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 Seagate Free Agent GoFlex Docks were an excellent product, allowing interchange of hard disk drives and connectivity protocols. They made USB 3, FireWire, and even NAS docks for these hard disk drives. But the connector is standard SATA and could be used with any drive. So I created a 3D printable adapter and released it on Thingiverse! Use this adapter to connect … [Read more...] about 3D Print a Seagate GoFlex Dock Adapter for 2.5″ Hard Disk Drives
Apple's brand-new MacBook Air might not look much from the outside, but a revolution lurks under the hood: This is the first mainstream computer to eschew SATA in favor of PCIe SSD! Long heralded in workstations and servers, PCIe SSD brings massive potential for storage performance. Apple Bets on SSD Apple was first out of the gate in switching to all-SSD storage for their … [Read more...] about Apple Brings PCIe SSD To The Masses In The New MacBook Air
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?
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: Get Smart