by Lyle Smith

Avere Systems Edge Filer and New NAS Architecture Unveiled

Avere Systems has announced a new NAS architecture that will ensure that enterprise IT is best positioned to leverage the performance benefits of Flash, the consolidation benefits of virtualization, and the collaborative and economic benefits of the cloud. The new architecture for NAS boosts performance and removes storage bottlenecks created by legacy NAS architectures using the fastest media and the intelligence to manage it closest to the user.

As part of this announcement, Avere has unveiled the Edge filer, its first NAS filer. Edge operates in concert with legacy or Core filers to implement the new architecture for NAS while having all of the data handling capabilities of legacy, or Core filers, but is different when it comes to data management. Edge filers manage the global user namespace across numerous filers and remote facilities. The new data management capabilities available with AOS 3.0 give customers the ability to easily move, synchronize, and replicate data between storage devices, from data center to data center or remote office, and from data center to cloud.

Avere’s announcement overcomes the idea of adding larger and more expensive controllers in addition to over provisioning all types of high-speed storage media to boost performance. This adds cost and complexity to data centers and does nothing to solve the latency issue, which is inherent across long geographical distances that have relegated cloud storage to backup and archival use only. It also provides a model that makes sure the gains in efficiency realized by virtualization are not negated by losses in storage performance as a result of changes in I/O profiles. Avere has created a new NAS architecture that eliminates trade-offs between performance and cost all the while enabling the most economically sound location of primary storage.

Avere FlashMove makes data migrations tolerable as there is no need to shut down applications or suspend access to data during migrations. Behind the scenes, FlashMove moves data transparently between Core filers while FXT Edge filers serve active data to application servers and users. Additionally, it significantly simplifies the management of NAS environments by enabling live data to be load-balanced across existing systems, transparent archiving to secondary storage, by adding new storage and new vendors to the NAS environment, and decommissioning old storage that is past its useful life.

Avere’s FlashMirror simplifies the implementation of disaster recovery practices on NAS infrastructures and replicates data on primary and secondary Core filers, keeping them closely in sync by sending updates directly and in parallel to both filers. In addition, FlashMirror offloads the replication-processing load from the storage and supports clustering to scale replication performance to any level required. FlashMirror is also easy to install in existing environments and is the only storage-side replication solution that works with all NAS vendor’s products.

AOS 3.0 will be generally available sometime in April. The 3.0 software upgrade is free for existing customers; however, separate licenses for FlashMove and FlashMirror are required for new and existing customers, which start at 15 percent of the list price of the FXT model for which it is enabled.

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