Storage Capacity: TB vs TiB

For years, ION has reported usable capacity of disk and SSD storage in GiB and TiB instead of GB and TB. Why?  And what’s the difference?  Basically, 1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes while 1 GiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes. That is about 7%! You can learn more about the differences in the Wikipedia article on Orders of Magnitude in Data.  But the differences are simple.  Continue reading

ION P-series Servers with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Servers based on Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, the proccesor architecture known as “Skylake”, have arrived! ION is bringing 1U and 2U rackmount servers to market first, now followed by pedestal/4U servers and high density half-U compute nodes. These servers feature much improved capability for NVMe SSDs and significantly high memory bandwidth, along with options for more cores and higher clock speeds. Intel Xeon Scalable Continue reading

DAS vs. NAS vs. SAN

A quick web search of the terms DAS, NAS and SAN will yield many results, yet many near the top of the results list are almost a decade old and even the newer articles fail to account for recent developments in storage technology.  New technologies like NVMe have changed the landscape such that DAS is the indisputable leader in latency, NAS solutions can deliver Continue reading

Memory Leak Found

As part of ION’s extensive benchmarking of the SR-71mach5 SpeedServer platform, ION uncovered a memory leak in Windows Server 2012 R2 acting as an SMB3 File Server under very heavy load.  There does not seem to be an issue with larger blocks or when the queue depth is low, but you can watch it in action here while serving 8kB random reads with 16 Continue reading

ION SR70mach5 SpeedServer™

The new performance-optimized SSD-RAID Server from ION Computer Systems® is also price-optimized.  Based on ION’s award winning SR-71mach5 SpeedServer family and technology, the SR-70mach5 SpeedServer™ is a 1U rackmount server with optimized RAID and Standard Endurance SSDs. The SR-70mach5 SpeedServer is based on an Intel® ServerBoard and comes with (2) 3.4GHz 8-core Intel® Xeon® V4 processors, 9TB RAID 5 usable with Intel® DC SSDs Continue reading

The age of the NUC miniPC

How big does a PC need to be? A popular and well-reviewed small form factor PC with a disk, an optical drive and NO slots in early 2017 measures 10.5″x4″x15″=630 cubic inches.  How many users ever add boards or drives to a PC after they buy it?  Then why so big? An ION® NUC7 miniPC is 4.53″x4.37″ with a height of 1.4″ or 2″.  Continue reading

Observations on NVMe SSDs in Server Applications

NVMe SSDs offer a direct PCI express connection to storage, skipping the overhead and latency that comes with assuming that storage is rotating media when it is really SSD. Individually, NVMe SSDs offer a significant performance advantage over SATA SSDs. Over the last year, ION has invested much time and energy in benchmarking the performance of NVMe SSDs in servers. In practice, the applications Continue reading

Thin Provisioning: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #2

Much of modern storage management focuses on efficient use and allocation of storage capacity.  “Thin provisioning” is a primary mechanism for this, allocating just enough space to match each consumer‘s current needs, while promising more capacity when needed.  Thin provisioning is an effective tool for allocation of storage capacity.  When latency, bandwidth and IOPS are more important, thin provisioning makes these performance results nondeterministic.  Continue reading

Cache: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #1

Every producer of storage software (including what is hidden inside of “hardware”) has spent years and many engineering hours developing their cache algorithms.  Disks have cache; controllers have cache; subsystems have cache; operating systems have cache.  The better the algorithm is, the better the ratio of cache hits to cache misses.  Ultimately though, the decision of what to have in cache is a guess.  Continue reading

High Performance and Huge Capacity with ION C2 StorageServer

ION Computer Systems has introduced the new C2 StorageServer which features a wide range of performance and capacity options, including shelves of capacity disks with optional SSD caching, shelves of performance disks with optional SSD caching, and all-SSD shelves.  The C2 StorageServer node also supports NVM Express SSDs for the highest performance storage available and Intel Server NICs at 1GB, 10GB and 40Gb. The Continue reading