NFS Evolution Changes the Landscape of HPC Data Management
sponsored by BlueArc Corp.

In HPC data management, traditional standards-based solutions have been limited in performance and scalability, but proprietary, high-performance solutions have required specific expertise to set up, manage, or scale. On the one hand, a storage architect could implement a standards-based solution, such as one based on the NFS file system protocol, but such solutions may fail to provide performance at scale without significant redundancy and expense. On the other hand there are custom, parallel file systems that are designed for scalability and performance, but these sacrifice standards and interoperability.

BlueArc seeks to address this tradeoff with a hybrid file system combining the benefits of standard NFS and the performance and scale of parallel file systems. Rather than settling for the status quo ("NFS does not scale"), BlueArc questioned it ("Why does NFS not scale?") and challenged it ("What can we do to enable NFS scalability?"). The result is a storage solution that bridges the gap between scalability and interoperability.

Upcoming evolutions in HPC data management, including the emergence of a parallel NFS standard and the potential for consolidation in data management, may raise the value of interoperability still further and put increased pressure on shared disk implementations. BlueArc is well-positioned with a solution that addresses problems today and is compatible with new implementations and protocols on the horizon.

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