The Wonderful World of Distributed Systems and the Art of Metadata Management
Nutanix introduced the first Hyperconverged platform to the market in 2011. While other Hyperconverged solutions have since come out, what differentiates Nutanix from the other solutions is the focus on implementing a highly scalable, reliable and performant distributed systems architecture. As the first engineer at Nutanix, I was involved in developing one of the core pieces of this distributed system – the distributed metadata subsystem and I wanted to talk about some of the salient features of the Nutanix metadata store. In case you were wondering what is metadata, it describes where and how data is stored in a file system, letting the system know on which node, disk, and in what form the data resides. Metadata store is where all this metadata gets stored.
Nutanix Hyperconverged platform is powered by the Acropolis Distributed Storage Fabric or ADSF (Previously known as Nutanix Distributed File System or NDFS). ADSF is a scalable distributed storage system which exposes NFS/SMB file storage as well as iSCSI block storage API with no single point of failure. The ADSF distributed storage fabric stores user data (VM disk/files) across different storage tiers (SSDs, Hard Disks, Cloud) on different nodes. ADSF also supports instant snapshots, clones of VM disks and other advanced features such as deduplication, compression and erasure coding,
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