Dual active controller NAS of enterprise storage

99.999% availability, genuine active-active dual controller NAS with responsive failover time

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Active-active dual controller architectureBenefits

  • Cache mirroring through high speed bus (64Gb/s) on backplane board
  • Active-active design and support ALUA
  • Fast failover
  • Both controller can deliver I/O services at the same time
  • Easy management to scale performance and capacity
  • Firmware upgrade without stopping I/O services
  • No quorum disk is needed
  • More economic than commodity cluster servers

An active-standby design is NOT a genuine dual controller NAS.

Active-Active vs. Active-Standby
Active – Active Active – Standby

Fast failover
Inter-process communication and heartbeat is achieved using high speed bus on backplane protected by the enclosure.

Slow failover
IPC and heartbeat is carried out using 1Gb Ethernet external cable. It is slow and prone to external errors.

Support all RAID levels in the storage pool. Support global namespace. Both controllers see the same HDD configuration and storage pool.

Waste of resources
Limited to RAID 1 for HDD mirroring.
Because you need to set aside the same HDD capacity in the standby system, it’s a waste of HDD capacity.

Performance scaling
Both controllers can deliver I/O and services at the same time. IOPS can scale 1.5 times.
No performance scaling
Passive controller will not deliver I/O. The resource is idle and wasted.
Double cache size
Becasue both controllers are active, the cache size is doubled. This means that the cache-hit ratio will increase as well. The result is better performance and efficiency.
No cache size benefit 
Although the second controller is there. The cache of the second controller exists. But the second controller is standby and can not process data requests. The effective cache size is not doubled. Therefore, no performance gain.
Consistent data after recovery
After recovery from controller failure, all disk data remain intact and consistent.
Inconsistent data after recovery
After recovery from controller failure, the failed system doesn’t have the latest disk data. Synchronization process is needed and it is time consuming.
Support online firmware upgrade
After firmware is upgraded, both controllers take turns to reboot and back each other up. Data writen to HA NAS during this period remain consistent. Data services are always up throughout firmware upgrade process. Therefore, we can achieve 99.999% high availability.
Downtime is inevitable for firmware upgrade
After firmware is upgraded, both controllers take turns to reboot. During this period, if any data is written to the system, you need to stop all data services to perform synchronizaiton of mirrored data. With this deisgn, it will never achieve 99.999% availabiliy.
Redundant & fault tolerance design
No single point of failure. RAID controller, fan module, and power supply module are redundant and hot swappable for maximum availability and super easy on-site maintenance. All modules are connected to the backplane circuit board to achieve the most reliable signal transmission and the best aerodynamic thermal efficiency.
Fast failoverWhy do you want dual controller NAS? It’s because you need an insurance that when one of NAS controllers fails, the data services get the lowest impact, which means the failover time needs to be as short as possible. So the users and applications won’t even notice that one of NAS controllers is down. Beacuse heartbeat signal and inter-process communication data are carried out through cable-less, high-speed bus on backplane board, U400HA and U600HA can deliver very responsive failover to keep your mission-critical applications running smoothly. Failover time in TrioNAS LX HA is less than 60 seconds on average. In some cases, it is around 10 to 20 seconds. All data services (SMB, NFS, iSCSI) are protected by controller failover.


Centralized data archive with simple managementTrioNAS LX HA consolidates NAS and IP-based iSCSI SAN in one box. Unified storage can help consolidate your IT infrastructure and reduce hardware expenses. SMB, NFS, and iSCSI protocols are supported with fault tolerance capability. TrioNAS LX HA can act as your file sharing center for Windows clients and Linux/Unix clients to exchange files easily. TrioNAS LX HA will be your common storage pool that is accessible at either file or block level over existing IP networks. It’s the most cost-effective and efficient storage solution.

ZFS and RAID protectionTrioNAS LX HA adopts ZFS file system, which is a transactional, copy-on-write, crash-free file system with 128-bit huge addressing space. ZFS can detect silent data corruption and has self-healing capability and guarantees end-to-end data integrity. There are abundant RAID levels to choose from to meet application requirements such as redundancy and performance.

SSD caching supportTrioNAS LX HA supports using high performance SSD drives as fast storage tiering. SSD caching can greatly improve random IO performance. You can combine SSD drives and SATA drives as a hybrid storage pool and have a net performance result of a pure SAS storage pool.

Hybrid storage for flexibility and performanceAll Qsan NAS product lines can leverage the strengths of SSD drives to become a so-called Hybrid Storage. With SSD caching function, SSD drives act as a fast tier between traditional hard drives and memory to speed up random IO performance.

Fail-safe networkingFile-sharing services (SMB and NFS) are provided through cluster IP, which is composed of mirrored network ports from both RAID controllers. So each cluster IP contains dual network paths, one from each RAID controller. Should any network component (port of network switch, cable, network port on RAID controller) along the path fails, the network packets will be quickly switched to the redundant path. The transition is transparent. SMB and NFS file access can continue as if nothing happens at all.

UnifiedAUTH for unified authenticationImagine the working environment with Windows server, Unix server, FTP server, and iSCSI target storage. You probably will need AD account for CIFS service, Unix account for NFS service, FTP account for FTP service, and iSCSI CHAP account for iSCSI target storage. Try to memorize all these accounts and passwords every day. UnifiedAUTH releases you from this shackle by using the same account authentication for all data services including iSCSI target! You only need to remember ONE password!!

