#SFD4 – Vendor 8: Avere

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This post is part of a series of 10 vendors that have presented their technology to the TechFieldDay attendees, gathered for this edition of Storage Field Day 4. You can find all background about the project here: http://techfieldday.com/event/sfd4/ – This series of blogposts were live notes, published at the end of the presentation but reviewed afterwards. Disclaimer: the attendees are not personally compensated other than our transport and lodging, nor are we obliged to write anything at all.

Avere logo

Company

  • Founded: 2008
  • Founders: Ron Bianchini (CEO), Mike Kazar (CTO), Dan Nydick (Director Softw Dev)
  • Financial Status: C-round
  • CEO: Ron Bianchini

Technology

Avere Systems is a NAS performance enhancer. They use an Edge-Core technology where the fronted Edge filers are acting as a cache for the core filers and are giving about 98% cache hit ratio out of these filers. The architecture is called Tiered File System (TFS). 

Avere 01

The tiering happens at the block level. The <Media Director> is responsible for putting all the data on the right type of media (RAM/eMLC SSD/10k SAS/SATA). The 98% now comes from the first three tiers and they removed the SATA out of the Edge and that’s what is going to be at the core. The secret sauce here is that Avere measures the type of workload coming in and put it on the right tier immediately.

Avere 02

On write every block that comes in get’s mirrored to at least 1 ‘buddy’ in the cluster. On reads the blocks that are most used will move to the node that accesses that block the most but it will do cache-2-cache operation to the other members (red triangles). When a block gets asked for more by all members, the blocks will be replicated to more members (blue squares). A good example here is VDI workloads.

Avere 03

Avere Cloud NAS

Beyond NFS, Avere is now also supporting an S3-based backend. Basically an object store that acts as a core filer. Currently it supports AWS S3 & Glacier, EMC Atmos & Cleversafe. On a longer term Rackspace/HP/Openstack Swift are next. The Glacier part is a thing apart as it is freezing a whole directory instead of parts of the data. That’s because Glacier has an SLA of 3>5 hrs. If you would not do this the data would just not be slower available, it wouldn’t be available at all.

Avere 04

A great quote from Ron here is: “the Avere Cloud NAS is not a Cloud Gateway but it uses cloud storage as a backend of their NAS fronted.” Makes sense Ron!

My Take

I met Ron earlier this summer and was impressed by his personality and story. It’s not the fist time he launched and landed a startup safely. Avere is no different. It already has a decent amount of customers and is growing rapidly. The Core-Edge filers are a very smart move and the way they implemented objet (cloud) here as a backend is just the same smart move. Everyone is afraid of using the cloud but this makes a lot sense. If I was designing a new datacenter, Avere would be on my list.

Links

Video

Here are the 3 videos of Storage Field Day 4: Overview of Avere / Avere Use Cases / Cloud NAS Introduction

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