In my last post, I talked about my decision to build a FreeNAS box. Today I'm going to dive into the hardware I selected, starting with the motherboard, CPU, and memory. FreeNAS runs on any PC hardware, but building a reliable and scalable storage solution means picking higher-end components. I selected a Supermicro X10SL7 server-class motherboard with 14 (!) SAS/SATA ports … [Read more...] about My FreeNAS Build: Supermicro X10SL7, Intel Haswell Xeon, ECC RAM
The world of storage can be confusing, with obscure terms hiding massive differences in technology and performance. Such is the case for the latest PCI express SSDs: They are much faster than traditional SAS or SATA SSDs, but many aren't sure exactly why. In this article, I will try to explain the real difference. Let's get it out of the way from the start: All SSDs are fast … [Read more...] about Why Are PCIe SSDs So Fast?
How fast is a hard disk drive? How about the various flavors of SATA and Fibre Channel? Check out this handy Pack Rat infographic to answer the question, "how fast is it?" … [Read more...] about How Fast Is It? A Storage Infographic
Why do some data storage solutions perform better than others? What tradeoffs are made for economy and how do they affect the system as a whole? These questions can be puzzling, but there are core truths that are difficult to avoid. Mechanical disk drives can only move a certain amount of data. RAM caching can improve performance, but only until it runs out. I/O channels can be … [Read more...] about The Four Horsemen of Storage System Performance: I/O As a Chain of Bottlenecks
STEC may not have been quite ready to reveal their next-generation ZeusRAM solid-state disk (SSD), but they are demonstrating it anyway at EMC World in Boston this week. The ZeusRAM is a fundamentally different animal from the existing ZeusIOPS drive in one critical way: Rather than using flash memory for primary data storage, the ZeusRAM uses DRAM. This improves reliability … [Read more...] about STEC Spills the Beans on ZeusRAM SSD