For software-defined storage vendors, an optimized enterprise-grade SMB solution like Fusion File Share by Tuxera can ensure the high levels of performance, reliability, and scalability that are needed.

In the current data-driven world, enterprises are increasingly seeking effective Server Message Block (SMB) options for transferring, collaborating, and storing their critical unstructured data. This is particularly the case with software-defined storage (SDS) vendors, whose customers deal with enormous data loads, and require reliable and fast SMB servers to help them provide their data storage management solution.

The rapid growth of the software-defined storage market cannot be ignored: according to Mordor Intelligence, the market was valued at USD 9.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 37.24 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 25.8%. That huge growth rate underlines the demand for enterprise networking protocols in many global industries – such as media & entertainment, banking & finance, life sciences, oil & gas, and more. In such industries, increasingly huge amounts of data are handled, creating challenging use cases for SDS vendor solutions.

While open-source SMB servers are used by a wide range of software-defined storage companies and public cloud vendors, such solution providers are experiencing increasing demand for reliable and fast SMB servers. Businesses are having to re-evaluate if their current SMB choice really delivers the needed features and performance. And with the heavy technical demands that many SMB servers now need to meet, choosing a server that cuts corners on performance, reliability, or scalability can end up as a costly decision.

Our storage experts have extensive know-how in developing an optimized SMB server to meet those sorts of requirements and prevent costly issues for SDS vendors and cloud providers. Below are three reasons for those enterprises to make the switch to an optimized SMB server like Fusion File Share by Tuxera.

1 – High-performance

In the digitalized world of rapid enterprise knowledge sharing, performance can make or break the success and usability of an SMB server. It’s one of the most important features of effective networking protocols today.

SMB performance needs are faced by a wide range of SDS vendor customers. In the media & entertainment industry, for example, content editors work with Mac or Windows clients, accessing digital assets through SMB protocols. These content creators require the highest possible level of performance and reliability in order to be productive when collaborating with 4K or even 8K video content.

Ensuring high performance with RDMA and SMB compression

However, even the best storage solution can have its performance bottlenecked by a sub-optimal SMB protocol. Our tests have shown that some Linux-based open-source SMB servers are unfortunately limited in their performance capabilities, lacking both RDMA and compression support. This means that no matter how advanced the storage solution is, performance can end up inhibited by a sub-optimal SMB server.

In contrast, Fusion File Share by Tuxera ensures consistent high performance, boosting I/O throughput while reducing CPU usage. It achieves this thanks to a modular and threaded design, SMB over RDMA, and advanced SMB compression support – allowing users in many industries to achieve better efficiency. The media and entertainment industry, for instance, is moving into 4k and 8k production, leading to huge file sizes and bandwidth requirements which pose challenges to high frame rate video editing and processing. In such a case, RDMA is required to sustain the high frames per second playback needed.

Performance testing and benchmarks

Tuxera storage experts ran performance tests comparing Fusion File Share to the world’s fastest parallel file system, as well as Samba. See the graph below for the test results and setup information.

Our performance testing above showed Fusion File Share to beat Samba on performance, and to nearly meet the speed of the world’s fastest parallel file system.

 

The test setup included:

  • Fusion File Share server: Active-passive, fault tolerant configuration used as the SMB gateway, running on storage node.
  • Parallel file system storage: 6 nodes of Supermicro architecture:
  • Intel Xeon Gold 6226R, 192 GB DDR4-2933 ECC REG SDRAM, Micron 9300 MAX 3.2 TB NVMe PCIe 3.0 3D TLC U.2, Mellanox AOC-MCX555A-ECAT CX-5 VPI EDR IB adapter & 100GbE, 1p, QSFP28, PCIe3x16.
  • Windows client: single port 100GbE network card with 2 x Xeon 4214 and 768 GB RAM.
  • Network is running 100GbE end-to-end, through a Mellanox 100GbE switch.

