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Product Introduction

SoftNAS™ Cloud is a network attached storage (NAS) virtual appliance. Our products are commercial-grade storage management solutions for businesses that require high-speed, reliable storage at affordable prices.

SoftNAS Cloud® supports the following platforms:

  • Cloud computing platforms such as Amazon EC2®VMware vCloud® Air™, and Microsoft® Azure™
  • On-premise Computing Infrastructure such as VMware vSphere®.

Architecture and Technology

SoftNAS Cloud® runs as a Linux®-based, 64-bit CentOS redistribution guest OS treated as a VM in a virtual server environment. In many use cases, storage devices are attached to the physical hardware layer, then presented to SoftNAS Cloud® as a VM running Linux.

SoftNAS Cloud® operates on an industry-standard Linux platform, and uses a derivative of the Zettabyte File System® (ZFS), an open-source project originally released on OpenSolaris® by Sun Microsystems, Inc. This makes SoftNAS Cloud® able to leverage many ZFS features and add layers of functionality for NAS solutions in virtual computing and cloud computing.

An Apache webserver provides robust, secure access along with Secure Shell® (SSH). Storage is accessible via TCP/IP protocols including NFS v3, NFS v4, SMB/CIFS (Microsoft® Windows File Shares), and iSCSI.

SoftNAS Cloud® is packaged with a primary administration interface called SoftNAS StorageCenter™, which provides commercial-grade storage administration and management functionalities for businesses of all sizes.

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Cloud Computing:

SoftNAS Cloud® provides the highly-available network storage backbone needed for business-critical cloud applications in the following environments:

  • Amazon EC2
  • Microsoft Azure

Premise-Based Computing:

SoftNAS Cloud® installs from a download to act as a virtual server appliance. Run as many instances of SoftNAS Cloud® VM as are needed in any of the following environments:

  • VMware vSphere

SoftNAS Cloud®™, SoftNAS StorageCenter™, SnapReplicate™, and SNAP HA™ are trademarks of SoftNAS Inc. All other trademarks referred to in this guide are owned by their respective companies.\Volumes provide a way to allocate storage available in a storage pool and share it over the network. 

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In the above example, the Storage Pool with 3 TB of disk space is allocated from several SAS, SATA and/or SSD devices. There are 3 volumes and like VMDK, a volume can be either thick-provisioned or thin-provisioned. The thick-provisioned volumes cause storage space to be reserved from the storage pool, reducing the amount of storage available for use by other volumes. The thin-provisioned volumes consume actual storage pool space when the data is written to the volume.

So, there is a thick-provisioned volume which reserves 1 TB of the available 3 TB storage pool and there are also 2 thin-provisioned volumes up to 2 TB of thin-provisioned storage space available to each of them. 

Note: As each thin-provisioned volume grows with actual data written to the volume, the available storage pool space for all thin-provisioned volumes shrinks to the remaining unused storage pool space. Volumes allocate and organize storage, and are published for sharing on the network using either CIFS (Common Internet File System) or NFS (Network File System). 

Configure filesystem volumes for sharing as CIFS Share or NFS Share so that storage is available for use by the applications, servers and clients on the network. 

Configure block device volumes as LUNs (block data storage devices), for use with iSCSI targets

Using Our Documentation

SoftNAS has organized its documentation according to task based and platform based documentation. This means you can find what you are looking for by simply selecting the subject you wish to know about, and drilling down to the appropriate location. Task based pages such as this one are organized into platforms, allowing you to narrow your focus to the content  and platform relevant to you. Content that is common across platforms is listed in All Platforms, and content specific to, or primarily focused on a given platform is organized accordingly. We hope you find this format simple and easy to use. See the links below to begin your journey. Remember, if you don't find the subject matter you are looking for, check the All Platforms section. 

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We also provide a platform-centric approach to our documentation. To search by platform (such as AWS, Azure, or VMware) click the relevant link below: