IBM Spectrum NAS is software that will cluster nodes and present filesystems using the node resources of processor, network, and storage. As a scale out system, nodes can be added to the cluster and data will be redistributed automatically for load balancing.
The nodes are standard servers with network connections and captive storage devices. Storage can be disks or SSDs. A caching device is used in addition to DRAM for performance acceleration. Nodes have Ethernet ports for client access and a separate private Ethernet port for backchannel communication to other nodes.
As a software-only offering, IBM Spectrum NAS can be integrated on server systems with storage by customers or through resellers and systems integrators. There is a list of supported server platforms for the software. The installation of IBM Spectrum NAS can be done on bare metal servers, on virtual machines, or in public clouds. In the case of installation on public clouds, some nodes could be on premises and others in public clouds creating a hybrid configuration.
Scaling begins with a minimum of four nodes and can scale to 100’s. Scaling beyond 8 nodes requires IBM approval. As nodes are added, data is automatically redistributed for load balancing while maintaining the protection settings. Automatic resiliency protection is based on monitoring all nodes with a hierarchy of decisions on fault detection.
The IBM Spectrum NAS software supports NFS and native CIFS/SMB, which will be very attractive to mixed file serving environments and especially those with Windows-based systems. The feature of Metro Cluster, which is really an active-active stretched cluster implementation, will be very valuable for customers with business continuity / high availability demands. Authentication security is handled with support for AD, LDAP, Kerberos, and NIS.
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