Friday, July 29, 2011

NexentaStor 3.1 Released

Today NexentaStor 3.1 was released to the world. Download a free trial copy today! We've been working hard on this release for some time and it offers significant improvements in stability and performance. Here is a small sample of the changes that I think are cool.

  1. ZFS baseline
    zpool version 28 is the default pool version. This version includes a bunch of features that ZFS geeks know and love, such as readonly imports and rollback. Other Nexenta add-ons are also still there, such as WORM.
  2. JBOD enumeration support
    One of the most difficult tasks of a general-purpose, x86-based storage appliance is sorting through the plethora of JBODs on the market and being able to reliably map a disk to the JBOD disk slot. This is the first release of this mapping capability in the appliance. Detailed support for a few JBODs is included (LSI DE1600, Xyratex HB 1234 and HB 2435), with generic support for other JBODs. The pipeline is full of JBODs waiting to have detailed support.
  3. iSCSI performance improvements
    Several improvements in iSCSI performance, including zero-copy.
  4. Vmware vStorage APIs for Array Integration support
    VAAI support has been added to block storage protocols.
  5. Smarter fault triggers
    Many of the fault triggers have been improved to include more checks and better condition messages.
  6. HA-Cluster feature enhancements
    Many enhancements to HA-Cluster to improve failover time and robustness. Also, you can now have multiple pools (Nexenta volumes) or virtual IP (VIP) addresses per cluster service. My favorite feature is that the requirement for a dedicated heartbeat disk has been removed, we now use shared pool disks for heartbeats, which makes perfect sense.
  7. Auto-sync replication improvements
    The auto-sync asynchronous replication service has been redesigned to be more robust and offer better performance. A new one-to-many replication transport has also been added.
  8. More devices supported
    Device drivers of note include: LSI 9205 family, Areca 1880. In the pipeline are driver updates from Intel and Emulex.
  9. Better upgrade management
    You can now upgrade specific version numbers. In the past you would always be upgraded to the latest version, now you can specify the major version. For example, to upgrade to release 3.1, the NMC command is "setup appliance upgrade -r 3.1"
  10. SMB improvements
    The SMB (aka CIFS) share service has improved performance, scalability, and reliability. 
  11. Active Directory improvements
    AD integration has been significantly improved. AD also handles Domain Controller failover better. 
  12. Virtual Machine Data Center improvements
    VMDC has better integration with VMware vmotion.
I tried to keep the list to the top-10, but that obviously didn't work. I hope you enjoy the release anyway!