Interesting article

I read this on Gigaom. In it, there is a claim of the densest storage on the market coming from Quanta, and a full rack of them would be about 3/4 ton (about 682 kg). Amazon uses a “special” design that comes in more than a ton according to the article.

So I decided to look into what a simple 42U rack of say 10 of our bad boys would come out with weight wise.

Thats 600 disks. Then the rack, the chassis. Not adding in the PDUs, or the wiring.

In 42U, leaving room for some TOR switch goodness (say one of our siRouters), we are at about 2300 lbs. About 15% more than a ton. If we could use one of our 48U racks, it comes out to about 2731 lbs.

So … I don’t think those numbers are right though. I knew were were dense, I didn’t think we were the densest in market.

In each of our units, we’ve got lots of processing, network, and IO bandwidth, so this isn’t just dumb spinning rust jbod-ery. This would be up to 240 processor cores, 10TB ram, and an aggregate of up to 40x 40GbE ports. So a heckuva-lotta bandwidth.

And now with the 6TB drives, thats 3.6 PB per rack.

Each unit does about 7GB/s sustained IO for large files. And we can add 4 rear mounted SSDs for caching/tiering to provide excellent IOP performance on mixed loads. So that’s 70 GB/s per rack sustained.

Interesting article though, in that it follows what I know from conversations with people at other large sites. The cost is in the hardware, and so is the efficiency. If you can drive the efficiency up (and utilization), you can do more with less hardware. Which can help you lower your TCO.

And this has been our argument for a long time. More efficient, faster units, pay for themselves very quickly when compared to inspecific designs that make fine mail servers, but terrible storage controllers, or network hubs, or … The argument makes sense at scale and at small scale.

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