Category Archives: Data Storage

iXsystems iX-N4236 Orion II Server Series

The Orion II Storage Server & JBOD Storage Expansion Deliver Unparalleled Storage Density With Redundant Cooling and Powerful Intel® Technologies

iXsystems have released the iX-N4236 Orion II Storage Server which is designed to handle storage-intensive tasks while remaining at an optimal temperature and drawing less power than other servers in its class. The Orion II’s powerful complement of features and light energy footprint create an ideal environment for ZFS implementations, virtualization, and high-capacity storage.

iX-N4236 is a high performance, high quality, ultra dense, 4U rackmount server designed to maximize your rack-space, while saving energy, and your overall storage budget. The iX-N4236 features a highly efficient (92% Gold Level) power supply, 36 hot swap drive bays and amazing redundant cooling. Performance is handled by two Intel(r) Xeon(r) 5500 Series CPU’s, and up to 144GB of DDR3 ECC Registered 1333MHz memory.

The Orion II Server sports dual, intelligent Intel® Xeon® 5500 series quad-core processors, making it a powerful, efficient storage platform. Each Xeon® processor saves power by automatically putting the CPU into the lowest available power state during periods of light utilization. Intel® TurboBoost Technology raises performance on individual cores based on the needs of specific applications, ensuring efficient allocation of resources and increasing overall system performance. This intelligent power management, coupled with ultra-high efficiency power supplies and optional low-power hard drives and RAM, make the Orion II servers top of their class in storage capacity, compute power, and density per watt.

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How to avoid paying the high price of Cheap Storage

Unbelievably inexpensive networked storage options have emerged, but it’s a case of ‘False Economics 101.’

PCMag has  a post advising how to avoid the pitfalls of cheap storage:

The proliferation of huge, cache-laden SATA disks in the consumer market has led to an ever-expanding array of very inexpensive networked storage products for business. More often than not, these devices offer both NAS and iSCSI SAN functions that, until recently, were found only in enterprise-class storage products — at a fraction of the cost. Are these ultracheap alternatives right for you? That depends on who you are and what you do.

A huge range of performance variables separate true enterprise-class storage products from their inexpensive pretenders. The most glaring is transactional performance. Most low-cost storage devices are based on a small number of very large SATA disks rather than larger numbers of SATA or higher-speed SAS/FC disks. These types of configurations will yield extremely anemic transactional performance, which would generally make them poor choices for hosting a busy database or mail server.

What if that’s not what you want, though? If you’re a small business without a whole lot of transactional disk performance needs or a big business that just needs a very large, low-cost parking lot for some big data, are these low-end storage devices a good option?

Carry on reading the article:  What does “Enterprise Class” storage really mean?

So be careful when you venture into the land of low-cost storage. Take a hard look at what your storage will be used for — and how it’s going to get fixed when it breaks — before you congratulate yourself for saving a dump truck full of money. Sometimes, the dump truck you know is better than the one you never saw coming until it ran you over.

High-availability storage with GlusterFS on Ubuntu

This tutorial shows how to set up a high-availability storage with two storage servers (Ubuntu 9.10) that use GlusterFS.

Each storage server will be a mirror of the other storage server, and files will be replicated automatically across both storage servers. The client system (Ubuntu 9.10 as well) will be able to access the storage as if it was a local filesystem.

GlusterFS is a clustered file-system capable of scaling to several peta-bytes. It aggregates various storage bricks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect into one large parallel network file system. Storage bricks can be made of any commodity hardware such as x86_64 servers with SATA-II RAID and Infiniband HBA.

About Glusterfs: Gluster Storage Platform is an open source clustered storage solution. The software is a powerful and flexible solution that simplifies the task of managing unstructured file data whether you have a few terabytes of storage or multiple petabytes. Gluster Storage Platform integrates the file system, an operating system layer, and a web-based management interface and installer.

NAS, SAN, DAS or iSCSI? Which one to choose?

Choosing the right Storage Technology for Your Organization

IT Professionals has a post with some background information on the most common storage technologies that are currently available: NAS, SAN, DAN and iSCSI. If you’re running a small/medium seized business this may help you decide which one is best for you:

Although the need for storage is evident, it is not always clear which solution is right for your organization. There are a variety of options available, the most prevalent being direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SAN). Choosing the right storage solution can be as personal and individual a decision as buying a home. There is no one right answer for everyone. Instead, it is important to focus on the specific needs and long-term business goals of your organization. Several key criteria to consider include:

  • Capacity – the amount and type of data (file level or block level) that needs to be stored and shared
  • Performance – I/O and throughput requirements
  • Scalability – Long-term data growth
  • Availability and Reliability – how mission-critical are your applications?
  • Data protection – Backup and recovery requirements
  • IT staff and resources available
  • Budget concerns

While one type of storage media is usually sufficient for smaller companies, large enterprises will often have a mixed storage environment, implementing different mediums for specific departments, workgroups and remote offices. In this paper, we will provide an overview of DAS, NAS and SAN to help you determine which solution, or combination of solutions, will best help you achieve your business goals.

Read the article explaining the differences and uses of:

  • DAS: Ideal for Local Data Sharing Requirements
  • NAS: File-Level Data Sharing Across the Enterprise
  • SANs: High Availability for Block-Level Data Transfer

IBM: Manage Data Like Cash

IBM today released a report tracking the effective use of business analytics at successful businesses. The report, “Breaking away with business analytics and optimization,” said that all businesses can differentiate their performance by analyzing data better and by delivering insight to decision makers at all levels of an organization.

Those with a successful strategy “achieve both top and bottom line impact — especially important in the current economy,” the report said.

“Business school graduates understand how to manage cash but don’t understand how to manage information,” added Ambuj Goyal, general manager for business analytics and process optimization at IBM (NYSE: IBM) in response to a question from