[Beowulf] storage server hardware considerations

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Wed Jul 15 10:23:06 PDT 2009

Orion Poplawski wrote:
> I'm thinking about building a moderately fast network storage server 
> using a striped array of SSD disks.  I'm not sure how much such a device 
> would benefit from being dual processor and whether the latest Nehalem 
> chips would be better than the older in the tooth (and less expensive) 
> AMD Opteron offerings.  I'm almost certainly going to be limited at the 
> moment by using GigE, but would like to move to Infiniband in future. 
> Thoughts?

What specifically are you trying to do with this?

You can indeed build or buy SSD based servers, but understand they have 
specific use cases (mostly IOPS/seek bound loads).  If this is what your 
access pattern is like (many short reads/writes) SSDs could be good.

If on the other hand, all you wish to do is to push out fast NFS, you 
really don't need SSDs for that.  Some of the folks here on this list 
can provide NFS servers that provide 1GB/s (achievable/measured) to 
network clients (c.f. http://scalability.org/?p=1708 ).  Since you are 
rate limited by GbE, this might not be as much of an issue.

Rather than looking at the solution, could you describe the problem you 
need to solve?



Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax  : +1 866 888 3112
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