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Mike R.

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Better hardware than the SUPERMICRO SuperStorage Server 6049PE1CR36L? (Sales people welcome)

We are searching for a new fileserver system.

The conditions are:

1. We need redundancy I.e HA/mirroring/etc. (we currently have a single overloaded file server)

2. Increasing the bandwidth from the server to the building infrastructure. The building infrastructure is limited to 1Gb in the walls. We are looking at a multiple server solution with distributed data delivery to overcome this limitation.

3. Improved performance on the server itself

4. Data is often large individual files ( > 10GB )

5. Sharing is done via CIFS, NFS and Samba/cifs

We currently have a bid for the following hardware.

Question: Is there a better hardware solution than the one offered?


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Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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Synology boxes work well, as Andrew suggested.

Tip: Keep in mind, you're primary bottleneck will be the network connections between your file server + file server users.

Best to break up large files into smaller pieces + do anything else you can to reduce i/o to your file server.

So primary speed factor is network speed followed by file server hardware as a very distant 2nd speed factor, because once data arrives at machine, CPU + disk speed will always be much faster than network speed, so invest your first dollars in network speed + you can use pretty much any hardware for your actual file server.
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Mike R.

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@John Tsioumpris

Thanks for the comment. I've looked into the EMC storage (specifically the EMC Powervault ME4). I had a couple of questions, that I couldn't seem to figure out from the online data. If you've worked with these, perhaps you can help?

The primary question is; it appears to actually have an integrated software/firmware controller based on the VMWare software, but doesn’t have any documentation regarding actually installing your own OS or Filesystem structure (I.e. ZFS). Does this operate with an overlying OS (I.e. Ubuntu) or is it more like SAN/NAS – where the shares are configured via the web interface, which present as NFS/CIFS mount points to the network … but there is no actual Linux-based operating system (physical or virtual) installed?

I did see in the documentation options, something about an EMC ME4 running Redhat. So, I'm very confused at to whether the Powervaults run an OS that provides NFS/CIFS/Etc. .. or whether the operate more like a NAS.

Thanks!
I am afraid i have no extra knowledge ...it has being quite some time since we bought our SAN on my previous job..
All that i can tell you is that we are talking about SAN ...not NAS...there 2 completely (almost) different things
Think it like this...just assume that you have an imaginary External USB drive with the benefit of having more than 1 port...you plug it to one computer and presto you have extra space...you use its 2nd port and you plug it to another computer...again presto you have more space...at sometime later you replace your computers with newer ones...and again you plug this imaginary USB drive to your new computers and again presto...your data are there..(its a lot more complicated but the simple concept is somewhat like this)..the added bonus to the above scenario is that all your computers ...both the old and new ...treat this USB drive as internal storage..pretty much like it had lets say N Hdds inside and you take them out each time (with plugging) and you connect them internall to your computers...
On the other hand NAS is again a USB drive but this time is a normal USB drive and on your Internet (ADSL/VDSL/Fiber/Cable) router you have a nice USB port...you plug the drive and immediately all your computers in the house have access to the data pretty much as shared folders in Windows/Linux but its a central spot and the concept is to share files not present the space to the computers natively.
On the other hand NASes for quite some time have crossed this line and can offer NAS functionality (via ISCSI) but its not quite the same...i am afraid i haven't worked with high end NAS to tell you what are the pros and cons of these..
You need to connect SANs to a Server to then export Shares/CIFS/NFS!
To add a bit to my previous post..
SAN is a "device" that its only concern it to manage disks and present these disks to the computers that connect to it ...it can't operate on its own...its OS handles only these...
NAS on the other hand manages disks but also shares the content of the disks to the network...pretty much as a standard computer with shared folders...it can operate on its own without the need of an extra server/s to expose its functionality.