Logan Deployed Alacritech ANX 1500 NFS
This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on Thu, November 29th, 2012
To avoid purchasing HDS/BlueArc NAS Alacritech, Inc. announced that Logan has deployed its ANX 1500 NFS acceleration appliance to deliver productivity increases and performance acceleration.
By coupling the ANX 1500 with file servers running CentOS, Logan was able to avoid purchasing excessive and expensive NAS infrastructure, costing nearly 50% more in capital. Furthermore, the ANX 1500 purchased, functioning as a performance layer, can support additional NAS systems, when they are brought on line.
Using ANX 1500, Logan was able to achieve performance gains. Prior to Alacritech, artists could only use 10 of the company’s 45 render nodes at a time without overloading the storage and even with that, renders took as long as two minutes and 38 seconds per frame. After installing the ANX, all 45 render nodes could concurrently render jobs without experiencing a serious degradation in response times. In fact, overall render time dropped to just 38 seconds per frame. A bonus realized was that the load on the filer was reduced by 14/15ths because of the ANX’s ability service client NFS requests. The ANX 1500 is a storage product to accelerate the performance of an existing storage network without requiring an organization to replace its infrastructure or surrender ownership of data.
Reliability was also becoming an issue as large demands on the server during heavy render periods caused it to lock up that required rebooting the server. Brian Krusic, a network consultant at Logan, was faced with the challenge of finding a solution that was reliable, scalable, and extremely cost effective. Before selecting Alacritech, Brian considered installing an industry standard BlueArc NAS solution. But BlueArc would have been a much more costly installation requiring additional AC, power, and more physical space. Instead, Brian decided to make use of inexpensive but reliable commodity file servers running CentOS (a free OS based on Red Hat Linux) coupled with the ANX 1500 to both cache and accelerate data movement.
“We were blown away by the performance gains we saw at the low price point,” said Brian. “Not only did the render times drop dramatically, but the fact that artists could access data while all 45 render nodes were rendering was fantastic. It was a major turnaround and has really increased the productivity of our artists.”
“The Logan use case is particularly interesting in that Brian was able to apply the same level of creativity that his industry is known for to his storage infrastructure,” said Doug Rainbolt, VP marketing of Alacritech. “By using the ANX 1500 to maximize their existing NAS system performance, they were able to boost NFS reads and metadata operations into overdrive, giving cycles back to NAS so that it can do more. They did this at a much lower cost than what he would have spent in capital and power required of a more expensive NAS solution.”
A final benefit of using the NFS Appliance is that, because it is a non-intrusive way to inexpensively boost performance, it saves Logan the time and cost of data migration.
“Alternate solutions would have required a highly manual e ort to move files between servers, a time consuming process,” said Brian. “With what we’ve done, the process is so much simpler, and for a small company such as ours, that is a big deal.”