Panzura has pioneered integrating the cloud as a storage tier into an interwoven global file system and global namespace that presents itself to users and administrators as a seamless, familiar user experience. The integration of these three elements into a robust, high-performing system required groundbreaking advances in core file system technologies.
- Integration of global file system and unified namespace: This complex accomplishment catapulted onsite NAS storage experiences to the globally-distributed stage, providing visibility of all files in all locations to all users at all times, while enabling seamless scale out across sites without disruption, degraded performance or manual updates to local file systems. It formed the basis for rapid, simple file and workflow sharing on a global scale without negative impact on IT administration or user experience. Anticipating massive scaling, Panzura architected this entire solution to be a 128b zettabyte object file system.
- Architecting a distributed, dynamic file locking capability: Giving users across sites access to files at any location will result in chaos, data collisions and corruption, and lost data without an elegant, transparent file locking system. Panzura constructed its file locking architecture from the ground up, creating an experience similar to what administrators and users are familiar with from their local NAS. If a user tries to open a file that is locked by a user at any location, they are given read-only access until that lock is released. All files in the global file system are protected using locking and the user experience is seamless and quick. No other distributed file system offers this level of control, protection, and transparency on a global scale.
- Metadata/data decoupling and global snapshots: Panzura also discovered that separating metadata from payloads and applying snapshot technology where possible opened an avenue for rapid system management across sites without overloading networks with data. File system and namespace updates, snapshot data protection, deduplication, locking, and access control are just a few of the fundamental file system functions that are enabled on a global scale with local performance by this innovation.
- Global deduplication: Leveraging metadata and snapshot technology also enabled Panzura to be the only company that provides true deduplication across sites, as opposed to within a given site. Because deduplication reference tables are rapidly shared across all appliances and locations, only globally unique data will ever be sent to and stored in the cloud, minimizing network and capacity costs while speeding overall performance.
- Local cache and pinning: Each Panzura Controller is also its own tiered storage system. On-board memory and SSDs accelerate performance while an intelligent cache gives rapid, direct access to the most recent files while also allowing pinning of critical files for continual local access. This cache and pinning technology speeds overall performance while also buffering the user experience even when cloud connectivity might vary in access speed. Panzura gives cloud capacity with LAN-speed access.