PolyServe Delivers Breakthroughs in Enterprise NAS Price/Performance

Launches PolyServe NAS Cluster Solution for Linux Data Center

San Jose, Calif. — April 5, 2004 —PolyServe Inc. introduced major price/performance breakthroughs in network-attached storage (NAS) file serving with today’s launch of the PolyServe NAS Cluster™ solution for the Linux data center.

“Solutions like this can dramatically change NAS economics,” said Arun Taneja, founder of the Taneja Group. “The PolyServe NAS Cluster solution delivers price, performance and flexibility advantages significantly beyond that of today’s standard NAS filers, based on traditional file systems. Even as other NAS solutions leveraging advanced file-system technologies emerge, I expect PolyServe’s solution will continue to offer a compelling price/performance because of its use of industry-standard servers and storage.”

File-serving performance is particularly acute in applications that must process many files in parallel or large data sets in sequence, such as energy, biosciences, video production and other intensive data-processing activities.

“PolyServe is giving enterprise customers what they want – dramatically lower NAS costs with improved performance and availability,” said Carter George, general manager of storage solutions at PolyServe. “Our ability to harness low-cost, industry-standard server and storage hardware and Linux software into highly available, scalable and manageable NAS file-serving clusters completely changes the price/performance standard in NAS.”

Unlike popular NAS clustering solutions that only support clustering for high availability, the PolyServe NAS Cluster solution provides highly available file services cluster-wide, as well as the ability to add performance on demand by scaling out with modular compute and storage building blocks.

The PolyServe NAS Cluster solution integrates Network File System (NFS) protocol functionality with a true symmetric cluster file system, high-availability services and cluster and storage management capabilities. The product aggregates up to 16 low-cost Linux and Intel Architecture-based servers for high-performance, fault-tolerant file serving across a storage area network (SAN). Each of these 16 servers is an active file server and contributes compute, storage and network bandwidth to the overall system – allowing for an ultra-scalable, high-performance NAS cluster. Shared data and management capabilities ease IT administration by enabling servers and storage to be managed as one.

PolyServe’s Six-to-One Price/Performance Advantage

The PolyServe NAS Cluster solution delivers a six-to-one price/performance advantage over the most popular enterprise NAS filer. Today, the most popular way to achieve highly available NAS is to deploy a cluster of two independent NAS filers linked together for failover. According to the Taneja Group, the list price of a representative enterprise-class NAS cluster consisting of two NAS filers, 12.6 terabytes (TB) of storage and licenses for the NFS protocol and failover clustering software would be in excess of $450,000.

Based on configuration and list pricing information on vendor Web sites as of March 17, 2004, a comparable PolyServe NAS Cluster configuration is priced at $79,242. The PolyServe configuration includes two Intel Architecture-based, dual-processor servers each with two gigabytes (GB) of RAM, two Gigabit-Ethernet Network Interface Cards, a dual-ported Fibre Channel Host Bus Adaptor (HBA), the Linux operating system, PolyServe’s shared data clustering software, an eight-port fibre channel switch, and a 12.6 TB ATA storage array with dual active-active controllers.

Based on PolyServe customer benchmarks, a representative enterprise-class NAS failover cluster can deliver approximately 250 megabytes per second (MB/second) of highly available throughput performance – based on sustained sequential writes to a single file system – translating to a price/performance value of $1,904 per MB/second. The two-node PolyServe NAS Cluster delivers the same 250 MB/second of highly available throughput performance – at a price/performance value of $317 per MB/second. Furthermore, the most popular NAS failover cluster solution costs $37,778 per terabyte of storage capacity compared to $6,289 per TB for the PolyServe NAS Cluster solution. The PolyServe NAS solution also allows for the linear scaling of data throughput as servers are added to the cluster, achieving multiple gigabytes per second throughput in a cluster of up to 16 nodes – further increasing PolyServe’s price/performance advantage.

In short, the PolyServe NAS Cluster solution delivers the following benefits over a comparable enterprise NAS filer solution:

  • 82% less expensive in total solution cost

  • 82% more price performance as measured by price per MB/s

  • 82% less expensive in terms of price per TB

”These cost and performance numbers demonstrate that when the application requires blazing performance out of a single file system and high availability is a must, the traditional methods become very inadequate.” Taneja said. “With these metrics, a three- or four-node PolyServe cluster would surpass a top-of-the-line NAS filer at a fraction of the price.”

PolyServe NAS Cluster Versus Standard NAS Filers

At the heart of the PolyServe NAS Cluster solution is PolyServe’s Matrix Server shared data clustering software. Matrix Server technology enables superior scalability, availability and manageability versus a standard NAS filer. A standard NAS filer has a single server head that can satisfy file requests. Clients send NFS requests to a single filer, creating a performance bottleneck for all network traffic and I/O to that file system. Each filer also represents a single point of failure. To provide fault tolerance a second NAS filer must be purchased, adding cost for the equipment and the software license. Moreover, adding a second NAS filer does not add additional file-serving performance from the same file system.

Powered by Matrix Server technology, the PolyServe NAS Cluster solution is managed as a single NAS server with a single pool of storage, and a single set of exported file systems. Linux servers can be added to the system as demand grows, with throughput increasing linearly with each added server. In the event of a failure, other servers in the cluster automatically and immediately take over the clients of the failed server, with no interruption in service. Dynamic online addition of servers and storage means no scheduled downtime is required for capacity upgrades.

Price and Availability

The PolyServe NAS Cluster solution for Linux is available immediately and costs $3,500 per processor.

About PolyServe

PolyServe is the leading developer of shared data clustering software for Linux- and Microsoft® Windows®-based data centers. The company’s products reduce the cost and complexity associated with traditional clustering approaches, while offering superior scalability, availability and manageability. In addition to its headquarters in Beaverton, PolyServe has sales and support offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Redmond, Washington. For more information about PolyServe, visit http://www.polyserve.com on the Web, or call 877-765-7378.

All products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.