution while it shields applications from fluctuating wide area network (WAN) latencies (performance fluctuations and outages during data access across a WAN). In addition, it eliminates unnecessary file replication to remote sites, thereby significantly lowering network and storage costs.
When organizations are managing millions to billions of files, the protection and availability of these files are critical. SONAS is a reliable, scalable storage solution with built-in high availability and redundancy. The IBM Active Cloud Engine within SONAS provides automated policy-based file management that enables backups, restores, snapshots and remote replication. SONAS has a specific exploitation and integration with IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager to provide very efficient and extremely fast backup and restore processes, and enables movement of files to an external disk or tape. In addition, SONAS provides support for the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) “at scale” to provide both full and incremental file backup as well as restoration of these files and related file system data if needed. Support for the NDMP enables SONAS to be backed up with independent software vendor (ISV) backup applications like Symantec, CommVault, Legato and others over the local area network. The SONAS policy engine increases the efficiency of backing up billons of files by scanning their metadata in just minutes.
SONAS provides central deployment and management of automated tiered storage, with high performance and high storage utilization. Based on a Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation System File Server benchmark using a realistic, standard configuration, SONAS demonstrates excellent near-linear performance for a single file system without compromising capacity or cost.
Protecting business information from malware and viruses is a business imperative. Integration with McAfee and Symantec Antivirus is designed to provide the ability to isolate or delete compromised files, and protect data from risks due to viruses that can potentially compromise SONAS data.
SONAS provides ease of use for administrators through an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). This user interface is similar to those used in XIV or Storwize V7000 systems. The highly intuitive GUI and built-in policy-driven management tools through IBM Active Cloud Engine make administrative tasks easy and efficient. Administrators can also leverage IBM Tivoli Productivity Center version 5.1 to manage SONAS, providing discovery and visualization, health status monitoring and capacity usage reporting. The new release of Tivoli Productivity Center 5.1 also enables applications to perform SONAS provisioning.
You can order SONAS as an integrated appliance or as a gateway. SONAS gateway support is enabled for XIV and Storwize V7000 disk systems, so users with these storage systems can leverage a SONAS gateway for their rapidly growing file data.
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IBM SONAS white paper
Scale-Out Network-Attached Storage Addresses Storage Problems for Private Cloud Deployments
Evaluator Group analyst paper
IBM's Portfolio Approach to Data Protection