SoftNAS Best Practices for SwiftStack

Doug Soltesz -

SoftNAS provides a simple to install CIFS/NFS gateway for SwiftStack Object Storage.  When combined with SwiftStack Object storage legacy applications and backup systems that do not natively support Object Storage are able to gain the distributed durability and availability that  are inherent to SwiftStack.

For more details on Download, Installing, and Configuring SoftNAS please see the following links:

Request SoftNAS Trial

Knowledge Base - Installation

Documents - Installation Guide

Connecting SoftNAS to SwiftStack object Storage

After Installing SoftNAS Navigate to Disk Devices and Click "+ Add Device"SoftNAS001.jpg

Next choose "Self Configured" from the dropdown menu and click "Next"


Next Add in the S3 Account and Secret Key for the SwiftStack account.  For more information on enabling S3 in SwiftStack or finding Account Secret Keys see the following article - S3 Enablement in SwiftStack.  


SoftNAS Option Description
Access Key ID   This is the Account to be used to create a Bucket
Secret Access Key   This is the Secret Key for the S3 Account
Endpoint   This is the IP address or FQDN of the SwiftStack system, Prefixed with HTTP:// or HTTPS://
Bucket BaseName   This is the Prefix to your Bucket
Bucket   This is the name of your bucket, best practice is to create many buckets so end with a number
Maximum Disk Size   If SwiftStack is storing Accounts and Containers on HDD the max size should be 1TB, if SSDs are used 10TB 
Block Cache File   This is not supported for use with SwiftStack and should only be used of off-premises based systems
Encrypted Disk   This function is not currently supported with SwiftStack


Continue to Add devices until the amount of Storage needed is configured.  In the example below, I need 5TB of Storage so I have created 5 Devices mapped to 5 different buckets.  If 10TB buckets are needed, then SwiftStack Account and Container services must be running on SSD devices.


Next Create a Storage Pool by Navigating to "Storage Pools" and Clicking " + Create "


Name the Storage Pool, Select RAID Level 0 and choose the Disk devices created in the last step.  Please note that RAID 0 is correct when using Cloud Storage as SwiftStack object storage maintains the durability of the data and not SoftNAS.

For further detail see the following - SoftNAS EBS RAID Considerations


Select Yes to the following warning

Once the Storage Pool is created it should appear in the list of Storage Pools.  Please note that Write Logs are not generally necessary for Object Storage.  Write Logs are not used with CIFS or with writes below 32KB.  For this reason, most use cases will disqualify the benefit of a Write Log.  Likewise, unless the Use Case calls for frequent access to the same data Read Cache is generally not recommended.  To increase Read Caching allocate extra memory to the VM, which will be used at non-persistent Read Cache.

Next create one or more Volumes to map to the Storage Pool.  Volumes are thin Provisioned by default.  To begin, Click "Volumes and LUNs" then Click " + Create "


When Creating Volumes choose a volume name that will also be the Share name for CIFS or NFS connections.  Select the Storage Pool and decide how the volume will be shared.  

* If the data can be compressed, Compression will lower throughput but increase storage efficiency.  Remember that data which is encrypted, compressed or image based may not be further compressible.

*Note SwiftStack has not tested nor are currently supporting the Deduplication function.

For more on Volume Setup see the following article - SoftNAS create & configure volumes


If automatic Snapshotting of Volumes is desired please enable/disable under the Snapshot tab.  
*Remember Snapshots will consume more storage space

Once the Volume is created it can be connected to / tested via Windows.SoftNAS012.jpg


To connect with Microsoft Active Directory Domains for Authorization and Authentication, please see the following articles:

SoftNAS Active Directory Configuration


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