[Beowulf] storage server hardware considerations

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Wed Jul 15 11:02:24 PDT 2009

Orion Poplawski wrote:

>> Rather than looking at the solution, could you describe the problem you
>> need to solve?
> I've been building cheap, big, slow storage servers for our use. 
> However, some of our users are starting to need higher performance IO. 
> We still don't have a lot of money, but I'd like to provide something 
> with a modest amount of storage (at least 500GB) that can at least 
> handle full GigE, perhaps up to DDR Infiniband for future expansion, 
> without breaking the bank.

You can saturate GbE fairly easily (we can).  A good RAID10 could get 
you pretty far here.  500GB is quite small though.  Likely you will 
spend more in chassis and other stuff than in disk.

Using our DeltaV as a guide, a 2U boxen with 6TB (12x 500 GB drives) and 
4 GbE ports in a RAID10 provides about 250-350 MB/s for NFS.

> We have only about 10 compute machines so we're pretty small.

One thing you can do is channel bond 2-4 GbE ports on the server, and 
then you can at least reduce network port contention there.

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
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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