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Qumulo QC update adds flexible file quotas, PB array

Qumulo NAS upgrade allows data to move between quota domains without rewriting the file system. QC360 hardware is a petabyte-scale addition to its QC-Series hybrid disk lineup.

Qumulo Inc. added a new, high-end model to its scale-out NAS platform, and it upgraded its software to support storage quotas that move data dynamically between file directories.

Qumulo Core 2.6 natively builds machine intelligence into the Qumulo Scalable File System. The software upgrade allows data to move between quota domains without rewriting the file system. The file quotas advance Qumulo's Data-aware storage technology that is the heart of its product line.

Core 2.6 will be available on all Qumulo NAS appliances.

QC-Series gets new, high-end model

The Qumulo QC360 is a petabyte-scale addition to the QC-Series lineup of hybrid flash and disk appliances. It supplants the QC260 model as the top-end model in QC-Series, which also includes QC24, QC40, QC104 and QC208 appliances.

A 10-node QC360 configuration scales to 3 PB of usable capacity per rack, or about 40% more effective storage than QC260. Customers can buy a minimum of six QC360 nodes. Each QC360 appliance accommodates 36 helium-filled 10 TB HGST Ultrastar He10 hard disk drives and four 1.6 TB enterprise MLC-based solid-state drives. Raw storage capacity is 360 TB.

In addition to its commodity-based branded hardware, Qumulo bundles Core software on Apollo servers under an OEM deal with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), one of Qumulo's earliest customers, is adding a six-node QC360 cluster to partially replace older Dell EMC Isilon NAS arrays. VTTI CIO Clark Gaylord said Qumulo's NAS adds IPv6 functionality for a secure big data enclave.

"We're going to get one of the first QC360 models to roll off the floor. We'll put it straight into production. This is primarily going to handle new data. We have a couple projects that will gather more than 1 PB of new data in the next year," Gaylord said.

He said VTTI's secure data enclave requires IPv6 functionality. Qumulo NAS supports NFS Linux workflows for big data applications that its analyst teams consume via SMB.

"The integration between NFS and SMB, from a permissions perspective and performance perspective, is really important."

Qumulo said QC360 pricing starts at less than a penny per gigabyte, per month.

Qumulo NAS quotas eliminate tree walks

Qumulo was formally launched in March 2015 by many of the same engineers who designed Isilon scale-out NAS, which EMC acquired for $2.25 billion in 2010. The Qumulo software uses intelligent data analytics to manage data and file quotas.

Qumulo always compiled performance metrics on metadata, but Core 2.6 offers a more flexible approach, said Mike Matchett, a senior analyst at IT analyst firm Taneja Group Inc., in Hopkinton, Mass.

It really brings quota management into a real-time exercise, rather than as something that's [a] report-based exercise.
Mike Matchettsenior analyst, Taneja Group

"You can ask about quotas and be alerted dynamically in real time," Matchett said. "It automatically indexes quota information and lets you run queries, rather than using prebaked bits and flags. It really brings quota management into a real-time exercise, rather than as something that's [a] report-based exercise."

Scale-out storage systems typically require the creation of a queue tree to represent quota volumes. If file quotas are needed on a large data set, each file in the directory is crawled, and changes are written to the file system.

Previous versions of Qumulo Core showed how much capacity was being consumed by a given directory, but did not permit storage administrators to set a hard limit on file quotas or objects in a directory.

Qumulo CTO Peter Godman said the latest edition of Core provides fine-grained data management.

"This gives administrators the ultimate power tool for capacity management. You have instant and comprehensive insight on how your storage capacity is being used and where your storage dollars go. For end users, they have a deep understanding of their own data footprint," Godman said.

Qumulo rolled out data-aware snapshots in Core in November. Core 2.6 embeds a metadata database for running queries across a directory tree. The queries show how much storage is consumed at every level in the file system.

Information about ownership and file quotas is set as dynamic policies in the newest version of the Qumulo analytics software. End users can redefine quota management and have the changes take effect immediately. Quotas travel with the data as it gets moved.

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