Panasas, Inc.
Industry Data Storage
Founded 1999
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, USA
Key people
Faye Pairman, CEO
Garth Gibson, Founder and Chief Scientist
Jim Donovan, CMO
Tom Shea, Chief Operating Officer
Products Hybrid Scale-out NAS for Technical Computing Environments
Number of employees

Panasas, Inc. is a privately held data storage company that specializes in high-performance scale-out network-attached storage for technical computing environments.


Founded in 1999 by Garth Gibson and William Courtright, Panasas is a data storage company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The company initially started with venture capital funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV) and additional investors include the Carlyle Group, Centennial Ventures, Evercore Partners, Goldman Sachs, Intel Capital and Novak-Biddle Venture Partners. Its first products were shipped in 2004. After an estimated 20 customers, Victor M. Perez became chief executive in August 2004.[1] Faye Pairman (previously of Applied Micro Circuits Corporation's 3ware division) became chief executive in 2011.[2]


Panasas developed an extension for managing parallel file access in the Network File System (NFS).[3] This work was later integrated in Parallel NFS (pNFS), part of the NFS version 4.1 specification, published by the Internet Engineering Task Force as RFC 5661 in January, 2010. pNFS describes a way for the NFS protocol to process file requests to multiple servers or storage devices at once, instead of handling the requests serially.[4]

Panasas products utilize the proprietary DirectFlow[5] protocol, which is based on the pNFS standard and ideally suited for the high performance Linux clusters commonly found in technical computing environments.

Panasas supports NFS, Parallel NFS and Server Message Block (also known as CIFS) data access protocols to integrate into existing local area network infrastructures. Panasas blade servers manage metadata, serving data for NFS and CIFS clients using 10 Gigabit Ethernet.[6]

Panasas storage systems are optimized for data storage and management for high-performance applications in the biosciences, energy, media and entertainment, manufacturing, government and research sectors.[7]


The ActiveStor product line is a scale-out NAS appliance that integrates hybrid storage hardware, file system (PanFS) and network protocols (DirectFlow, NFS v3 for Linux and Unix clients, and SMB for Microsoft Windows clients). It uses a computer cluster to provide scalability using a technique known as "scale-out".[8] ActiveStor systems combine high-capacity hard drives and solid state drives for improved mixed-workload performance with rapid access to small and large files alike. ActiveStor 18 (announced in 2015) increases scalability to more than 20 petabytes (PB) and 200 gigabytes per second (GB/s) by adopting 8 terabyte (TB) drive technology.[9] ActiveStor 18 also offers increased CPU power and twice the storage cache capacity of previous versions to further accelerate mixed workload performance.[10]


The PanFS clustered file system creates a single pool of storage under a global filename space to support multiple applications and workflows in a single storage system with high performance for technical applications.[11] PanFS supports DirectFlow (pNFS), NFS and CIFS data access protocols simultaneously.[12]


  1. "Panasas Plots New Path". Byte and Switch. August 10, 2004. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  2. "Faye Pairman, President and CEO, Panasas, Inc.". HPCWire. 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  3. Mary Jander (May 26, 2007). "Panasas Leads Charge to Parallel NFS". Network Computing. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  4. S. Shepler, M. Eisler, and D. Noveck, editors (January 2010). Network File System (NFS) Version 4 Minor Version 1 Protocol. IETF. RFC 5661. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  5. "Panasas Accelerates pNFS Adoption". News release. Panasas. May 23, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  6. "Panasas ActiveStor 14 Parallel Storage". Product web page. Panasa. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  7. "Scale-Out NAS Storage Vendor | Panasas". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  8. "Panasas Corporate Overview" (PDF). Panasas. September 14, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  9. "Panasas Announces ActiveStor 18 Massively Scalable NAS". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  10. "Panasas Launches ActiveStor 18 | - Storage Reviews". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  11. "New Multi-Petabyte, Scale-Out NAS". Storage Newsletter. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  12. "PanFS". Panasas. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
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