StorNext provides support for legacy Network Attached Storage (NAS) protocols, including Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File System (CIFS).
However, using StorNext LAN Clients for NAS connectivity provides several compelling advantages in the following areas:
- Fault Tolerance
- Load Balancing
- Client Scalability
- Robustness and Stability
- Security Model Consistency
The StorNext LAN Clients outperform NFS and CIFS for single-stream I/O and provide higher aggregate bandwidth. For inferior NFS client implementations, the difference can be more than a factor of two.The The StorNext LAN Client also makes extremely efficient use of multiple NICs (even for single streams), whereas legacy NAS protocols allow only a single NIC to be used. In addition, StorNext LAN Clients communicate directly with StorNext metadata controllers instead of going through an intermediate server, thereby lowering IOP latency.
StorNext LAN Clients handle faults transparently, where possible. If an I/O is in progress and a NIC fails, the I/O is retried on another NIC (if one is available). If a StorNext Gateway Server fails while an I/O is in flight, the I/O is retried on another server (if one is running). When faults occur, applications performing I/O will experience a delay but not an error, and no administrative intervention is required to continue operation. These fault tolerance features are automatic and require no configuration.
StorNext LAN Clients automatically makes use of all available gateway servers in an active/active fashion, and evenly spreads I/O across them. If a server goes down or one is added, the load balancing system automatically adjusts to support the new configuration. For more information on load balancing options, refer to the
cvadmin command in the Man Pages Reference Guide.
StorNext LAN Clients have the same security model as StorNext SAN Clients. When CIFS and NFS are used, some security models aren’t supported. (For example, Windows ACLs are not accessible when running UNIX Samba servers.)