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WekaIO adds enterprise features to scale-out NAS file system

WekaIO has Dell EMC’s Isilon, NetApp, GPFS and Lustre in its sights with its massively scalable hybrid-cloud NAS file system that also runs in the Amazon cloud

Hybrid cloud parallel file system maker WekaIO has announced the addition of enterprise features to its scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) product that include Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) access control and encryption. The company views these as vital additions to its parallel file system that can span on-premise and cloud locations and scale to trillions of files.

WekaIO – which recently announced newly secured funding to the tune of $31.7m – has developed a file system that allows rapid access, via flash storage in particular, to very large sets of unstructured data.

It claims it has superseded the restrictions of network file system (NFS) – developed in the 1980s – and that its performance therefore surpasses that of rivals such as NetApp and Dell EMC’s Isilon scale-out NAS.

WekaIO CEO Liran Zvibel said: “NFS was standardised in 1984. It is very chatty and works in a very serialised fashion. For any operation there is a lot of back and forth. It doesn’t scale well and it is slow to move across the network.

“We have done the opposite. We have parallelised access to directories, to metadata, by breaking things down into lots of smaller chunks – 4k granularity – and clients know which piece to access. It is faster than a local file system.”

WekaIO is targeting workloads that need access to large amounts of unstructured data, including in machine learning, financial analytics, life sciences and engineering design. It aims at customers that are currently using scale-out NAS with file systems such as IBM’s GPFS/Spectrum Scale and the open source Lustre.

WekaIO runs on on-premise hardware and in the cloud. It is a software product. Customers start with eight servers and can scale to hundreds. The same WekaIO file system can also run in the Amazon cloud, to which customers can burst workloads when needed.

A further feature added in the 3.5 release is the ability to tier to the cloud and also use it as a disaster recovery location, something which was previously only possible with use of a third-party product.

Drives can be flash – including non-volatile memory express (NVMe) – and spinning disk hard drives, but emphasis is placed on use of flash storage.

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