How has high-performance NAS has affected SAN, HPTC, HPEC and other storage platforms?
Years ago, the path to high-performance storage was through storage area networks (SANs) or direct-attached storage (DAS). But over the last few years, there have been dramatic improvements in the capabilities of NAS platforms. Today we see that NAS meets about 82% of all data requirements in the data center, and it was just a matter of time until NAS vendors caught up with performance metrics of more traditional SANs.
I've sold a lot of SAN in my business over the last 10 years, but very little NAS for performance reasons. That's not the case anymore. There's more supportability for NAS such as converged devices that handle CIFS, NFS and iSCSI all in the same box. The emergence of NAS has really impacted my SAN sales, and I've shifted a lot of my salespeople's focus to high-performance NAS and educating customers on the definition criteria for them.
High-performance technical computing (HPTC) and high-performance enterprise computing (HPEC) storage have actually changed in the applications that drove them to high-performance NAS devices. We used to have clustering software to handle file sharing and file locking or a sharing of data code, and this functionality has shifted to the storage devices. When you take that overhead away from the processors because the storage devices are now doing that work, HPTC and HPEC programmers are now changing the way they develop software. So the HPTC and HPEC markets are not directly affected by high-performance NAS. Instead, high-performance NAS has been embraced by new applications and the way that data is shared.