[Beowulf] Looking for external RAID vendors

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Thu Sep 28 06:37:31 PDT 2006

Warren Turkal wrote:
> On Wednesday 27 September 2006 09:49, Mark Hahn wrote:
>>  approx size/config?
> SR1520 is a 15 disk unit. It is 3U. It takes SATA disks. As a result, it can 
> hold up to 11.25TB until SATA drives get bigger.

Thats 11.25TB raw.  If you run with a hot spare (assuming all 750GB
drives), this is 10.5TB raw.  Now if you run a 14 drive RAID5, thats
9.75 TB raw.  After formatting it (I recommend xfs or jfs, ext3 takes a
*long* time on this box), you would have 8-9TB formatted RAID5 per
shelf.  Each shelf can do about 110MB/s large block sequential reads
with xfs.  I can get about 60-65 MB/s with ext3.

> The configuration is basically put in disks and fire it up. You can then 

Hmmm... not quite, but close.  Coraid has a console that you need to use
to configure your units.  They have config recipes in the manual, and
they are not hard to use.  Just no fancy GUI, or web page, or ...   this
 is typing at a serial console or a keyboard.  But its not hard, not

> create raid sets and everything else you'd expect. You can do the config from 
> a connected keyboard/monitor, serial terminal, or cec (something like telnet 
> over ethernet). I personally use an Opengear serial terminal server for 
> configuration.

Heh... Nice to know that someone else uses OpenGear (we resell both them
and Coraid).

> It runs Plan9 with no IP stack. I consider this a slight disadvantage in that 
> it cannot produce SNMP traps. The only way to monitor it is to send udp 
> syslog messages to a syslog receiver and grep info out of the collected logs. 

Almost... through the OpenGear, you can have it run occasional
information retrieval bits.  If you can script this, you can return a
status.  We haven't done this yet, but I do see a need for some of our
customers, so we are at least exploring it.

> I think it would be much cooler if it ran a TCP/IP stack on its interfaces so 
> that you could ssh in directly. A sufficiently clever hacker could probably 
> pull it off considering that they use the rc shell as their command shell. If 
> they had a TCP/IP stack, it would be able to send SNMP traps and even present 
> an http interface.

It would help, but Coraid is fairly simple storage, and it focuses upon
being that.  It does do a nice job at being simple storage.  We are
biased about this, being resellers, but we have sold it with a few
systems and haven't seen many complaints.


> wt

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 734 786 8452 or +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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