Posted by Dmytro Khomenko on February 27, 2018
Storage Tiering – the best of both worlds

Before the time when SSDs took their irreplaceable place in the modern datacenter, there was a time of slow, unreliable, fragile, and vacuum filled spinning rust drives. A moment of change divided the community into two groups – the first with dreams of implementing SSDs in their environment, and the second, with SSDs already being part of their infrastructure.
The idea of having your data stored on the associated tier has never been so intriguing. The possibility of granting your mission-critical VM the performance it deserves in the moment of need has never been more appropriate.

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Posted by Dmytro Khomenko on February 7, 2018
Full throttling your storage performance with P3700 Intel NVMe

The most important part of any server infrastructure is the performance of the underlying storage which creates a direct dependency on the performance of the mission-critical applications. With all the available options for selecting the highest-performing underlying storage for your host taken into account, as well as the consideration of a lot of finger pointing once a storage array doesn’t perform according to plan, the responsibility involved makes the decision even more difficult than it seems.

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Posted by Vitalii Feshchenko on October 24, 2017
How to configure a Multi-Resilient Volume on Windows Server 2016 using Storage Spaces

Introduction

Plenty of articles have been released about Storage Spaces and everything around this topic. However, I would like to absorb all actual information and lead you through the journey of configuring Storage Spaces on a Standalone host.

The main goal of the article is to show a Multi-Resilient Volume configuration process.

How it works

In order to use Storage Spaces, we need to have faster (NVMe, SSD) and slower (HDD) devices.

So, we have a set of NVMe devices along with SAS HDD or SATA HDD, and we should create performance and capacity tier respectively.

NVMe tier is used for caching. When hot blocks are written to the storage array, they are written to the caching tier first (SSD’s or NVMe):

Data in Performance Tier

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Posted by Taras Shved on March 24, 2017
Benchmarking Samsung NVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

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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Posted by Askar Kopbayev on November 8, 2016
Back to basics – RAID types

If you ever worked in IT, you have heard the acronym RAID.  RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (some call it Inexpensive) Disks. So, it basically refers to a group of disk logically presented as one or more volumes to the external system – a server, for instance.

The main two reasons to have RAID are Performance and Redundancy.  With RAID, you can minimize the access time and increase the throughput of data. RAID also allows one or more disks in the array to fail without losing any data.

hot spare disk

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Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on October 19, 2016
WD exposes new SanDisk drives: Blue and Green

WD issued Blue and Green branded SATA SSDs, which are based on SanDisk technology for the first time.

The Green brand is for secondary storage, being reliable, cool and eco-friendly, whereas Blue ones are built for PC primary storage use. Other WD brand colours include Black for enthusiast products and Red for NAS and SOHO (small office, home office) use.

The Blue and Green SATA SSDs are designed to be used mainly in notebooks, PCs and workstations. The Blue product is optimized for multi-tasking and resource-heavy applications. Still, WD states that the Green SSDs deliver essential-class performance, and are a great option for every-day use.

Blue WD and Green WD

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Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on September 23, 2016
Samsung reveals new super-fast 960 Pro and 960 Evo M.2 NVMe SSDs

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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Posted by Jon Toigo on August 19, 2016
Is NVMe Really Revolutionary?

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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Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on August 16, 2016
Seagate introduces 60TB SSD drive

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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Posted by Askar Kopbayev on August 11, 2016
Choosing ideal mini server for a home lab

Yesterday I saw a blog post in Homelab subreddit discussing what Intel NUC to choose. I have spent quite some time recently to choose the right server for my homelab expansion and I have considered a lot of options.

I was also looking at Intel  NUC as many other fellow IT professionals, but luckily last month I read on Tinkertry.com that Supermicro had just released new Mini-1U SuperServers – SYS-E300-8D and SYS-E200-8D.  I had some discussions with my colleagues and other people on Reddit and TinkerTry and I came to the conclusion that if you are aimed to run home lab for virtualization Intel NUC shouldn’t be considered. I believe SuperMicro is a new king on the market of mini servers for home lab.

SYS-E200-8D
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