Coping with SAN Storage Frustration caused by Server Virtualization

Coping with SAN Storage Frustration Caused by Server Virtualization

Server virtualization is clearly one of the breakout technologies in the first decade of the 21st century. The results are both operationally and economically compelling, however, they are not without their pitfalls as server virtualization unless properly managed with appropriate SAN storage.

Is this your case? Here’s a whitepaper from NEC to help you out (registration required).

Released: NexentaStor 2.1

NexentaStor 2.1 Released: Improves Industry-Leading Hardware Independent NAS/SAN Storage Solution for Virtual Environments

Nexenta Systems announced the release of NexentaStor 2.1. NexentaStor is a unified storage solution delivering enterprise class NAS and SAN functionality, based on the revolutionary ZFS file system. Now with over 11,000 users and in excess of 500 paid customers, NexentaStor offers an unmatched combination of enterprise class features and an open technology and business model that promises to end storage vendor lock-in forever.

NexentaStor 2.1 adds a number of capabilities to NexentaStor 2.0, including StorageLink integration for the management of storage for Citrix / Xen and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Other additional capabilities include the addition of Fiber Channel support to the Target block level management target as well as additional improvements to both block level and file level replication NexentaStor features.

FreeNAS: A Simple Data Storage Solution

Todd Dixon writes about his introduction into the open source world and his decision to replace the OpenSuse “monster” with the light FreeNAS:

“This HP file server was loaded with a dozen 36 GB SCSI drives, which FreeNAS set up in a software RAID and we were off and running.

After some simple user and group setup, we backed up our FTP server. We also house a nightly file backup from our Denver cluster in Birmingham. It was backed up to our FreeNAS server too, a double backup.

FreeNAS works fine with an old Pentium III (933 MHz), showing only 1 percent CPU usage and 20 percent of the 1 GB total of RAM. I’m not exaggerating, the thing screams. We are about to put it online full time as our complete replacement for our FTP server, but it has ended up giving us much more. Amanda Alexander at our company’s Denver cluster has had some issues with one of their file servers. She has packaged it up and sent it to us and we are planning on putting FreeNAS on it.

Each of us probably has a storage room filled with machines that have lost a step in speed or need a $50 hard drive. The echoing sentiment among these pages and elsewhere is to extend life, troubleshoot, fix and reuse. We need to always be searching for how we might repurpose a computer or server so that we can get the maximum benefit from it.

FreeNAS has helped us to accomplish this. It is elegant in function and a perfect option for us to continue to give even more data services to everybody here in Birmingham even while our budgets have been tightened.”

Read the “FreeNAS: A Simple Data Storage Solution” post ( 11/08/2009)

iXsystems unveils new line of ‘Earth’ series servers

iXsystems has unveiled the iX-Green Neutron, a new line in the ‘Earth’ series of environmentally friendly servers. The announcement is made at OpenSource World, Next Generation Data Center, and CloudWorld 2009 events.

iXsystems customers asked for an ultra-efficient green solution tailored specifically to the power constraints of a datacenter. iXsystems responded by introducing the iX-1282 and the iX-2216 in the iX-Earth Series line of environmentally friendly servers. The iX-Earth server line features power-efficient 2.5″ hard disk drives, low-power Intel CPUs, Low-Voltage Memory, and highly efficient power supplies. The 2.5″ SAS and/or SATA hard drives featured in the iX-Earth server configurations can reduce power consumption by 40% over standard 3.5″ hard drives. Use of optional Solid State Drives (SSD) equates to a power savings of up to 95% over 3.5″ standard spinning drives.

iXsystems said that the new iX-Green series features the iX-GN1204, the iX-GN1208 and the iX-GN 2216 servers. These servers utilise power-saving DDR3 memory, 2.5” SAS and/or SATA drives,

and come equipped with improved power supplies.

“The iX-Earth Series was developed as p

art of our commitment to green technology. iXsystems leverages advanced technology and system design expertise to minimize power consumption in all of our servers, making us a leader in power saving technology. Helping companies minimize their carbon footprint is a primary server design objective that results in a significant reduction in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of our systems, through savings on energy and cooling costs.”

says Michael Lauth, CEO of iXsystems

According to iXsystems, the DDR3 memory is expected to provide up to 1333MHz performance speed while averaging 20% to 30% less power consumption than its FB-DDR2 predecessors. The new iX-Green series also leverages Intel’s Xeon Processor 5500 series to enhance performance and energy-efficiency over previous version processors.
The company said that the iX-GN1204 1U configuration features 4 physical cores (8 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading enabled), up to 24GB of low voltage RAM, and 4 hot-swap 2.5” SAS/SATA drives. The iX-GN1208 1U configuration features up to 8 cores (16 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading enabled), up to 96 GB of low voltage RAM, and 8 hot-swap 2.5” SAS/SATA drives.

The iX-GN2216 2U server provides up to 8 cores (16 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading), 144GB of low voltage RAM, and 16 hot-swap 2.5” SAS/SATA hard drive bays in a 2U form factor, the company said.

Andrew Madrid, product marketing manager of iXsystems, said:

“The iX-Green Neutron Series features three initial configurations, able to be tailored to a customer’s exact specifications.

“The focus of each configuration is to provide the highest performance levels possible, while using our knowledge of power saving technologies to exceed the demand for green data centre technology while simultaneously saving our clients money on operating costs.”

Information and product features

Debian Lenny on QNAP TS-209 NAS

The QNAP TS-209 is a powerful NAS device that can be used for a variety of tasks. Support for the TS-209 has been added to the current release of Debian, version 5.0 (Lenny).

Martin Michlmeyer describes ste-by-setp what is needed to get Debian running on your TS-209

QNAP TS-209 Turbo NAS is the most powerful 2-bay Network Attached Storage (NAS) product designed for SOHO and Home users. TS-209 adopts the latest powerful 500MHz CPU with 128MB DDR II RAM and Gigabit Ethernet design; its ultra-high-speed performance significantly boosts the file sharing speed. Abundant valuable server features are also included, such as advanced auto-sync/schedule/instant backup, cross-platform sharing for Windows and Mac, Web Server of PHP with MySQL and SQLite, RAID 1 mirroring protection with hot-swapping design, encrypted FTP file sharing, encrypted Remote Replication, unique Web File Manager, built-in DDNS, SSL and SSH remote login, etc.. These differentiated designs make TS-209 a perfect choice for SOHO users who need faster performance and useful server features. With its friendly web-based interface, users can easily set up a network system for all sorts of server applications without MIS help.

TS-209 is also designed for home users. You can easily build up a perfect multimedia storage center for backing up and sharing multimedia files with your friends and family. TS-209 provides a lot of attractive server functions, such as iTunes Server, UPnP/ DLNA Media Server (TwonkyMedia) with Internet Radio, Multimedia Station with web-based photo album, BitTorrent Download Station, etc..