[Beowulf] RAID storage: Vendor vs. parts

Shane Canon canon at nersc.gov
Tue Feb 22 12:54:41 PST 2005

Hash: SHA1


We currently have an Infotrend based box (older FC/IDE) and I'm
currently testing a JetStor (AC&NC) box (FC/SATA).

The Infotrend box has been in production for over a year now.  It has
been reasonably stable. However, in my opinion, the management interface
stinks.  They clearly were thinking more about the Winders crowd than
the Linux crowd.

The JetStor box is pretty nice so far.  You can have redundant
controllers, PS, etc.  The management interface is very nice and very
flexible.  For example, you can take one pool of disks and create
multiple LUNs on the same pool with different RAID levels.  This means
you can create several LUNs under the 2TB limit and not waste disks on
extra parity drives for example.

I don't have any strong opinion on the support question though.

- --Shane

Steve Cousins wrote:
| 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.
| Thanks,
| Steve
| ______________________________________________________________________
|  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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