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The Five Core Tenets of Scale-Out NAS

Deploying a scalable NAS system takes more than just buying the right equipment; it takes a plan, and that plan has to have a solid foundation based on principles surrounding what a NAS should and should not do.

The big data movement has given birth to new file systems that handle enterprise data in a much different fashion. These new storage ideologies, with Hadoop being a prime example, have reinvented how analytics systems deal with data. The basic ideology is to spread data over multiple clusters and leverage a distributed file system that can grow as needed.

Simply put, transforming lower-cost NAS into something that can support a distributed file system should prove to be much more cost-effective for businesses trying to tame the big data beast. It is that synergy of lower cost and big data handling that has driven vendors to rethink how to handle large data sets via a storage medium.

With that in mind, EMC, through the tech expertise offered via the Isilon acquisition, is looking to expose what some of the key tenants of a scale-out NAS should offer. Isilon's Nick Kirsch says, "There are five core tenets of scale-out NAS: a NAS should be simple, predictable, efficient, available and enterprise-proven."

Further describing those tenets, Kirsch adds, "a NAS should be simple to scale, offer predictable performance, be efficient to operate, always available and be proven to work in a large enterprise. It is those key elements that an IT professional should consider when looking for a no-compromise scale-out NAS for an enterprise, especially when big data is part of the equation."

EMC's customers seem to agree about the importance of scalability for a NAS solution.

James Sample, director, WAN performance and reliability, global publisher John Wiley & Sons, says, "Our IT department was constantly configuring LUNs, forcing one member of the team to focus exclusively on storage administration. Having deployed EMC Isilon, we no longer have to worry about where and how to store and manage our digital files. We can focus on producing and delivering valuable, interactive content for and to our customers."

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