[Beowulf] RAID storage: Vendor vs. parts

Steve Cousins cousins at limpet.umeoce.maine.edu
Tue Feb 22 11:18:19 PST 2005

I'm in the process of getting a couple 16 Bay 6.4 TB RAID units.  The
vendors who have given me quotes have a SATA-SCSI version for around
$14,000 each.  I can get a similarly equipped StorCase unit for around
$11,000. With the StorCase I envision that I'd be more on my own if
anything went wrong.  However, with the cheaper price, I'd be able to buy
a spare RAID controller to have on hand in case one of them failed and
still save a couple grand.

All three of these (the other two are Infortrend and I believe a re-badged
Jet) use the same Intel i80321 CPU on their controllers.  

All are configured the same (with spare PS module and Fan module)  except
the StorCase doesn't include a 3 year Express Swap warranty. This is why
I'd also want to get the spare RAID controller to share between the two
units in case one went bad.  So, for price comparison, it is probably
closer to $28,000 for two "Name-brand" units or $25,500 for two StorCase
units with spares of most everything.

Does anyone have experience with any or all of these?  Is it worth the
extra money to have a "burned-in" device supported by some company?  

I know this isn't a Beowulf specific question but it seems that storage is
a big part of Beowulfery and I'd bet that a lot of people are looking into
similar devices.  I hope it is relevant. 

I'm not after any more quotes from vendors (please don't email or call).
I'm happy with the alternatives that I have right now.


 Steve Cousins, Ocean Modeling Group    Email: cousins at umit.maine.edu
 Marine Sciences, 208 Libby Hall        http://rocky.umeoce.maine.edu
 Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME 04469        Phone: (207) 581-4302

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