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Vol. 10 Num. 11 January 2012

Not all scale-out NAS systems are created equal

You may already be sold on the concept of scale-out NAS, but scale-out systems vary widely and you’ll have plenty of decisions to make before buying one. Scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) has arrived. But if you said it’s been around for a while, you’d also be right -- sort of. But using a clustered file system and building NAS around it was far from being real NAS. NAS implies simplicity, and those home-cooked systems never quite fulfilled that requirement. Isilon, now a part of EMC, is probably most responsible for making scale-out NAS a reality. Isilon came to market approximately a decade ago and struggled to educate us on the virtues of scale-out architectures. It was an uphill climb as NetApp and EMC, lacking such an architecture, trivialized its need. But Isilon prevailed. NetApp recognized the potential of scale-out and bought Spinnaker Networks in 2003. It took a while to get everything integrated, but NetApp is now fully in the scale-out NAS game. Dell is, too, after acquiring Exanet, and offers PowerVault or ...

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