SoftNAS Beta Released to Early Access Program Participants
Rick Braddy
December 07, 2012

We reached an important milestone today with the SoftNAS Beta release.

Based on our QA testing results, the Beta is very solid on VMware  and Amazon EC2.

The VMware ESXi platform, which we use in development and day to day operations with SoftNAS, is solid as a rock – as usual. We see throughput up to line speed between the SoftNAS storage server and workload servers. VMware continues to be the leading hypervisor for premise-based, enterprise deployments for good reason – it’s mature, robust and just works.

For the first time, we now support SoftNAS across all of the standard Amazon EC2 regions (except for Sydney, which is relatively new and will come later). SoftNAS for EC2 is now available on these Amazon Machine Images (AMI):

ami-6df27104 – US East (N. Virginia)
ami-a443cb94 – US West (Oregon)
ami-aec6e7eb – US West (California)
ami-d6c3cea2 – EU (Ireland)
ami-cedc9f9c – Asia Pacific (Singapore)
ami-d066ded1 – Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
ami-92d30b8f – South America (Sao Paulo)

Deployment on EC2 is super-fast and easy – on the order of several minutes to spin up a new SoftNAS instance! Amazon makes this process extremely easy and productive. We observed good performance, up to 100 MB/sec (line speed), on basic EBS volumes with SoftNAS cache memory. Best of all, there’s no hardware to mess with – just point, click, deploy and go! And EC2 is solid as a rock, performing flawlessly in all our tests.

This release includes iSCSI target and initiator support. Setting up iSCSI targets and connecting to them from Windows Servers, Unix servers and VMware ESXi worked flawlessly and performed as expected, as well.

This release also introduces scheduled snapshots – hourly, daily and weekly snaps. There’s a new snapshot control panel that displays the snapshots for each volume (or all volumes at once). Snapshots can be cloned into writable volumes with the push of a button.

The release notes provide a more complete list of features and fixes in this release.

Behind the scenes, we’ve been busily working with a number of early adopters with some very interesting projects and use cases. We are very excited about the GA release of SoftNAS, which will be the same run-time image for all the platforms, with a few added features like SnapReplicate and a few others.

Okay – time for a brief break to recover from the march to release day this week for me… then back into the salt mines to develop the last major feature for version 1 – SnapReplicate. I’m very excited about SnapReplicate – it’s going to make it super-easy to configure SoftNAS for redundancy and failover.

Onward!

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