A unified storage solution offering massive capacity and expansion potential for a very good priceDave Mitchell 13 Oct 2010 |
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Competition in the network storage market is delivering some affordable equipment for SMBs, but Broadberry’s latest CyberStore appliance takes it to the next level. Not only does the 316S DSS-R2 offer a massive 24TB storage capacity for a smidgeon over seven grand, it supports NAS, IP SAN and FC SAN operations out of the box.
The review system came equipped with a dozen 2TB Hitachi SATA hard disks, but with 16 hot-swap drive bays, there’s room for even more. A fully populated appliance can squeeze 32TB into only 3U of rack space, and Broadberry advised that this version costs an affordable £8,165.
The 316S sports a X8DTI-F motherboard equipped with a Xeon E5620 processor and 12GB of DDR3 memory. The drive bays are managed by an LSI SAS 9280-4i4e RAID controller with an SAS SFF8087 internal connector and a SAS SFF8088 external port.
The card’s single internal port can handle all the drive bays, as the backplane has an integral SAS expander. The external port is available for further expansion and supports up to five of Broadberry’s 16-bay DAS arrays, allowing storage to be expanded to 512TB.
As our lab is 10GbE-enabled, Broadberry also dropped in an Intel dual-port card for us to play with. These are optional cards, with the dual-port version costing £875 with a pair of 10GBase-SR SFP modules.
Open-E provides the brains. Its Data Storage Server 6 (DSS) software is preinstalled on an internal USB stick, and licensing is based on the amount of storage to be managed. The price of the review system includes a 24TB licence, but once you reach 48TB, the DSS software becomes unlimited.
This latest version offers a number of new features, including persistent reservation, which enables support for Windows Server 2008 clustering. You have asynchronous volume replication over LAN and WAN connections, while Fibre Channel support includes the latest QLogic 8Gbits/sec Fibre Channel host bus adapters.
All drives were preconfigured in a single RAID6 array, so we went straight to the main web interface to create our volumes. Each array is termed a volume group, and within these you create your logical volumes and decide whether they should be NAS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel volumes.
Here, you can enable volume replication or mirroring to another Open-E appliance. NAS shares can also be set as WORM volumes. Snapshots for point-in-time backups are available too. Once a snapshot has been created, it can be scheduled to run at regular intervals. Any type of volume can be expanded on-the-fly, where you choose one from the Volume Manager window and enter the capacity you want to add.
The appliance can run its own jobs, where selected volumes are secured to a local NAS volume or a tape drive. Full, incremental and differential backups are available; jobs can be run to a schedule; and Open-E also offers embedded agents for Backup Exec and ARCserve. Retrospect virus scanning is provided: ClamAV is loaded on the appliance.
IP SAN configuration is a simple process: choose this option during volume creation, enter a size for each target, and enable CHAP authentication if required. Lists of blocked or allowed IP address can be applied, and a valuable feature is iSCSI failover since two physical adapters can be bound into a single virtual adapter.
To test performance over 10GbE we used a Dell PowerEdge R310 with a 2.67GHz X3450 Xeon, 16GB of DDR3, an Intel 10GbE adapter, and Windows Server 2008 R2. With everything hooked up via a Netgear GSM7328S switch, we timed drag-and-drop copies of a 6.3GB data sample to a NAS share, which returned fast read and write rates of 449MB/sec and 341MB/sec.
We made the share available to FTP users, and FileZilla recorded top read and write speeds of 510MB/sec and 398MB/sec. IP SAN performance was even more impressive, with copies to and from a 200GB target averaging 520MB/sec and 472MB/sec.
The CyberStore 316S DSS-R2 combines an impressive range of storage features with incredible expansion potential and top performance. With support as standard for NAS, IP SANs and Fibre Channel SANs, you have a complete, unified storage solution – and it’s extremely affordable to boot.
Author: Dave Mitchell