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IBM Scale-out File Services

Software information
Stable release1.5
Latest release dateAugust 2008
Operating systemRHEL 5.2
TypeNetwork-attached Storage

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Scale out File Services (SoFS) is a highly-scalable, grid-based NAS solution developed by IBM. It is based on IBM's high-performance shared-disk clustered file system GPFS. SoFS exports the clustered file system through industry standard protocols like CIFS, NFS, FTP and HTTP. Released in 2007, SoFS is a second generation file services architecture first used within IBM to store employees files since 2001.

All of the SoFS nodes in the grid export all files of all file systems simultaneously. This is a different approach from some other clustered NAS solutions which pin individual files to a single node or pair of nodes thus limiting the single file performance dramatically. Each file system can be multiple Petabytes in size.

SoFS combines proprietary IBM technology (storage & server hardware and GPFS) with open source components like Linux, Samba and CTDB.

Since February 2010, IBM is offering a hardened appliance version (better: evolution) of SoFS, called Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS). SONAS includes a subset of the described software stack plus a new management layer. Major differences are a strict hardware support matrix, integrated high-density disk storage and a delivery model with standard IBM product warranty. Technically, SONAS uses an internal Infiniband network for achieving short latency and highest cluster throughput. The cluster architecture is derived from leading Top500 supercomputer designs.

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