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Avere Systems adds virtual edge filer for cloud bursting, big data

Avere Virtual FXT Edge Filers install in the cloud, enabling customers to cloud burst by quickly spinning up a filer in Amazon EC2.

Avere Systems Inc. has introduced a software-only version of its FXT Edge Filer that works as a NAS in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

The company's upgraded AOS 4.5 adds support for installing Virtual FXT (vFXT) Edge Filers in the cloud. The virtual filers allow storage residing in any location to be used with cloud computing so customers can spin up more resources without buying extra infrastructure.

"With this virtual product, you can grow compute on-premises or in the cloud. You also can grow storage on-premises or in the cloud," said Jeff Tabor, Avere's senior director of product management and marketing. "It's all software installation. You go to the Amazon webpage to provision instances and buy Avere licenses. The hardware becomes empowered by our software."

The vFXT Edge Filers use a global namespace and virtualize file storage for core filers sitting behind the edge filers. The systems offer client access to files via NFS and CIFS.

Avere's AOS 4.0 included support for public cloud storage, but AOS 4.5 adds support for spinning up the virtual edge filers in the cloud on the fly.

Customers deploy the Avere vFXT Edge Filer as an Amazon Machine Image within the EC2. With a GUI click, a vFXT can be quickly deployed and clusters can scale from three nodes to 50 nodes.

The vFXT Edge Filer can be used for big data processing in the cloud and handle functions such as rendering, genomic sequencing and financial analytics.

Terri McClure, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said one of the best uses cases for Avere's vFXT Filers is cloud bursting. Cloud bursting describes an application that runs in a private cloud or data center and bursts into a public cloud when demand spikes.

"Companies never want to buy the entire infrastructure to meet peak demands," McClure said. "You have a bunch of transactions and you want to run an operation in the cloud. The problem is the data lives in the [customers'] data center.

"Avere's new solution is for when everything is on-premises but you have requirements for resources beyond what you have on-premises," she explained. "It allows data to stay on-premises but cloud compute resources think it's local, so data does not have to be moved to the cloud."

The Avere Systems vFXT Edge Filer currently only works with Amazon's public cloud.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see them extend this over time," McClure said. "Customers using edge filers want the capability to run compute in the cloud. Adding the cloud is the next logical step for Avere. With this, they have all their bases covered."

Pricing for vFXT software starts at $2.50 per hour, and can be licensed on a monthly or annual basis.

Next Steps

Avere Systems adds first hybrid edge filer

FXT Edge Filers get a performance boost

Dig Deeper on Hybrid Cloud Storage

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