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Hammerspace Unveils Hyperscale NAS Addressing the AI/HPC Workloads

Hammerspace Unveils Hyperscale NAS Addressing the AI/HPC Workloads

The News: Hammerspace revealed a new offering, called Hyperscale NAS, that allows organizations to leverage NFS 4.2 Flex Files in Linux to create a parallel file system with existing NFS-based NAS. The new capability addresses architectural scalability and performance challenges of standard NFS storage scalability for AI and HPC demanding workloads. Find out more in Hammerspace’s press release.

Hammerspace Unveils Hyperscale NAS Addressing the AI/HPC Workloads

Analyst Take: Hammerspace has added a new offering to its Global File System platform, which it calls Hyperscale NAS. The new Hyperscale NAS functionality provides the flexibility to create a parallel file system while utilizing standard NFS-based NAS and a Linux client. This ability provides a simplified path toward implementing a parallel file system while leveraging existing storage systems and standard protocols.

To do so, Hyperscale NAS utilizes the pNFS capabilities, using the Flexible File layout, of NFS 4.2. This approach separates metadata from the data path by using a separate, out-of-band metadata server with Hammerspace Anvil software to handle file layout. This approach ultimately reduces the number of steps required from a backend storage network, allowing a standard NAS solution to overcome traditional scalability challenges.

The Hyperscale NAS solution looks to achieve file storage performance and scalability that is typically only achievable with parallel scale-out file systems. The key differentiator of Hyperscale NAS over existing parallel file systems is that it leverages existing capabilities within Linux and NFS 4.2. Alternatively, the parallel file systems typically used for highly scalable HPC environments require the use of a custom client—often introducing a high level of complexity and requiring significant operational resources.

Interestingly, pNFS—the underpinning technology of Hyperscale NAS—has actually been around for quite some time yet has struggled to achieve significant adoption. Typically, the scale-out capabilities of scale-out NAS systems with standard NFS have been adequate for most enterprise requirements, while providing typical enterprise features and data services. Meanwhile, those with larger HPC requirements typically have the expertise and resources available to support more complex parallel file systems. With the emergence of AI, however, the data infrastructure needs of enterprises are trending closer to that of traditional HPC environments—requiring far greater scale, higher performance, and requirements to constantly feed GPUs.

The increased adoption of AI is stretching organizations beyond the limits of their traditional NAS implementations. Yet, for many, implementing a parallel file system may still not be feasible due to complexity or the historical investments. This reality presents a new opportunity for pNFS, and for Hammerspace’s Hyperscale NAS, allowing organizations to leverage their existing systems alongside standard Linux and NFS capabilities to achieve a solution rivaling much more complex parallel file systems. With Hyperscale NAS, Hammerspace is providing a path forward for enterprise organizations to overcome the data infrastructure challenges of AI while maintaining the simplicity and standard capabilities of NFS NAS that enterprise organizations are familiar with.

The requirements for scale and performance in regard to enterprise AI environments is only beginning to be realized. We expect all industries, not just media and entertainment, energy, life sciences, and financial trading, to require these types of systems to support this next generation of applications. This support will require adaptation of the current NAS systems or simplification of traditional parallel file systems to support the demand.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Camberley brings over 25 years of executive experience leading sales and marketing teams at Fortune 500 firms. Before joining The Futurum Group, she led the Evaluator Group, an information technology analyst firm as Managing Director.

Her career has spanned all elements of sales and marketing including a 360-degree view of addressing challenges and delivering solutions was achieved from crossing the boundary of sales and channel engagement with large enterprise vendors and her own 100-person IT services firm.

Camberley has provided Global 250 startups with go-to-market strategies, creating a new market category “MAID” as Vice President of Marketing at COPAN and led a worldwide marketing team including channels as a VP at VERITAS. At GE Access, a $2B distribution company, she served as VP of a new division and succeeded in growing the company from $14 to $500 million and built a successful 100-person IT services firm. Camberley began her career at IBM in sales and management.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from California State University – Long Beach and executive certificates from Wellesley and Wharton School of Business.

Mitch comes to The Futurum Group through the acquisition of the Evaluator Group and is focused on the fast-paced and rapidly evolving areas of cloud computing and data storage. Mitch joined Evaluator Group in 2019 as a Research Associate covering numerous storage technologies and emerging IT trends.

With a passion for all things tech, Mitch brings deep technical knowledge and insight to The Futurum Group’s research by highlighting the latest in data center and information management solutions. Mitch’s coverage has spanned topics including primary and secondary storage, private and public clouds, networking fabrics, and more. With ever changing data technologies and rapidly emerging trends in today’s digital world, Mitch provides valuable insights into the IT landscape for enterprises, IT professionals, and technology enthusiasts alike.

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