New Version of File System Also Allows Installing Apps on Virtual Machines Inside Xcellis Workflow Director

Quantum has expanded the capabilities of its StorNext file system in an effort to increase flexibility and efficiency in multi-tier environments. StorNext 5.4 includes new support for moving data to tiers of public or private cloud storage outside of the company's own object storage offerings, as well as the ability to run applications in the Xcellis Workflow Director and new connectivity options.

For workflow with cloud tiers, StorNext will now manage policy-based data movement into and out of cloud services, starting with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, as well as private cloud hardware offerings including NetApp StorageGrid, IBM Cleversafe and Scality RING. StorNext tiers data to the cloud using the S3 protocol and maintains the links between object storage and cloud targets.

The service does come with a fee — $50/TB/year for the public cloud and $100/TB/year for the private cloud. "We would like customers to take a look at Lattus, our own object storage system, before we sell them support for competitors," David Frederick, Quantum's senior director of media and entertainment, told StudioDaily. "But this is a request that has been coming for some time. It required some system engineering as well as license engineering to support it with a consistent price model across all of the tiers."

Also new is the ability for users to run applications inside the Xcellis Workflow Director via Quantum's Dynamic Application Environment. Among the companies certifying their applications for deployment on Xcellis virtual machines are Aspera, CatDV, Cantmo, Elements, Evolphin, Focal Point Server, Glookast, IPV, Metus and Telestream, Quantum said.

"That means customers aren't buying yet another 1RU server to deploy a single app on," said Frederick. "It's already being connected through Xcellis, and the apps have access to content and storage. It's more efficient, more cost-effective, and third-party app developers end up with a lower-cost solution." 

Quantum is also offering a new metadata controller (MDC) that starts with 2.4 TB of SSD that Frederick thinks will appeal to animation studios. "We created this half-populated MDC for the speed of SSDs without the cost of additional capacity," Frederick explained. "It has six SSDs, and you can add SSDs in increments of six, up to 24. Animation houses use lots of MDC resources, so it's advantageous to use SSDs and this gives us a better price point for them."

Added connectivity options in StorNext 5.4 include quad 16Gb Fibre Channel, dual 40Gb Ethernet, and Infiniband, Frederick said.

StorNext 5.4 is available now, and is a free upgrade for StorNext 5 users with current support contracts.