Future Storage Systems: Part 2 – Detailed Node View

October 8, 2008

So, in my article yesterday, I gave a global view of a very simple storage system for the future. Since I LOVE this type of conjecture and theoretics (is that a word?), I decided to take this a step further and flesh out some of the other intricacies of the design.  Check out the image below and then click through to read the rest.

Fleshing out the Hypertransport Storage System

Fleshing out the Hypertransport Storage System

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Why wouldn’t the following work? (Future Storage System: Part 1)

October 7, 2008

So, I’ve been toying around with this in my mind for some time.  Essentially, I’ve tried to understand the basic “Storage Processor” limitation of current storage systems and propose an admittedly simplistic design to get around some of the difficulties.  The biggest hurdle, in my mind, is to have cache coherency, low latency memory access to other nodes in a “cluster,” and have a communications “bus” between nodes that is extensible (or at least will grow bandwidth with more devices on the signal chain).  Staring at that problem, then, look at the image below.

A case for Hypertransport connected nodes...

A case for Hypertransport connected nodes...

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Quick VMWare Links

October 7, 2008
Image representing VMware as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I get asked a lot of questions regarding VMWare setup, etc. and I thought I’d take the time to push this out to the front page on the blog.

This is for Virtual Infrastructure 3: 3.5 Update 2/3:

Main Documentation Page:

http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vi_pages/vi_pubs_35u2.html

Quick Start Guide:

Quick Start Guide

Installation Guide:

Installation Guide

Basic Systems Admin Guide:

Systems Administration Guide

Virtual Center Installation Guide:

Virtual Center 2.5 Installation Guide

Virtual Machine Backup Guide:

Virtual Machine Backup Guide

Server Config Guide:

Server Config Guide

iSCSI and Fibre Config Guides:

iSCSI & Fibre Channel

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Off to Orlando…

September 30, 2008

Well, I’ll be in Orlando, FL for the next few days soaking up some good ‘ol EMC goodness (that’d be product, not sun 😉 ).  I should have some really interesting things to report on this month including more information on the CMIS “platform” (announced last month by EMC, IBM, and Microsoft) as well as some newer technology that’s coming in the the following months.  Also, will have a review of the excellent Qlogic 5802V 8gb/s fibre switch available online in a bit as well.

Stay tuned!  Things are going to be interesting.

cheers,

Dave

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Snoop Filters and the Tyan S5397

September 26, 2008

Just to add to the ever-growing information data base on the excellent Tyan S5397.

If you seem to be having problems with reported memory bandwidth in your favourite worthless synthetic benchmark or reality-based simulation workload, try disabling the Snoop Filter in the bios.

Remember, the Intel Xeon processors use a different set of prefetch schedulers than standard “consumer” level parts, so, this can also affect workload.

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NX4: bringing NAS to the masses…

August 26, 2008

So you’re reading this at 12:01AM on Tuesday, August 26th…to paraphrase “Captain Awesome” from Chuck (on NBC), “Early morning group hug? AWESOME!”

Anyhow, let’s get straight to the point here: the NX4 is here. It has arrived in all of its SAS/SATA disk goodness. It brings with it CIFS/NFS capabilities, iSCSI for IP-based block level access, and 4Gb/s Fibre Channel for those moments where massive bandwidth and low latency are priorities. Sounds good, huh? Let’s toss in IP-based and Fibre replication facilities, auto volume management (for thin provisioning), and writable Celerra snaps and you’ve rounded out the solution completely. Did I mention that you’re going to layer this on top of the category-busting (sales-wise) AX4-5? Read the rest of this entry »


EMC CX4 is ALIVE!

August 6, 2008
Which memory locations can be cached by which ...Image via Wikipedia

Is it just me or have we been waiting for this for a while? 😉  Today is officially the EMC Clariion CX4 public GA (general availability) date.  Good news: they’re shipping TODAY!  No paper launches, folks…this is immediate availability.  The other good news: you get to do more with your storage; faster, cheaper, stronger, more flexible, etc.  Let me rip through some highlights for you:

a.) Cache and SP Processor increases.  Across the board, processor “speeds” and cache sizes have been increased.  Now, this may appear somewhat odd in that the CX4-120, for example, only has two dual core 1.2ghz processors, but, when you consider that the onboard L2 cache is greater in size (and Woodcrest processors were HANDILY more powerful than the older Nocona Xeons), it actually has more innate processing power than the previous generation processors.  Cache sizes, when coupled with the 64 bit FLARE OS for the array, allow for better allocation and utilization within the array. 

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