ONStor recently announced their next generation NAS head appliance called the Cougar™ Scalable Clustered Network Storage appliance
ONStor has taken the wraps off their next generation NAS head. This product comes in a 2U cluster node that has two 9-core NAS blades with fully redundant/fully hot swappable power supplies, fans, and NAS blades. The appliance uses off the shelf hardware components including 2 quad core MIPS microprocessors for file and storage processing, 4 4Gb-FC interfaces, and 4 GigE interfaces per NAS blade.
Cougar™ comes in two versions the 6520 and the 6720. The only significant hardware difference is that the 6520 supports less cache memory and generates less performance. ONStor says the 6520 has over 3X and the 6720 has 3.5X the read performance of their current Bobcat NAS head. Write performance is even better, the 6520 generates about 3.4X and the 6720 supports over 4X the write performance of Bobcat. Realize part of this is the fact that the Cougar cluster node has two NAS blades and the Bobcat had only one NAS head.
Power efficiency is getting a lot of heat these days and Cougar power consumption is rated at about 300W. Given the impressive performance figures the performance per watt seems very good.
Cougar™ can be configured in a 4-node configuration with 8 NAS blades offering roughly 4X the performance of a single node configuration. ONStor’s EverON operating system supports heterogeneous backend storage with multi-Tier storage pooling. Also, ONStor’s StorFS™ supports a 64-bit/100TB file system with up to 400 file systems in a single cluster.
In addition, Cougar™ can interoperate within Bobcat clusters. This allows for easy migration from the old technology to the latest generation technology with no downtime/no disruption. ONStor states the on disk file format has not changed between Bobcat and Cougar.
Finally, ONStor claims with the Cougar™ NAS head they can support performance and workloads up to the highest end of the enterprise space. In fact when comparing Cougar with NetApp enterprise NAS heads, ONStor shows they support almost twice the price performance of the NetApp products.
ONStor has almost doubled their customer base since SCI last talked with them which currently stands at over 400 customers with over 1100 installed systems. They are now approaching over 8PBs of file storage under ONStor systems. They currently target Internet, Media Entertainment, Technology, and Education verticals as their top 4 markets and derive significant success from all of them. Moreover, they recently signed a significant reseller agreement with Fujitsu Computer Products of America that allows Fujitsu to resell ONStor products with Eternus backend storage in the USA. Finally, ONStor last year opened up a sales office in China and the business there seems to be doing well.
Up till this announcement, ONStor has primarily played in the SMB market segment. With Cougar’s performance and the ability to configure a 4-way cluster, their product now reaches into the upper stratospheres of the market space. As such, ONStor seems to be moving up market. Of course the competition is not standing still but this is a significant step for ONStor and certainly bodes well for their current and future customers.
A PDF version of this can be found atONStor 2008 July 15 Announces the new Cougar NAS Head appliance
Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community