SR-71mach5 SpeedServer

ION recently launched it’s flagship SR-71mach5 SpeedServer™ which continues to deliver on the SR-71 legacy of all-SSD storage for “disk-impossible performance”.  This new server incorporates new technology throughout yielding more processor cores, more and faster memory and much more random I/O performance. Standard processors in the “mach5” are two 12-core 2.6GHz Intel® Xeon® E5-2690 V3, but the full Xeon E5-2600V3 processor lineup is available.  Continue reading SR-71mach5 SpeedServer

Open-E DSS V7 iSCSI Targets on SR-71mach4 SpeedServer™

Open-E posted it’s certification of the ION SR-71mach4 SpeedServer on 23 June 2014. The Open-E Certification process focuses on functionality and stability, efficiency and usability.  Additional benchmark by ION testing demonstrated iSCSI target performance with Open-E DSS V7 doing random I/O at almost 8GBps or up to 375,000 IOPS or latency as low as 0.42ms.  All-SSD iSCSI targets enable a wide range of high-performance Continue reading Open-E DSS V7 iSCSI Targets on SR-71mach4 SpeedServer™

Server Economics

Not every server needs 20 cores of Intel Xeon processor or 128GB RAM or 36TB RAID storage.  There are certainly applications that deserve a dedicated server with two or four cores, a few gigabytes of RAM and a small boot drive.  But are there decisions where a little more planning and expense before deployment extends the life of a server – or adds a Continue reading Server Economics

Storage Sizing for Capacity and Performance

Or, How Many Eggs in One Basket? Huge storage systems are available today supporting large numbers of disks, allowing the creation of massive storage resources.  Storage Servers and storage enclosures suporting up to (60) 3.5″ disk drives are now common.  Filling those bays with 6TB disks yields a system with 360TB raw capacity – one third of a petabyte!  That is now an easy Continue reading Storage Sizing for Capacity and Performance

Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 5, Almost?

The title of this series of posts is “Spinning Rust is Dead”. Well, actually it is “Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead”. Why, given all of the facts, do I say “almost“? Disks are really good at one thing: storing a LOT of data. So for backup, archival, or storing many terabytes of data that gets accessed only occasionally, disks are good. Data centers should Continue reading Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 5, Almost?

Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 4, SSD Power and Reliability

“But wait,” you say, “price and performance aren’t everything!” Really? You are correct. Reliability counts when your data is sitting on the drive. To start with, think about microscopic magnetic heads flying back and forth over platters spinning at 7,200 rpm to 15,000 rpm. Need I say more? We can compare manufacturer’s MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) numbers, but nobody really knows how they Continue reading Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 4, SSD Power and Reliability

Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 3, SSD Price vs. Performance

Finally, we get to the question, “What replaces hard disk drives?” As many people already know, the answer is solid state disks or SSDs. SSDs are made today to fit the shape, size and interfaces used by hard disk drives (HDDs), but they consist mostly of Flash memory instead of spinning rust, plus a controller and some RAM for buffering, just like a rotating Continue reading Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 3, SSD Price vs. Performance

Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 2, Disk Drive Physics

That brings us back to spinning rust. To understand the limitations of rotating hard disk drives, it is important to understand the technology.  With a basic grasp of how a disk drive works, the mechanical limitations  quickly become obvious. If you are accessing data sequentially in big long chunks, where the disk can read an entire track, move over just one track and read Continue reading Spinning Rust is (almost) Dead, Part 2, Disk Drive Physics

Spinning Rust is (Almost) Dead, Part 1, The Pace of Technology

“Spinning rust?” you may say? Yes, rust, or another iron oxide, is the ferromagnetic coating on the platters spinning inside every hard disk drive.  To read and write your data an actuator arm, driven by a separate motor moves a tiny recording head over each platter surface, flying on a microscopic layer of air to change the magnetic polarization one bit at a time.  Continue reading Spinning Rust is (Almost) Dead, Part 1, The Pace of Technology