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Supermicro SuperServer E200-8D/E300-8D review
Posted by Alex Khorolets on April 21, 2017
5/5 (1)

These days, more and more companies need high-quality, reliable and efficient server hardware.  Home labs used by enthusiasts and professionals in the IT sphere for software developing and testing, studying for an IT certification, and configuring virtual environments became popular as well. Small companies are also interested in cheap and compact servers, the production of which is based on a couple of virtual machines or networking applications.

Supermicro company ranks one of the leading positions in server development for a long time. Supermicro products range from the Hi-End clusters to microservers. Recently the company released two compact servers: SuperServer E200-8D and its younger model – SuperServer E300-8D.

Supermicro SuperServers

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Benchmarking Samsung NVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2
Posted by Taras Shved on March 24, 2017
5/5 (1)

Everyone knows that, currently, the SSDs are one of the best storage devices that allow you to upgrade your architecture and significantly accelerate the performance of the computer. SSD accelerates the loading speed of your PC, applications opening and files searching speed, and generally increases the performance of your system. Despite the fact that solid-state drives are more expensive than standard hard drives, the performance improvement can hardly be overlooked.

The modern market is represented by a variety of storage devices that differ depending on the volume, interface, memory type, and vendor. The SATA SSDs are replaced by PCIe NVMe SSDs that deliver an increase in performance by connecting directly to the PCIe bus. A few months ago, Samsung announced the release of SSD 960 PRO and SSD 960 EVO NVMe,  which will be discussed in this post. As well as 950 Pro, which was released last year,  Samsung 960 Pro and 960 EVO are PCIe 3.0 x4 drives that utilize the latest version of the NVMe protocol for data transfer, designed to reduce delays, and utilize flash memory with maximum efficiency. Therefore, Samsung 960 EVO delivers performance close to 960 PRO, but at a much more affordable price.

Samsung SSD 960 EVO

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Storage Spaces Direct: Enabling S2D work with unsupported device types (BusType = NVMe, RAID, Fibre Channel). Part 1: Registry hack
Posted by Taras Shved on February 10, 2017
5/5 (4)

Introduction

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is a new storage feature introduced in Windows Server 2016 Datacenter that significantly extends the software-defined storage stack in Windows Server product family and allows users to build highly-available storage systems using directly attached drives.

Storage Spaces Direct or S2D helps to simplify the deployment and management of software-defined storage systems as well as to open the use of more classes of disk devices like SATA and NVMe drives. Previously it was not possible to use these types of storage with clustered Storage Spaces with shared disks.

Storage Spaces Direct can use drives that are locally attached to nodes in a cluster or disks that are attached to nodes using enclosure. It aggregates all the disks into a single Storage Pool and enables the creation of virtual disks on top.

Storage Spaced Direct stack

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Samsung reveals new super-fast 960 Pro and 960 Evo M.2 NVMe SSDs
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on September 23, 2016
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Samsung announced its 960 PRO and 960 Evo, the next generation M.2 PCIe SSDs. Like the 950 Pro, the 960 Pro and 960 Evo are PCIe 3.0 x4 drives using the latest NVMe protocol for data transfer. The 960 Pro offers a peak read speed of 3.5GB/s and a peak write speed of 2.1GB/s, while the Evo offers 3.2GB/s and 1.9GB/s respectively. The 950 topped out at a mere 2.5GB/s and 1.5GB/s.

The 960 Pro and the 960 Evo are planned for release in October. The Pro starts at $329 for 512GB of storage, rising up to a cool $1,299 for a 2TB version. The Evo price goes from $129 for a 250GB version to $479 for a 1TB version.

Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe SSDs
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Musings on Windows Server Converged Networking & Storage
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 19, 2016
5/5 (1)

Why you should learn about SMB Direct, RDMA & lossless Ethernet for both networking & storage solutions

fully converged Hyper-V Qos Courtesy of Microsoft
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Is NVMe Really Revolutionary?
Posted by Jon Toigo on August 19, 2016
4/5 (1)

To hear advocates talk about NVMe – a de facto standard created by a group of vendors led by Intel to connect flash memory storage directly to a PCIe bus (that is, without using a SAS/SATA disk controller) – it is the most revolutionary thing that has ever happened in business computing.  While the technology provides a more efficient means to access flash memory, without passing I/O through the buffers, queues and locks associated with a SAS/SATA controller, it can be seen as the latest of a long line of bus extension technologies – and perhaps one that is currently in search of a problem to solve.

I am not against faster I/O processing, of course.  It would be great if the world finally acknowledged that storage has always been the red-headed stepchild of the Von Neumann machine.  Bus speeds and CPU processing speeds have always been capable of driving I/O faster than mechanical storage devices could handle.  That is why engineers used lots of memory – as caches ahead of disk storage or as buffers on disk electronics directly – to help mask or spoof the mismatch of speed.

latency comparison

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Seagate introduces 60TB SSD drive
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on August 16, 2016
4.5/5 (2)

Seagate shows off two new SSD products: an 8TB NVMe drive and a spacious 60TB SSD prototype in a 3.5-inch form factor.

This 60TB consists of more than a 1,000 Micron 3D NAND dice fitted into a full-size, 3.5-inch disk form factor package. Apparently, it has dual port 12Gbit/s SAS interface and 150,000 random read IOPS, with undisclosed write IOPS. The sequential read/write numbers should be 1.5 and 1.0GB/sec.

Nytro XP7200

       Nytro XP7200  with heat sink on top

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Windows 2016 Makes a 100% In Box High Performance VDI Solution a Realistic Option
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on June 27, 2016
5/5 (5)

1. Introduction

With Windows Server 2016 we have gained some very welcome capabilities to do cost effective VDI deployments using all in box technologies. The main areas of improvement are in storage, RemoteFX and with Discrete Device Assignment for hardware pass-through to the VM. Let’s take a look at what’s possible now and think out loud on what solutions are possible as well as their benefits and drawbacks.

performance
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