How to Simplify NAS Storage Management with Global Namespaces

As storage environments grow and appliances are added to expand capacity, it becomes increasingly difficult for users to manage their data across disparate sets of storage appliances. This, in turn, slows productivity. One traditional approach to solving this data management problem has been to use scale-out NAS solutions that provide visibility to all NAS shares from all appliances that are part of a given scale out volume.

Scale-out NAS solutions, however, introduce a number of problems including spindle-contention, large failure domains, poor performance for small block IO, higher latency and higher up-front costs due to the need for the additional high-speed 40GbE+ backend network to interconnect appliances.

So how does a storage administrator keep the performance benefits of a highly-available scale-up NAS system while getting the ease of management that comes with the global-namespace or single namespace capability of a scale-out NAS system? One answer is to combine control plane and data plane storage management capabilities across a single global namespace that groups shares together into a globally accessible folder across selected appliance groups.

QuantaStor SDS combines the best of these two technologies through innovations in both the SDS control-plane and data-plane (Figure 1). QuantaStor’s control-plane solves the ease-of-management issues through its unique grid management technology enabling up to 64 appliances to link together across sites and datacenters providing homogeneous management of all appliances as a single grid. QuantaStor’s data-plane also supports global namespaces, also known as Network Share Namespaces, which implement Microsoft DFS and NFSv4 referral technologies to redirect SMB/CIFS clients to network share locations and can work together with Highly-Available (HA) storage pools. This lets users group together network shares across any number of appliances in a QuantaStor grid and present them from all appliance nodes as if they were scale-out NAS.


Figure 1

Common use cases for global namespaces include media production workflows that let IT managers distribute files in a way that achieves the best performance and capacity utilization per system. Artists, editors and producers are able to access their digital assets via a single, logical namespace, even across geographies. The global namespace reduces human error, improves productivity and streamlines media and entertainment workflows enabling TV networks, studios and VFX companies to accomplish more at a lower cost while eliminating complexity.

With QuantaStor SDS, users get the performance benefits, high-availability and ease of use that comes with global namespaces without having to suffer from the issues and costs that come with typical scale-out NAS solutions.



Categories: Global Namespaces


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