OneFS storage architecture

Isilon takes a scale-out approach to storage by creating a cluster of nodes that runs a distributed file system. OneFS combines the three layers of storage architecture—file system, volume manager, and data protection—into a scale-out NAS cluster.

Each node adds resources to the cluster. Because each node contains globally coherent RAM, as a cluster becomes larger, it becomes faster. Meanwhile, the file system expands dynamically and redistributes content, which eliminates the work of partitioning disks and creating volumes.

Nodes work as peers to spread data across the cluster. Segmenting and distributing data—a process known as striping—not only protects data, but also enables a user connecting to any node to take advantage of the entire cluster's performance.

OneFS uses distributed software to scale data across commodity hardware. Master devices do not control the cluster, and slave devices do not invoke dependencies. Each node helps to control data requests, boost performance, and expand cluster capacity.