InfiniBox features support for filesystems in addition to the already existing support for volumes. Filesystems and volumes share the backend storage and can co-exist within the same storage pool. This release includes support for NFS protocol version 3 and a lot of the storage capabilities of volumes (e.g. Snapshots, Flash Cache).

InfiniBox filesystems main design points 

InfiniBox filesystems can be as large as useable capacity in InfiniBox, as fast as the network supports, benefit from the system SSD cache, be thinly provisioned, use snapshots, use self-encrypted drives and be mounted to any client.

InfiniBox implements NAS directly on top of the data layer allowing it to get similar data services to our SAN implementation. It features the following:

  • User mode – for enhances stability, InfiniBox NAS does not use kernel resources

  • Shared cache - the filesystem shares the cache with the SAN volumes, thus reduces memory consumption and increases the performance.

  • Transaction protection for taking a snapshot during a transaction, without performance impact

  • RAID, data placement, and provisioning operations are taken by the block device
  • Built for scale:
    • High capacity 
    • High file count
    • Large number of filesystems  
    • High performance

InfiniBox NAS terminology

  • NAS - Network-attached storage provides file-level storage that serves files. In NAS (as opposed to SAN, the filesystem is managed by the storage array rather than by the hosts).
  • NFS v3 - Network File System a distributed file system protocol that applications use to communicate with the storage. 
  • IFS - Infinidat File System a B-tree based filesystem. Btree allows IFS to translate a host's request for a file to its location inside the storage with a single operation, allowing the filesystem to scale to billions of files. 

How filesystems compare to volumes

Filesystems and SAN volumes have a lot of similarities, and some differences:


Volumes (SAN)

Filesystems (NAS)

Provisioned inside pools
Can be moved between pools non-disruptively
Thin / Thick provisioned
Capable of snapshots
Can be write-enabled or write-protected (read-only)
Can benefit from SSD cache
Connectivity configuration

Network Spaces

Network Spaces
Access method

Map a volume to a host / cluster

(Normally only 1 host / cluster)

Export the filesystem to clients

(Many clients can access the same filesystem)

ProtocolFiber Channel (FC), iSCSI NFS v3 
 Protocol semanticsWriting to blocks (LBAs) inside a volume Writing to offsets inside files
Protocol TransportFiber ChannelTCP/IP
Growing capacityRequires  host side actionsNo host side action required 
Link RedundancyMultipath - Host is in charge of using all available paths

LACP provides redundancy on layer 2

When LACP fails, IP addresses automatically failover to another LACP.

Physical fabricFibre ChannelEthernet

Filesystem limitations

  • Maximum length of the Permissions field for a single export: 3,000 client entries.
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Last edited: 2021-04-06 16:43:23 UTC