Merging NAS, Object and The Cloud – Avere C2N Product Brief

As more organizations move to the cloud or plan to move to the cloud, in order to address challenges like the ever-rising tide of unstructured data, many are encountering various unexpected complications. Some of these complications are things like increasing recurring cloud storage costs, latency, security concerns, unexpected data access or movement charges.

Organizations also face challenges such as unfamiliar object-based application program interfaces (APIs) for data access, vendor solutions that start at over a petabyte or do-it-yourself solutions that are complex to implement and maintain. They also must deal with manual data migrations from existing NAS storage to public cloud or private cloud storage. Organizations need a comprehensive solution that provides cost effective and easily manageable cloud migration capabilities that can span the enterprise.

Bridging the NAS Object-Storage Gap

Avere Systems recently released its new Avere C2N Cloud-Core NAS System to help address these challenges. Avere is known for its FXT Edge Filers, which virtualize NAS systems while accelerating data access and hiding latency to remote NAS or cloud based object storage systems. The new C2N system is a hybrid cloud appliance that can easily integrate into existing environments and contains a purpose-built file system designed for object storage while also delivering the simplicity and performance of NAS. The C2N system transforms traditional storage environments into a highly scalable cloud infrastructure by integrating existing NAS with public and private clouds under a single global name space while allowing organizations to manage the resulting heterogeneous infrastructure as a single logical pool of storage.

The new C2N solution combines Avere’s own new scale-out object storage platform with their FXT Edge Filers. By leveraging Avere FXT Edge Filer technology to provide an internal all-flash performance tier to each system, the C2N system can scale in performance where needed. Additionally, its use of object-based storage technology allows the C2N system to scale its capacity as needed, making it ideal for bulk storage, backups, large file workloads and archiving. The C2N system can function as a stand-alone storage solution while still using the FXT Edge Filers to virtualize other NAS devices and providing a gateway to external private object storage systems HTST/Amplidata, IBM/Cleversafe or SwiftStack. It can also provide a gateway to public cloud storage from Amazon (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) while hiding the latency to the public cloud. It works seamlessly with file-based applications in Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac environments.

The C2N System Components and Features

  • The C2N system consists of 1U hardware units and software.
  • Three integrated all-flash FXT Edge Filer SSD nodes, which provide a high performance tier for demanding applications. SSD capacity scales from 14TB to 480TB.
  • Three or more of the new 1U CX200 high capacity disk based nodes running SwiftStack software that provides the object storage configuration. Each CX200 contains twelve hot-swappable 10TB hard drives that provide 120TB of raw storage. Depending on configuration, the CX200 nodes can use either erasure coding (EC) or triple replication (TR) to provide data protection. They also can use the geo-dispersal feature over three geographically dispersed sites for disaster recovery purposes.
    In an EC configuration, each CX200 node has a usable capacity of 80TB (8+4 EC)
    In a TR configuration, each CX200 node has a usable capacity of 40TB.
  • FlashMove software for data migration (sold separately)
  • FlashMirror software for disaster recovery (sold separately)
  • Powerful management GUI and storage analytics, SNMP, XML-RPC.
  • Complete NAS feature set with support for NAS protocols NFSv3, SMB1, SMB2, as well as Snapshots, Global Namespace, mirroring, compression, encryption using AES 256, FIPS 140-2 compliance (military grade), KMIP.

The C2N system starts at 120TB capacity and scales in increments of 80TB to a maximum of 5.8 PB of usable capacity in an EC configuration or 2.9PB in a TR configuration. This provides an entry point solution for organizations that wish to start small but still be able to scale to large capacities, as their needs require.

Conclusion

The Avere C2N system is a comprehensive storage solution that combines NAS simplicity with object storage efficiency and cloud awareness. This combination enables the C2N system to fit in existing file-based environments without the need to neither rewrite or modify existing applications and workflows, nor retrain personnel. Its object efficiency provides cost-effective scaling to very large capacities while providing built-in resiliency and high availability in spite of disk, server or site failures.

The ability of the Avere C2N system to integrate file-based storage with private and public cloud storage and manage the entire heterogeneous infrastructure as a single, logical pool of storage, makes is a powerful solution that should be seriously considered by organizations looking to move to cloud storage.

Joseph is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and an IT veteran with over 35 years of experience in the high tech industries. He has held senior technical positions with several OEMs and VARs; providing technical pre and post sales support as well as designing, implementing and supporting backup, recovery and data protection / encryption solutions along with providing Disaster Recovery planning and testing and data loss risk assessment in distributed computing environments on Unix and Windows platforms.

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