Intel’s Jeffrey Layton discusses shared cloud storage options – including SoftNAS on AWS Marketplace and chooses SoftNAS as a shared cloud storage pick.
More and more technical computing or HPC workloads are moving into the cloud. Many of these workloads need or work better with shared storage. Creating shared storage in the cloud is only beginning to be addressed. These solutions are built from the same components as NAS solutions in your data center: compute, network, storage and software. The big difference is that you can spin up a compute instance or add storage in the matter of a few minutes rather than weeks or perhaps months waiting for the hardware to arrive, be installed, tested and put into production.
Using Amazon as an example, there are some initial designs and experiments with NAS in the cloud including some commercial solutions such as SoftNAS. It’s fairly easy to configure your own NAS solution if you desire using the exact same commands you would use if you were building your own solution. Commercial solutions such as SoftNAS offer the option of having all of the heavy lifting done for you in exchange for paying for the software (and you get support).
In addition to NAS, you can also create parallel storage solutions. For example, in Amazon AWS, there are two options, one for Lustre, and one for OrangeFS (PVFS). Both use the same compute and storage instances that you use for NAS, but you create several instances that are combined to create a single file system. If you need more performance, just add more instances. If you need more capacity, just add more instances. Since this is the cloud, it’s very easy to spin up a new instance and add it to the existing storage.