Panasas upgrades its HPC storage system, doubles throughput

PAS 12 array scales to 400TB per rack, offers 15GB/sec throughput

Panasas is releasing a new parallel storage system using 64-bit multicore processors and 10Gbit/sec Ethernet. With 150GB/sec aggregate throughput, the new system is the fastest available on the market, Panasas said.

The Panasas ActiveStor 12 (PAS 12) is the company's fourth-generation high-performance computing storage appliance using a storage-blade architecture. It also features the Panasas PanFS parallel file system, which includes RAID data protection.

This latest version more than doubles the performance over its predecessor, increasing throughput from 600MB/sec to 1.5GB/sec per disk drive chassis.

Each 4U (7-in) chassis has 11 drive slots for up to 40TB of capacity. Up to 10 chassis can fit in a 40U rack for up to 400TB of storage capacity and 15GB/sec aggregate throughput. Up to 10 racks can be clustered together for up to 4 petabytes of capacity and 150GB/sec throughput. The modular system scales non-disruptively.

The PAS 12 chassis comes with one director blade and up to 10 storage blades. The director blade contains a 64-bit multicore processor, memory, and a network card. It manages the system's activity and clustered metadata services. The StorageBlade contains a processor, memory and the hard disk drive. Each time a storage blade or chassis is added to a system, the processing power increases along with capacity.

"PAS 12 raises the performance bar to well above what competing products can deliver; with multi-protocol support for both direct and parallel storage, PAS 12 provides outstanding performance for critical value-creating applications such as seismic processing or genome sequencing," Faye Pairman, CEO of Panasas, said in a statement.

The PanFS file system presents a single global name space to servers, making the storage arrays appear as a single pool of capacity from which to draw.

The chassis can use either 10Gbit/sec Ethernet or InfiniBand for network connectivity. Any number of chassis can be networked to create extremely large, high-performance storage pools.

"When most organizations talk about data growth they focus on the leap from storing terabytes to petabytes of information. Of equal importance, is the explosion in demand for more rapid creation and delivery of this information," Rick Villars, vice president of storage strategies at IDC, said in a statement. "The parallel file system and architectures used in solutions like Panasas' PAS 12 will play a key role in enabling more data intense and data hunger high performance computing environments."

The PAS 12 is currently available in modular configurations starting at 40TB of storage and 1.5GB/sec performance for $110,000.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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