GET THE TECH SPECS

For more technical details, get the Fusion File Share by Tuxera technical specifications from the link below.

Download tech specs

2 – Unsurpassed reliability & availability

Reliability and fault tolerance are important features for the enterprise networking protocols of today. As enterprises around the world become increasingly digitized, reliability is needed to ensure that critical data can be transferred with minimal downtime and interruption. Such service cuts are unacceptable, potentially causing an enterprise increased costs as well as lost time and productivity.

Some Linux-based open-source servers lack persistent handling and continuous availability (features that are present in advanced implementations like Fusion File Share). With that kind of SMB option, a server going down means users must restart their workloads, causing lost time, compromised productivity, and customer dissatisfaction.

With Fusion File Share, server downtime is minimized, as other Fusion File Share servers assist while the fallen server restarts. As a result, users do not lose their workloads, nor is a restart required. This allows users to continue working without interruptions or data loss – a significant advantage in many industries. Reliability when running media and entertainment rendering workloads is critical as these tasks can take hours (or even days) to complete. Having to restart a long workload due to an issue in the SMB server results in lost time and revenue, which is avoidable with a fail-safe solution from Tuxera.

Our SMB server can be deployed in active-passive mode over the distributed file system clients to provide high availability and transparent failover of connections. Active-passive failover is a form of fault tolerance, and it allows the server to avoid noticeable downtime by switching to backup nodes if the primary node hits an issue and needs to restart. Fusion File Share also features active-active clusters for scale out scenarios, and is deployable as a container. What’s more, our highly responsive tech support specialists provide comprehensive assistance in case of server issues with critical business workloads.

Together, all of those features ensure a robust, fail-safe SMB server that keeps running despite setbacks.

3 – Flexible, adaptable scalability

The ability for an SMB server to simultaneously handle many connections to shared resources is important for enterprises in many industries. In the banking sector, for example, the complexities of financial operations among large client bases make managing critical data workflows challenging. In such a case, an SMB server with strong scalability allows an enterprise to achieve more effective data handling.

In general, poorly scalable SMB servers have few concurrent opens and connections, modest random workload support, as well as high CPU and memory usage. Those characteristics translate to a server that is ineffective at dealing with large or variable data workloads. On top of that, an SMB network that lacks scalability is also less cost-effective, because it may indirectly hinder performance.

To meet scalability demands, Fusion File Share by Tuxera enables fast, easy handling of multiple simultaneous connections to shared resources. And thanks to its architecture, it reduces CPU usage and has a low memory footprint.

Tuxera has many case examples of accelerated performance in scale-out distributed file system architectures. Here are some of the findings and feedback from our customers:

  • Aggregated throughput of 54 GB/sec – more than 2.75x improvement over the previous solution.
  • Concurrent SMB connections saw a 300% increase with much lower CPU usage.
  • Media and entertainment workloads saw a 284% increase in frames per second.

Final thoughts

The level of unstructured data loads, the importance of the data itself, and the complexities of resource sharing that enterprises now face – all of those factors put heavy demands on enterprise SMB servers. If using a sub-optimal SMB protocol, the risks of compromised data, server downtime, and poor accessibility can all potentially lead to significant costs and operational disruptions.

For the enterprise use cases of today, it’s vital for SMB networking servers to offer exceptional performance, high availability, vast scalability, as well as technical support that’s comprehensive and highly responsive. That’s why our storage experts developed Fusion File Share by Tuxera.

We’ll make the move easy for you. Tuxera has an external utility to migrate users from open-source options like Samba to Fusion File Share, and we are constantly developing improved tooling to help our customers make that migration easier, more rapid, and more efficient. And throughout the entire process, you’ll have our award-winning technical support team on-call in every time zone to help you all the way from product implementation to service maintenance and beyond.


Software-defined storage vendors, safeguard and supercharge your enterprise file sharing and storage – make the SMB switch.

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