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Panasas Drives Parallel NFS

FREMONT, Calif. -- Panasas, Inc., the leader in parallel clustered storage solutions for the High Performance Computing (HPC) market, today announced the planned source code release of key components of its industry leading parallel file system client software, DirectFLOW, to accelerate the adoption of Parallel Network File System (pNFS), which is to be released as part of the NFS version 4.1 standard. This open source initiative continues the company’s leadership role in shaping the pNFS standard which was originally initiated by Dr. Garth Gibson, Panasas founder and chief technology officer.

Parallel NFS is a breakthrough technology that will solve storage I/O bottlenecks and accelerate customer deployments of parallel storage solutions. pNFS is a critical part of NFS version 4.1 (NFSv4.1), the first major performance upgrade to the widely deployed NFS in over a decade. Panasas’ DirectFLOW protocol is a precursor to the pNFS standard and provides all of the functionality expected to be available in the protocol when it is formally reviewed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) later this year. Given the close technical collaboration with the industry-wide pNFS development team and eight years of experience in parallel file system development, Panasas intends to be first supplier to offer fully pNFS compatible parallel storage systems.

To accelerate the industry’s adoption of the standard, Panasas will be releasing the source code this summer and has opened a fourth R&D center which is dedicated solely to advancing solutions based on the new pNFS standard.

“Parallel storage based on pNFS is the next evolution beyond clustered NFS storage and the best way for the industry to solve storage and I/O performance bottlenecks,” said Robin Harris, senior analyst of the Data Mobility Group. “Panasas was the first to identify the need for a production grade, standard parallel file system and has unprecedented experience in deploying commercial parallel storage solutions.”

Driven by end customer demands for greater performance due to increased use of parallelism from cluster and multi-core processor deployments, the storage industry is moving to parallel storage to dramatically improve application performance and to lower overall development costs. For parallelism to become ubiquitous, a standards approach which allows users to choose from multiple storage vendors and the freedom to access parallel storage from any client are required.

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