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Click your heels, Dorothy ... We're not in gen-7 Panasas any more

8th generation scale-out box lands

By Chris Mellor, 1 Aug 2016

HPC scale-out NASer Panasas has done its traditional yearly system upgrade: the ActiveStor (AS) 20 array replaces the AS18, giving users more bangs for their HPC buck.

This is the eighth ActiveStor generation, with the gen-six AS16 being introduced in July 2014, and the gen-seven AS18 arriving in July 2015. The AS20 [PDF] provides more capacity, bandwidth, file system size and throughput in terms of IOPS and bandwidth.

The disk size jumps from 8TB in the AS18 to 10TB in the AS20, using HGST He10 Helium drives. Per-appliance flash capacity increases from 4.8TB to 8TB. The maximum capacity per AS appliance increases from 122.4TB to 208TB when maxed out with 8TB of flash and 200TB of hard drives.

Maximum bandwidth increases from 195GB/sec to 360GB/sec, while maximum IOPS go from around 1.76 million to 2.6 million (thank you, gods of Xeon) and namespace size increases from about 20PB to 45PB. It sounds like a substantial capacity and performance upgrade.

As before, the new AS20 runs the PanFS operating system, v6.1 in this case. PanFS v6.0 was introduced in June 2014, so 6.1 has been a while coming.

Unlike competitor DDN Storage, Panasas supplies a single scale-out NAS system and not a collection of systems covering multiple HPC software environments, object storage and burst buffer needs.

AS20s are orderable now and will start shipping this month. Get a configuration overview here. ®

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