SSD vs HDD RAID in Servers and Storage

SSDs in servers deliver performance, whether measured in IOPS or GBps or latency, that is just plain impossible with disks. SSD capacity is now greater than that of performance disks. Price is the factor that still keeps many organizations away from deploying servers with SSD storage when the improved performance is not a significant benefit. The better reliability of SSD might be more important. Continue reading SSD vs HDD RAID in Servers and Storage

ion miniSERVER

Most “server” deployments deserve a rich, robust server platform with redundant power, redundant cooling, redundant storage, multiple network paths and error-correcting memory, but many servers already have redundant applications and redundant data.  In some of these deployments it then becomes reasonable to consider a small, cool, low-power alternative approach with redundant storage and two network interfaces for redundant communications. ion calls that a miniSERVER. Continue reading ion miniSERVER

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%!  Look at ion‘s SR-71mach6 SpeedServer or PS StorageServer for examples of capacity reporting. You can learn more about the differences in the Continue reading Storage Capacity: TB vs TiB

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 producing 1U and 2U rackmount servers along with pedestal/4U servers and high density half-U compute nodes. These servers feature much improved capability for NVMe SSDs and significantly higher memory bandwidth, along with options for more cores and higher clock speeds. Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors include a number Continue reading ion P-series Servers with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

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 Memory Leak Found

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 ion SR70mach5 SpeedServer™

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 Observations on NVMe SSDs in Server Applications

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 Thin Provisioning: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #2

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 Cache: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #1

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 High Performance and Huge Capacity with ION C2 StorageServer