[Beowulf] Any recommendations for a good JBOD?

Jesse Becker beckerjes at mail.nih.gov
Thu Feb 18 11:26:04 PST 2010

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 01:12:05PM -0500, Gerald Creager wrote:
>For what you're describing, I'd consider CoRAID's AoE technology and 
>system, and use their RAID6 capability. Otherwise, get yourself a box 
>with up to 8 slots, preferably with hot-swap capability, and forge ahead.

I'll second this recommendation.  The Coraid servers are fairly
inexpensive, variously support 4, 16 or 24 drives depending on model,
and will accept any drives you care to throw in it.  Coraid has been
very good about this in the past, although they do maintain a list of
problematic drives they recommend against using.  That said, they will
sell you a 'certified' drive if you want one.  Performance is decent,
especially given the price/capacity ratio.  It does not need to be fully
populated either, so you can grow into the system over time.

The AoE protocol is well supported in Linux, (and theoretically other
OSes, but I've not tested those).  I also agree with using the built-in
RAID abilties instead of using it as a JBOD--the rebuild times are
murder.  Coraid also provide tools to "extract" your data from bare
drives in an emergency situation as well.

>Rahul Nabar wrote:
>> Discussions that I read on this list in the last couple of months
>> tempt me to do away with hardware RAID entirely for a new
>> mini-storage-project I have to do. I am thinking of going for a JBOD
>> with Linux Software RAID via mdadm. Hardware RAID just doesn't have
>> the original awesomeness that it had me mesmerized with.
>> Any recommendations for a good JBOD? The requirements are simple. 5
>> Terabytes total capacity. SATA drives. Don't need high performance:
>> these are for archival home dirs. No active jobs run from this
>> storage. Reliability and low price are key. Some kind of
>> Direct-Attached Storage box. RAID5 or RAID6 maybe. Already have a
>> pretty fast 8 core server with lots of RAM that I can hook this up to.
>> Neither bandwidth nor IOPS  need to be terribly high. Most of the data
>> here is pretty static and not often moved around.
>> One of the things I notice is that 5 Terabytes seems too low-end these
>> days. Can't find many solutions tailored to this size. Most come with
>> 12 or 16 bays etc. which seems excessive for this application.
>Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
>Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University
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Jesse Becker
NHGRI Linux support (Digicon Contractor)

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