All Avere solutions are engineered under the A-3 Architecture. Avere engineering has a long history in developing file system products - including the Andrew File System (AFS), Spinnaker File System, NetApp Data ONTAP GX & Cluster-mode, and Panasas File System - and the A-3 Architecture represents the culmination of this expertise. The A-3 Architecture delivers all the capabilities of today's Avere solutions and is extensible to the future of NAS as it evolves in the years to come.
Three pillars of innovation define the A-3 Architecture: 1) Tiered File System, 2) Scale-out Clustering, and 3) Virtualization & Visibility.
Tiered File System
The Tiered File System (TFS) is the first file system to be designed from the ground up to be deployed on multiple storage tiers. TFS dynamically tiers data by intelligently and automatically moving it to the optimal storage tier based on demand. It stores active data on the RAM, SSD, and HDD media internal to FXT appliances and manages the placement of inactive data on Core filers. Allocation algorithms constantly monitor data access patterns and actively manage data placement to increase performance, distribute workload in the cluster, and minimize accesses to the Core filers. TFS accelerates performance for any application workload by taking ownership of heavily accessed files and accelerating all operations to those files including reads, writes, and metadata operations. Avere TFS provides NFSv3 and CIFS file access interfaces to support applications running on Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac servers and clients and NFSv3 to support Core filers from 3rd-party NAS vendors including NetApp, EMC/Isilon, Oracle/Sun, and more.
Linear performance scaling and high availability are provided by Avere’s scale-out clustering. Up to 50 FXT appliances can be clustered, delivering up to millions of operations/sec performance and tens of gigabytes/sec throughput. Active data is coherently and automatically balanced across all FXT appliances in the cluster avoiding hot spots and enabling all resources to be used as a shared, scalable pool. On demand, files are automatically replicated at the block/sub-file level across the cluster to deliver parallel performance for hot data. N+1 high availability ensures that data is available in the event of a power, network, or system failure.
Virtualization & Visibility
File system virtualization is provided by Avere’s built-in global namespace (GNS) functionality. Avere GNS enables managing many heterogeneous NAS systems as though they were one and allows all clients to access all data from a single mount point. Avere’s integrated GNS simplifies management, allows getting rid of automounter servers, and enables clients to immediately see newly added exports without the need for a client reboot. Unlike GNS solutions that are time-consuming to install, difficult to remove, and negatively impact performance, Avere GNS can be installed or removed in minutes and simultaneously delivers enhanced performance through tiering. FlashMove™ software enables transparently moving live data between Core filers without disrupting applications or users. FlashMirror™ software enables disaster recovery by replicating data on primary and secondary Core filers.
A wealth of statistics and graphical display on the Avere user interface provide unmatched visibility into the operations of your entire NAS environment, including clients, applications servers, and storage. The data provided goes beyond standard statistics and includes comprehensive analytics (e.g. hot files and hot clients) that give you unique tools to diagnose NAS environments. Industry-standard XML-RPC and SNMP interfaces enable integrating the Avere analytics with 3rd-party products.