Scaled performanceBecasue of active-active design, both RAID controllers can provide data services and deliver I/O at the same time. By adding a second controller, dual controller mode is actually 30%~50% faster than its single controller mode in terms of IOPS for small I/O size.  Not only do you buy the high availability and insurance plan for data services and your precious data, but you get scaled performance as well.

3x times storage efficiencyThin provisioning allows just-in-time capacity and allocates storage space that does not exist. You can delay the hard drive purchase until it is absolutely necessary.

Inline, block-based deduplication helps you remove data redundancy at block level. It’s a must-have feature for file backup, data archive, VDI and mail databese applications. It’s very easy to use and can be switched on/off at any time without impacting data access. It’s a practical function only found in enterprise storage.

Compression can help save even more storage space. It’s lossless and there is no data loss at all. All these great features come in totally FREE and can help boost your storage efficiency by 3x times!!

*Deduplication will be supported in the near future without extra license cost.

File-level snapshotFile-level snapshot helps IT administrator to retrieve a file as easy as browsing through a directory when things like virus attack and accidental deletion or modification happens. You can rollback the snapshot to a certain point in time in the past or clone the snapshot to become an independent folder.

Block-level snapshotTrioNAS LX HA supports snapshot for block-level storage such as LUN. Using copy-on-write technology, differential data are recorded between two given points in time. You can rollback the snapshot to a certain point in time in the past or clone the snapshot to become an independent LUN.

Remote Replication and Diaster RecoveryTrioNAS LX HA supports block-level snapshot-based replication function. It is asynchronous. Remote replication task can be created for folders and LUNs. Only differential data at block level will be replicated to achieve maximum efficiency. Replication function is provided by storage array itself. No host server resources are involved and host servers can remain focusing on mission-critical applications.

When disaster strikes at site A, you can quickly switch to storage array at site B to make sure business continuity and data security.


Controller Active-active mode, dual controllers Active-active mode, dual controllers
Form Factor 2U 12bays,  3U 16bays,  4U 24bays 2U 12bays,  3U 16bays,  4U 24bays
Memory per controller 16GB DDR3 ECC 16GB DDR3 ECC
Host channels per controller 7x  1GbE ports
3x   1GbE ports
2x 10GbE ports (SFP+ or RJ45)
Hard drives 6Gb SAS, SATA, SSD (3.5″ and 2.5″)
MUX boards needed for SATA drives
6Gb SAS, SATA, SSD (3.5″ and 2.5″)
MUX boards needed for SATA drives
Fan Two redundant fan modules Two redundant fan modules
Power supply
2U 12bays, 3U 16bays : two 550W 1+1 (80 PLUS Gold)
4U 24bays : three 550W 2+1 (80 PLUS Gold)
2U 12bays, 3U 16bays : two 550W 1+1 (80 PLUS Gold)
4U 24bays : three 550W 2+1 (80 PLUS Gold)
19″ rackmount
2U : 446.0 x 499.5 x   88.0mm (W x D x H)
3U : 446.0 x 499.5 x 130.0mm (W x D x H)
4U : 446.0 x 499.5 x 176.0mm (W x D x H)
19″ rackmount
2U : 446.0 x 499.5 x   88.0mm (W x D x H)
3U : 446.0 x 499.5 x 130.0mm (W x D x H)
4U : 446.0 x 499.5 x 176.0mm (W x D x H)
Max HDDs 256 256
Expansion JBOD J300Q J300Q
LCM module Yes Yes
RAID type 0,  1,  5,  6,  10,  50,  60
Storage pool Dedicated hot spare disks, multiple RAID groups support, auto volume rebuilding, online pool expansion, offline pool roaming
Data services SMB 2.0,  NFS v3/v4,  iSCSI target
High availability Controller failover,  ALUA support,  automatic/manual controller failback,  network port failover/failback
Storage efficiency Thin provisioning, compression, SSD caching
Directory services Microsoft AD,  Windows ACL,  LDAP,  UnifiedAUTH
Networking Cluster IP, DHCP or static IP address assignment,  NTP client,  jumbo frame,  trunking & LACP & teaming support,  VLAN tagging,  WINS client
Data protection File-level snapshot,  block-level snapshot,  remote replication,  local clone, Amazon S3 Cloud backup, anti-virus protection (ICAP-based)
Security Access control for shares,  IP-filtering
Encrypted Access: HTTPS, FTP with SSL/TLS (Explicit), SFTP & SSH (Admin)
Management Web UI management, start-up wizard, performance monitor, system health monitor HDD S.M.A.R.T., Network UPS support, build-in LCD display
Virtualization VMware, Hyper-V, Citrix
Host OS support Windows,  Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5/6,  Solaris 10 or later,  Mac OS X
Regulatory RoHS,  CE,  FCC,  BSMI,  UL,  CB,  cUL
Warranty 3 years for system

Host interfaces Host channels per controller Models (D : Dual active controller)
1Gb Ethernet 7x  1GbE ports 2U 12bays : U400HA-D212
3U 16bays : U400HA-D316
4U 24bays : U400HA-D424
10Gb Ethernet 3x   1GbE ports
2x 10GbE ports (SFP+ or RJ45)
2U 12bays : U600HA-D212
3U 16bays : U600HA-D316
4U 24bays : U600HA-D424

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