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Nutanix: Medusa and No Master

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No Single Master

No Single Master - Nutanix

No Single Master

In the Nutanix architecture, no one node plays the role of a “master”. Most common distributed systems have a single master that acts as a central point of control for key system operations.This master ends up becoming a bottleneck as the system scales. In traditional storage arrays, storage controllers play the role of such a central authority and are the limiting factor in scaling the system. Even if a storage array has multiple controllers, such controllers have to synchronize their caches, making it hard to scale them efficiently.

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Medusa (Distributed Metadata Layer)

NutanixNutanix Complete Cluster stores its metadata(informationon what is stored where) in a distributed metadata layer named Medusa. As more nodes are added to the cluster,the metadata layer also continues to scale.

Medusa stores the metadata on PCIe-based io Memory from Fusion-io, making the metadata accesses faster without limiting the metadata to RAM as is the case in traditional solutions. This allows the cluster to keep rich metadata for advanced functionality without the meta data layer becoming a bottleneck.

This information is from the Project Colossus White Paper, 50-node Scale-out Performance Benchmark that illustrates the power of the Nutanix Distributed File System architecture in enabling linear performance scale-out to deliver 375,000 random write IOPS and over 224 Gbps sequential read bandwidth.


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