At the end of the AWS webinar on Dec. 10, 2014, which covered “Migrating from On-premise NAS Storage to Cloud NAS Storage with SoftNAS,” there were some questions asked that we didn’t have time to answer. Here’s a recap of the questions and answers. If you missed the webinar and would like to view it on-demand, you can watch it here or see the slide deck here.


[Questions edited for clarity, grammar]

Q: What is a ‘typical’ EC2 instance type that your customers are using?

A: There is no “typical type”.  There are several things to consider when choosing an instance size.

For light workloads customers typically start with the m3 series.

For medium to very heavy workloads,  the c3 or r3 series are recommended.  It is also important to choose the HVM AMIs that support Enhanced Networking.  Also, enable EBS optimization to maximize throughput.

Feel free to reach out to to discuss your particular needs and we will be happy to provide recommendations.

Q: Do I need my AD on AWS or on premise?
A: Active Directory is not required for SoftNAS.  Security can be managed on the device.

Q: Is SoftNAS based on Solaris because ZFS rocks?
A: SoftNAS is based on ZFS on Linux.  It uses CentOS as the base operating system.

Q: I see 2 flavors of SoftNAS…PV and HVM/SRV-IO. Can you explain the difference?
A: The major differences are that PV does not support Enhanced Networking and HVM does.  HVM AMIs will be able to run on a wider number of instance types.

Q: If I run my SoftNAS just over the weekend, is the data preserved while the VM is powered off?
A: Yes.

Q: Is this typical cloud storage or do users do mirroring with the local file store?
A: SoftNAS provides a Cloud NAS.  Private Cloud mirroring is not required, but is available if desired.

Q: Is SoftNAS PCI and HIPAA compliant?
A: We will need more information to properly address this question.  Since SoftNAS is just one component of a solution it will depend on configuration.  Please contact to discuss detailed requirements.

Q: How many files does SoftNAS scale-up to handle?
A: Billions.

Q: Is replication block based?  If so, what size block is replicated?
A: The default block size is 128k, however if compression is used the block size will be variable.

Q: Is replication synchronous?
A: No, today replication is asynchronous.

Q: Can you compare SoftNAS to GlusterFS?
A: SoftNAS is built on ZFS and scales to billions of files.

Q: With dual Availability Zones, what is the typical latency between a write, and it being available in the other zone for read?  Is there a “”sync”” mode for blocking writes that wait for replication?
A: Replication happens every 1 min and works active/passive mode.

Q: When SoftNAS is mounted via NFSv3 or NFSv4, does it support the FS “”O_DIRECT”” flag for synchronous blocking writes?”
A: Yes.

Q: Would this be a viable solution for replicating data from our EMC to an iSCSI drive with SoftNAS?
A: Yes. Several options are available.  Contact

Q: Do you have a way to automate setup like an API or CloudFormation?
A: Yes. SoftNAS has a full API/CLI that can be used with Cloud Formation Templates.  Find examples in SoftNAS documentation.