Once upon a time, IT organizations tended to treat systems based on different OSes as completely different stacks of compute resources that pretty much ran in isolation from one another. But as pressure to become more cost efficient has mounted alongside the rise of application workloads that span multiple systems, the need for storage systems that can play well across both Linux and Windows systems has become more acute.
Looking to address that issue, Panasas, a provider of storage appliances based on the PanFS parallel file system, this week announced it has significantly extended its support for Windows Server. In PanFS 5.5, the company has replaced its previous open source Samba implementation with a protocol to connect to Windows Server with the Microsoft Communication Protocol Program (MCPP), which is commercially licensed and Microsoft-compliant.
Geoffrey Noer, senior director of product marketing for Panasas, says that in a world where the amount of data that needs to be managed continues to increase exponentially, IT organizations need an efficient approach to storage that scales out easily without compromising performance. To that end, the PanFS file system provides a single name space that has been optimized to access an object storage system running on top of a hybrid RAID storage system that provides access to both solid-state and magnetic storage to both Windows and Linux systems, in parallel.
The degree to which IT organizations will unify storage remains to be seen, but the economic pressure to do so is mounting. At the same time, application workloads that couple transaction processing and analytics, for example, are pushing IT organizations toward more converged storage architectures.
Panasas’ PanFS solution combines the functions of a parallel file system, volume manager and RAID engine in one platform, which gives IT organizations the kind of flexibility that is going to be required up and down multiple stacks of computing.