Today Avere Systems announced an update to the AOS software (version 4.5) that runs on their FXT Edge Filers. The big news in this version is the addition of a Virtual Edge Filer, the vFXT.
Avere’s FXT works by placing an Edge Filer close to the end-user clients. The Edge Filer uses a global name space to virtualize file storage for the Core Filers positioned behind it. AOS 4.0 included support for using public cloud storage as a Core Filer, or Cloud NAS. AOS 4.5 adds support for installing an Edge Filer in the cloud, further extending the functionality.
Avere Edge Filers
Avere’s Edge Filers use intelligent caching and pre-fetch algorithms to provide impressive performance boosts for the Core Filers behind them. Those Core Filers can be NAS or object storage on premises with the Edge Filers, off-premises at another site, or, with AOS 4.0 or later, can be the Amazon AWS public cloud.
FXT Edge Filers offer client access to files via NFS (v3, both TCP and UDP) and CIFS (both SMB 1.0 and 2.0). The Edge Filers connect to Core Filers via either NFS (v3 TCP) or the S3 object API.
The Edge Filers’ performance-enhancing ability is efficient enough that what’s being used as a Core Filer is almost indistinguishable. Avere is able to provide similar performance whether the source storage is onsite, remote, or in the cloud.
The chart/diagram below shows Avere’s SpecFS performance benchmark results for four different configurations: local NAS, remote NAS, local object store (Cleversafe), and Amazon’s S3 service. You can see how similar the front-end performance is, regardless of the back-end scenario.
Avere vFXT Edge Filer
The Avere vFXT Edge Filer is 100% virtual. Customers deploy it as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Because it’s virtual, adding nodes to increase performance and/or capacity takes only a click in the GUI and happens within minutes. vFXT can be deployed in clusters that scale from 3 to 50 nodes.
AOS 4.5 includes full API support for monitoring and management of the Avere cluster.
Being virtual and deployed in the Cloud, the vFXT provides easy support for burst computing to the cloud at peak times. This allows customers to provision additional compute resources on an as-needed pay-as-they-go basis.
Currently the granularity on the licensing is monthly, so it’s unlikely to be used for unplanned workload bursts. Instead, this is a valuable feature for customers who do seasonal business.
The table below offers an overview of the different models in the FXT product line.
The “R3.2xlarge” version of the vFXT is available now. End-user pricing starts at $2.50/hour, and can be licensed on a monthly or yearly basis.
The “R3.8xlarge” version of the vFXT should be available later this year.