SoftNAS® allows The Street to Move Out of Own Data Center into AWS Virtual Private Cloud

After suffering numerous outages and business impacts due to shortcomings of cloud NAS clustered file systems, The Street replaced their AWS NAS solution and turned to SoftNAS for storage and disaster recovery.

Challenge

  • The Street began with three EC2 instances running a opensource cloud NAS clustered file system.
  • The promise of the “scale out” clustered file system architectures just did not work as expected.
  • With millions of files, replication could not keep up.
  • The cloud NAS would get out of sync, then self-healing didn’t work, and eventually the Apache webservers went down and then everything went offline.
  • Worse yet, since it was community-supported software, “when something breaks, nobody cares…,” so support was a major issue.

Why SoftNAS

  • SoftNAS was configured on EC2 with elastic block storage (EBS) configured as RAID 10 for best IOPS, throughput and redundancy.
  • A second SoftNAS instance was configured in a different availability zone (AZ) as a failover target, in case of any outage or equipment failure in the primary AZ.
  • Next, SnapReplicate™ was configured. Snap Replicate uses “block replication” instead of file replication. This means the only data transmitted from the primary SoftNAS controller node to the secondary in the other AZ are those data blocks that actually changed.

Results

  • Applications like Oracle, custom Java, video streaming, Drupal and other line of business applications are now running fast and reliably.
  • In addition, near real-time block replication to a different availability zone provides the disaster recovery and redundancy required.
  • TheStreet.com and the company’s other websites and applications are now fully operational in the AWS cloud using SoftNAS.

“Unfortunately, first we chose a clustered file system – a horrible mistake… Nothing but disastrous issues”

– Chris Mays, IT Consultant, The Street