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Xcellis: From 'gateway' for NAS dabblers to pusher of hardcore scale-out NAS boxen

Quantum claims to node its new stuff totally dunks on rival

Quantum has announced an Xcellis scale-out NAS system, claiming performance is three times better than the next-best competing NAS system.

Xcellis is hardware separated into Workflow Director Nodes and Workflow Director Storage. The Director Nodes run StorNext software, which provides access to a multi-tier and single namespace file repository comprising primary storage – the Director Storage Nodes – and secondary Lattus object and/or Scalar tape and/or public cloud storage.

StorNext has found its home in the entertainment and media workflow world, and in other similar application areas.

Xcellis can be configured to present both scale-out SAN and NAS. The Xcellis Scale-out NAS appliance can run on its own or be deployed as part of a multi-tier StorNext infrastructure

The Xcellis/StorNext Connect management component had scale-out NAS before, so what's new?

Quantum marketing boss Molly Presley said: "Simply put, we have moved from a NAS Gateway to Workflow Storage architecture to a complete, high availability scale-out NAS Appliance."


Xcellis scale-out NAS schematic

This involves a whole bunch of new stuff:

  • NAS: Scalability and High Availability
    • Distribute clients across the cluster nodes
    • Metadata performance improvements with new StorNext distributed file system API integration
  • New Virtual IP (VIP) mechanism
    • Master VIP for client connections
    • Master VIP for management network to allow separate client and management networks
    • VIP pool for direct client I/O connection
  • Scale Out SMB: DFS
    • DFS is an SMB protocol specific method for automatic scaling and load balancing
    • Allows every node in the cluster to directly serve clients and scale bandwidth by adding nodes
  • Scale Out SMB and/or NFS v3: DNS-based load balancing
    • Integrated NFS locks into the cluster
    • Internal DNS server provides algorithmic distribution of clients
    • Works for NFS v3 and SMB
  • New VIP pool feature
    • Pool of VIPs for improved client balance
    • At least one VIP per node, each node can have many
    • Client gets pointed to a VIP, and the VIP moves in the event of a failure
  • Simple-to-use NAS management GUI
  • 10/40GbitE support and ability to purchase switches, HBAs etc for Ethernet solutions from Quantum as part of the complete Xcellis Scale-out Appliance networking infrastructure
  • Two new all-flash storage arrays

Xcellis configurations

Check out the datasheet here (PDF).

Xcellis Scale-out NAS will be generally available this month with entry configurations and those leveraging tiering starting at under $100 per terabyte (raw). ®


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