Over the last ten years, the HPC market has been transformed by the widespread adoption of compute clusters for technical computing workloads, accompanied by high growth rates in the generation of unstructured data. The storage industry has been responding by transitioning NAS architectures from old-school, legacy NAS to modern scale-out NAS approaches. Unsurprisingly, high performance computing has led the way in terms of requiring the most from scale-out products.
In the following slidecast I did for InsideHPC, I present some of the history behind scale-out NAS, and discuss how Panasas ActiveStor delivers the most important attributes of scale-out NAS for HPC. Unlike legacy vendors who have moved in a scale-out direction when it comes to manageability and single namespace, but are still performance limited, Panasas was founded to deliver a scale-out NAS appliance based on the PanFS parallel file system and DirectFlow (and soon pNFS) parallel protocols. With this parallel architecture, ActiveStor represents the most advanced scale-out NAS system available in the market today for HPC workloads.