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Quantum prepares next rev of StorNext software

Quantum this week took the wraps off its latest StorNext data management file system, adding performance, scalability and flexibility.

StorNext 5 represents a substantial re-write of the software that will be available standalone or on integrated appliances. Quantum claims the new metadata controller appliance performs up to 10 times faster and scales five times as high as the previous version. It also added NAS and HTTP/REST cloud-based network support to go along with the previous SAN support. The software was also optimized to run with solid-state drives (SSDs), InfiniBand networking and multi-core processors.

“This is a rebuilding from the ground up,” said Janet LaFleur, Quantum’s senior product marketing manager for StorNext.

Performance improvements focus on better cache management and CPU utilization, which help support more users and files. Quantum said small file performance has been drastically improved, making StorNext 5 a better fit for applications that require fast file creation and deletions such as financial analytics and high performance computing (HPC).

The new version supports up to five billion files shared in one StorNext File System (up from 1 billion in the previous version) and metadata into the petabytes.

StorNext 5 will be available on appliances in December, and as software-only in 2014. StoreNext M440 and M660 appliance customers will get the StorNext 5 upgrade with their support contracts. However, the new StorNext 5 appliances will be given a new name, which Quantum has yet to reveal.

LaFleur said the hardware in the appliances will be updated for speed, but “this is primarily a software change. You wouldn’t see this level of improvement if it were only new hardware.”

StorNext, along with the DXi disk backup platform, is a key piece of Quantum’s strategy to expand from its legacy standing as a tape vendor. While DXi sales have been uneven, Quantum reported 55 new customers and 13 percent year-over-year growth of StorNext revenue last quarter, including a 60 percent increase in appliances.

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