Isilon adds enterprise features to scale-out NAS

By Kevin Komiega

-- Enterprises are moving toward scale-out NAS systems to combat file-based data growth and, in an effort to keep pace with their needs, Isilon Systems is shipping new data protection software and a storage node built to increase backup performance.

The new version of Isilon's operating system, OneFS 5.5, raises the maximum capacity and throughput of an Isilon storage cluster to more than 5PB of capacity, 45Gbps of aggregate performance, and 1.7 million IOPS of performance in a single file system.

OneFS 5.5 also includes a new version of the FlexProtect data protection application and features new storage monitoring and reporting functionality and native Windows Active Directory and byte-range locking.

In addition, Isilon is beefing up its replication capabilities with SyncIQ 2.5, which brings asynchronous replication to the cluster for disaster recovery, disk-to-disk (D2D) backup, and distributed workflow applications.

Isilon also introduced a new node aimed at optimizing backup traffic. The 1U Backup Accelerator can be added to an Isilon storage cluster and is comprised of dual quad-core Intel processors, 8GB of RAM, and 4Gbps Fibre Channel connections. The node is capable of delivering up to 480MBps of throughput across four concurrent streams.

According to Isilon's senior director of product management, Sam Grocott, enterprises are beginning to adopt scale-out architectures to manage the growth of file-based data. The issue, he says, is that massive storage systems traditionally create massive backup problems.

"Enterprises had to deploy scale-up architectures in the past, but those systems were designed for a world with lower data growth and smaller file sizes, which required less performance. Massive growth has created scalability problems with traditional backup systems," says Grocott.

He claims the Backup Accelerator node solves the growing pains associated with backup operations.

"Backup Accelerator is a new version of our [performance] node specifically designed for backups to tape, virtual tape libraries [VTLs] or whatever the target might be," Grocott says. "Users can now add as many or as few of these backup nodes to Isilon systems to maintain or reduce backup windows."

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how many backup nodes customers should deploy, but Grocott believes a good rule of thumb is two nodes per 100TB of storage.

Isilon's OneFS 5.5 and SyncIQ 2.5 software are both available at no charge with an active support contract. The Backup Accelerator nodes are priced at $38,550.

Related articles:
Isilon expands NAS line, partners with Ocarina
Scale-out secondary storage gains traction
ESG Insights: What's next for NAS?

This article was originally published on June 10, 2009