I was recently given an old HP MediaSmart EX470 server along with some other junk hardware. Although it has no graphics, a slow single-core AMD Sempron CPU, and just 512 MB of RAM, I was able to revive it quite satisfactorily. Here’s how I upgraded the hardware and software.
Hard disk drives encounter errors from time to time, so it’s a good thing that most have the ability to recover data anyway. But RAID systems usually have their own error recovery capabilities and can be thrown off when a hard disk pauses I/O. So it’s a good idea to use hard disk drives that allow you to disable or limit error recovery in RAID systems.
Long-time readers of my blog know of my love for Drobo, but the time has come to say goodbye. My old Drobos (and Iomega ix-4) are showing their age and I decided to go in a different direction: I’m building a FreeNAS server. In this article I’ll talk about my thinking behind this move; later posts will talk in more detail about the hardware and software setup.
I had a little bit of a learning experience this week regarding NFS exports and Mac OS X that I thought would be interesting to share with my readers. It’s part “simple tip” and part “facepalm.”
Ask any project manager if it’s possible to deliver something that is fast, good, and cheap, and they’ll laugh. The phenomenon known as the Iron Triangle limits just about everything in the world from meeting all three conflicting requirements. Yet, for the last two decades, enterprise storage array vendors have been trying to deliver just this. How’s that working out?
Samba is becoming more and more important. Windows servers will increasingly use SMB 3.0 as their networked storage protocol in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3. And EMC’s purchase of Likewise means the rest of the storage industry is looking for an SMB stack. But I’m most interested to see what Active Directory support means for future home and business devices.
The time has come to take sides on the core question of storage for virtual servers: Do you want storage intelligence to live in the hypervisor or the array? Most administrators are already lining up on one side or the other, unintentionally casting their vote while the rest flounder. But the storage industry must wake up and embrace the divide.
Storage protocols continue to mimic direct attached storage, with the concepts of block and file at its core. No amount of virtualization, and no new protocol, will fix this – we need a storage revolution.
Many storage challenges focus on the conflict between data management, which demands an ever-smaller unit of management, and storage management, which benefits most from consolidation. Developing data management capability that is both granular enough for applications and scalable enough for storage is one key to the future of storage.
Overland Storage is showing intriguing signs of life. Once relegated to OEM tape library duty, Overland received an injection of cash and (more importantly) talent this year. Now the company is stepping up the technology behind their SnapServer NAS array by acquiring scale-out file storage company, MaxiScale. They intend to bring the scalable capacity and performance normally associated with enterprise and high-performance computing systems to the mass market.