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Avere FXT Series appliances are the first-ever solution to bring the benefits of performance tiering and scale-out clustering to any NAS environment. The FXT Series provides NAS Optimization by enabling customers to achieve unlimited performance scaling for their applications, global access to their data independent of where the storage is located, and dramatic cost savings in both capital and operating expenses.
Traditional NAS solutions have created four major pain-points for customers: 1) Over-provisioning of disk drives is expensive and wastes lots of power and space. 2) Scaling performance is difficult and comes with expensive upgrades, more disks, and application downtime. 3) There is no simple way to provide global access to the data. 4) NAS sprawl, which results from scaling limitations, highly complicates management. With Avere, however, there is a better way.
Avere optimizes NAS by separating performance scaling from capacity scaling and more effectively delivers both. The FXT Series provides the NAS optimization features needed to address the above challenges: 1) Dynamic tiering places data on the optimal storage media and dramatically reduces costs. 2) Scale-out clustering delivers linear performance scaling. 3) WAN caching provides global data access and enables building a NAS cloud. 4) Virtualization and visibility enable managing all NAS devices as a single logical pool.
Avere solutions are highly efficient and typically require 80% less total equipment than traditional NAS. For existing NAS deployments, the FXT Series enables administrators to dramatically increase the performance of their systems without adding storage. For new deployments, the FXT Series enables administrators to meet their performance requirements with the highest possible storage density using low-cost, high-capacity SATA drives.
The Avere FXT Series supports up to 50 appliances per cluster and linearly scales to millions of ops/sec performance and tens of GB/sec throughput. The FXT cluster takes ownership of heavily accessed files from the mass storage system and accelerates all operations to those files including reads, writes, and metadata operations. Allocation algorithms running on the FXT appliance constantly monitor data access patterns and actively manage data placement to increase performance, distribute workload in the cluster, and minimize accesses to the mass storage systems.
Enable NAS Cloud
Cloud storage is attractive because it promises to deliver lower costs through a consolidated and centrally managed architecture. To date, however, cloud storage has been impractical for many applications because the high-latency WAN connection between the cloud provider and the cloud user has resulted in poor performance. Avere enables cloud storage for NAS applications demanding moderate to high performance by caching active data on FXT appliances near the user, eliminating the latency of the WAN.
Virtualization & Visibility
Avere supports multiple, heterogeneous mass storage systems per FXT cluster and, with built-in global namespace functionality, enables accessing all systems through a single mount point and managing all systems as though they were one. The Avere user interface lets you visualize your entire NAS environment like never before, providing a wealth of statistics and graphical display on the operations of all NAS clients and storage.
FXT Series appliances provide the CPU processing and high-performance storage media that enable Avere to optimize NAS environments. FXT appliances support clustering to provide a scalable high-performance tier that can be shared by all devices in the NAS environment, including clients, servers, and storage.
High-Performance Storage Media
Each FXT Series appliance contains DRAM and NVRAM to accelerate the read, write, and metadata performance of hot data, or data that is currently most active. Each appliance also contains Flash SSDs or SAS HDDs to store a large working set of warm data, or data that was recently hot and/or likely to become hot soon. Each appliance provides 10Gb and 1Gb Ethernet interfaces for connectivity to mass storage systems, which store cold or not recently accessed data, and application clients and servers through standard Ethernet network switches.
Avere FXT Series appliances are compact, highly reliable, and provide redundant network ports and power. FXT appliances are offered in the following models.
FXT 4500: 144GB DRAM, 2GB NVRAM, 3TB Flash SSD, 2 10Gb ports, and 6 1Gb ports
FXT 4200: 96GB DRAM, 2GB NVRAM, 1.6TB Flash SSD, 2 10Gb ports, and 6 1Gb ports
FXT 3500: 144GB DRAM, 2GB NVRAM, 9TB SAS HDD, 2 10Gb ports, and 6 1Gb ports
FXT 3200: 96GB DRAM, 2GB NVRAM, 4.8TB SAS HDD, 2 10Gb ports, and 6 1Gb ports
FXT 2550: 72GB DRAM, 2GB NVRAM, 3.6TB SAS HDD, 2 10Gb ports, and 6 1Gb ports
All FXT models support clustering with linear scaling to 50 appliances per cluster. Hence, cluster hardware capabilities are equal to the sum of all included appliances.
All Avere solutions are engineered under the A-3 Architecture. Avere engineering has a long history in developing file system products - including the Andrew File System (AFS), Spinnaker File System, NetApp Data ONTAP GX & Cluster-mode, and Panasas File System - and the A-3 Architecture represents the culmination of this expertise. The A-3 Architecture delivers all the capabilities of today's Avere solutions and is extensible to the future of NAS as it evolves in the years to come.
Three pillars of innovation define the A-3 Architecture: 1) Tiered File System, 2) Scale-out Clustering, and 3) Virtualization & Visibility.
Tiered File System
The Tiered File System (TFS) is the first file system to be designed from the ground up to be deployed on multiple storage tiers. TFS dynamically tiers data by intelligently and automatically moving it to the optimal storage tier based on demand. It stores active data on the RAM, SSD, and HDD media internal to FXT appliances and manages the placement of inactive data on mass storage systems. Allocation algorithms constantly monitor data access patterns and actively manage data placement to increase performance, distribute workload in the cluster, and minimize accesses to the mass storage systems. TFS accelerates performance for any application workload by taking ownership of heavily accessed files and accelerating all operations to those files including reads, writes, and metadata operations. Avere TFS provides NFSv3 and CIFS file access interfaces to support applications running on Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac servers and clients and NFSv3 to support leading mass storage systems.
Linear performance scaling and high availability are provided by Avere’s scale-out clustering. Up to 50 FXT appliances can be clustered, delivering up to millions of operations/sec performance and tens of gigabytes/sec throughput. Active data is coherently and automatically balanced across all FXT appliances in the cluster avoiding hot spots and enabling all resources to be used as a shared, scalable pool. On demand, files are automatically replicated at the block/sub-file level across the cluster to deliver parallel performance for hot data. N+1 high availability ensures that data is available in the event of a power, network, or system failure.
Virtualization & Visibility
File system virtualization is provided by Avere’s built-in global namespace (GNS) functionality. Avere GNS enables managing many heterogeneous NAS systems as though they were one and allows all clients to access all data from a single mount point. Avere’s integrated GNS simplifies management, allows getting rid of automounter servers, and enables clients to immediately see newly added exports without the need for a client reboot. Unlike GNS solutions that are time-consuming to install, difficult to remove, and negatively impact performance, Avere GNS can be installed or removed in minutes and simultaneously delivers enhanced performance through tiering.
A wealth of statistics and graphical display on the Avere user interface provide unmatched visibility into the operations of your entire NAS environment, including clients, applications servers, and storage. The data provided goes beyond standard statistics and includes comprehensive analytics (e.g. hot files and hot clients) that give you unique tools to diagnose NAS environments. Industry-standard XML-RPC and SNMP interfaces enable integrating the Avere analytics with 3rd-party products.