Panasas introduced scale-out parallel storage products based on its first generation blade architecture in 2004. Now in its fifth generation, Panasas storage is optimized for the most demanding workloads in life sciences, manufacturing, media and entertainment, energy, government as well as education environments, and has been deployed in more than 50 countries worldwide.

XENON offers the following PANASAS product lines:

Panasas ActiveStor

Panasas ActiveStor is a high-performance scale-out NAS platform that drives industry and research innovation by accelerating workflows while simplifying data management. Based on an advanced bladed architecture, ActiveStor is a fully integrated clustered appliance solution that incorporates flash and SATA storage nodes with Intel® compute, a distributed file system, and client protocols.

All ActiveStor appliances combine high-density flash drives and high-capacity HGST® helium-based hard drives for superior unstructured sequential file and mixed-workload performance with rapid access to large and small files alike. To leverage these components, Panasas engineered the patented PanFS® clustered storage operating system and the DirectFlow® parallel data access protocol to deliver high performance and reliability from a scale-out NAS appliance that is as easy to manage and grow as it is fast to deploy.

ActiveStor 20

ActiveStor 18

ActiveStor 16

Capacity per ActiveStor platform appliance 82.4 or 208TB

  • SSD: 2.4 or 8TB1
  • HDD: 80 or 200TB1
82.4 or 164.8TB

  • SSD: 2.4 or 4.8TB1
  • HDD: 80 or 160TB1
82.4 or 122.4TB

  • SSD: 2.4TB1
  • HDD: 80 or 120TB1
Max. PanFS namespace capacity 45PB2 21.42PB2 12.24PB3
Performance per ActiveStor platform appliance4 1,800 MB/s read
1,600 MB/s write
1,700 MB/s read
1,600 MB/s write
1,500 MB/s read
1,600 MB/s write
Max. PanFS namespace throughput 360GB/s2 200GB/s2 150GB/s3
IOPS per ActiveStor platform appliance5 14,150 14,150 13,550
Max. PanFS namespace IOPS5 >2,600,000 IOPS2 >1,830,000 IOPS2 >1,300,000 IOPS3


1 Based on a 1+10 configuration of 10 storage nodes per ActiveStor
2 No enforced limits. Max tested configuration: 130 shelves
3 No enforced limits. Max tested configuration: 100 shelves
4 Performance based on aggregate load of 3 compute clients per ActiveStor
5 4kb file, random read test

PANFS® 6 Storage Operating system

Panasas PanFS® 6 is the next generation storage operating system powering the ActiveStor® hybrid scale-out NAS appliance. Version 6 delivers revolutionary reliability and availability features that go far beyond previous PanFS releases. It includes robust triple parity data protection, per-file RAID 6+ for increasing reliability with scale, and extended file system availability to ensure business continuity when traditional NAS systems would be down. The new per-file RAID 6+ engine increases reliability by 150x over previous PanFS releases – changing the game for reliability at scale.

PanFS 6 includes the enterprise-grade Microsoft® Windows® support introduced in PanFS 5.5 for seamless interoperability in business-critical and heterogeneous technical computing environments.

PanFS 6 benefits include:

  • 150x greater reliability from RAID 6+ triple parity data protection
  • A revolutionary data availability model that increases reliability with scale
  • Data protection against multiple storage blades failures
  • Innovative and fast single sector disk repair
  • Robust extended file system availability for disaster recovery


DirectFlow avoids traditional protocol I/O bottlenecks by allowing Linux compute clients to access the entire Panasas storage cluster directly and in parallel. This results in higher performance than what can be achieved with industry-standard protocols such as NFS and SMB, and avoids the load balancing and congestion side effects of these client protocols when addressing clustered file systems.

DirectFlow is a sophisticated file system software that runs inside each compute client, establishing a parallel I/O relationship from the client to the PanFS storage operating system for every file read/write. DirectFlow also performs client-side data parity calculations when writing to Panasas storage, relieving this burden from storage to unleash greater performance benefits.

When you double the performance of client applications accessing scale-out NAS you double the productivity of all users. Using DirectFlow, Panasas customers have re-rendered entire movies in record time, reduced the cost of sequencing a human genome, and designed breakthrough products by running twice as many engineering simulations more quickly than ever before.

DirectFlow® for Linux®

DirectFlow provides unmatched performance for Linux clusters of all sizes and is ideal for the high performance Linux clusters deployed in nearly 500 technical computing environments such as manufacturing, life sciences, media & entertainment, education, government, energy, and the public sector. Deployed across a large variety of Linux-based computing environments, the DirectFlow protocol has proven success at delivering more than 10x the performance of workloads using traditional I/O protocols.