Panasas Drives Industry Adoption of Parallel Storage to Solve Storage I/O Bottlenecks; Open Sources Client Software

Panasas to be First Storage Vendor to Release Parallel NFS Compatible

Storage Systems

May 21, 2007, 01:00 ET from Panasas, Inc.

    FREMONT, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasas, Inc., the leader in
 parallel clustered storage solutions for the High Performance Computing
 (HPC) market, today announced the source code release of key components of
 its industry leading parallel file system client software, DirectFLOW(R),
 to accelerate the adoption of Parallel Network File System (pNFS), which is
 to be released as part of the NFS version 4.1 standard. This open source
 initiative continues the company's leadership role in shaping the pNFS
 standard which was originally initiated by Dr. Garth Gibson, Panasas
 founder and chief technology officer.
     Parallel NFS is a breakthrough technology that will solve storage I/O
 bottlenecks and accelerate customer deployments of parallel storage
 solutions. pNFS is a critical part of NFS version 4.1 (NFSv4.1), the first
 major performance upgrade to the widely deployed NFS in over a decade.
 Panasas' DirectFLOW protocol is a precursor to the pNFS standard and
 provides all of the functionality expected to be available in the protocol
 when it is formally reviewed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
 later this year. Given the close technical collaboration with the
 industry-wide pNFS development team and eight years of experience in
 parallel file system development, Panasas will be the first supplier to
 offer fully pNFS compatible parallel storage systems.
     To accelerate the industry's adoption of the standard, Panasas will be
 releasing the source code this summer and has opened a fourth R&D center
 which is dedicated solely to advancing solutions based on the new pNFS
     "Parallel storage based on pNFS is the next evolution beyond clustered
 NFS storage and the best way for the industry to solve storage and I/O
 performance bottlenecks," said Robin Harris, senior analyst of the Data
 Mobility Group. "Panasas was the first to identify the need for a
 production grade, standard parallel file system and has unprecedented
 experience in deploying commercial parallel storage solutions."
     Driven by end customer demands for greater performance due to increased
 use of parallelism from cluster and multi-core processor deployments, the
 storage industry is moving to parallel storage to dramatically improve
 application performance and to lower overall development costs. For
 parallelism to become ubiquitous, a standards approach which allows users
 to choose from multiple storage vendors and the freedom to access parallel
 storage from any client are required.
     Later this year, the IETF NFSv4 subcommittee will conclude its work on
 the protocol as part of the NFS version 4.1 Request For Comment (RFC). pNFS
 enables direct parallel data transfer between clients and storage devices.
 Support is expected on Linux, Windows, and the leading UNIX versions from
 the major computer vendors. This new standard is being jointly developed by
 storage industry technology leaders and members of the NFSv4 working group,
 including Panasas, IBM, EMC, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems, and
 University of Michigan's Center for Information Technology Integration
     "Panasas has been the leading supplier of parallel storage solutions
 for many years. By open sourcing our DirectFLOW client software, we will
 accelerate customer adoption of next generation high performance storage
 solutions based on the new Parallel NFS standard," said Victor Perez,
 Panasas chief executive officer. "With this release of source code, we will
 help the industry to solve some of the hardest problems in parallel file
     Panasas has been a leader in the development of the pNFS standard from
 the start. Dr. Garth Gibson co-authored the standard's initial problem
 statement in 2004. Panasas has provided substantial technical input to the
 NFSv4 committee working on pNFS and is contributing to the Linux NFS client
 and server as well as to the Linux object storage driver, iSCSI driver, and
 SCSI stack. The concepts for the pNFS proposal were derived from the
 Panasas DirectFLOW protocol, which is a core component of the Panasas
 PanFS(TM) parallel file system.
     "Panasas led much of the early effort to create a Parallel NFS
 standard," said Peter Honeyman, scientific director of the Center for
 Information Technology Integration (CITI) at the University of Michigan.
 "We are very pleased to see Panasas' continued commitment by adding
 critical IP and development resources to the Linux open source reference
 implementations of pNFS that we are building here at CITI."
     The Panasas' DirectFLOW protocol currently provides essentially all of
 the functionality expected to be available in the NFSv4.1 RFC later this
 year. DirectFLOW will become the foundation of the Panasas pNFS solution.
 Users and application developers can take immediate advantage of the
 commercially proven Panasas parallel storage system today.
     Panasas will be open sourcing code of the DirectFLOW client for Linux
 to the storage and developer community, specifically, the object layout
 driver and iSCSI drivers. The code will be available to the storage
 community on the Panasas Web site,, and at Current Panasas customers can access early releases of
 the code from the Panasas customer support Web site later this summer.
     About Panasas
     Panasas, Inc., the global leader in parallel storage solutions, helps
 commercial, government and academic organizations accelerate their time to
 results leading to real world breakthroughs that improve people's lives.
 Panasas' high-performance storage systems enable customers to maximize the
 benefits of Linux clusters by eliminating the storage bottleneck created by
 legacy network storage technologies. The Panasas ActiveStor Parallel
 Storage Clusters, in conjunction with the ActiveScale(R) Operating
 Environment and PanFS(TM) parallel file system, offer the most
 comprehensive portfolio of storage solutions for High Performance Computing
 (HPC) environments. Panasas is headquartered in Fremont, California. For
 more information, please visit
     ActiveScale, DirectFLOW and PanFS are trademarks or registered
 trademarks of Panasas, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their
 respective owners.

SOURCE Panasas, Inc.