[Bioclusters] Urgent advice on RAID design requested

Luigi Manna manna at college.usc.edu
Tue Jan 16 21:18:33 EST 2007

Dear Martin,

  I feel your pain. I was in your same situation a couple of years back
(64 node c luster with a self-built NFS server crashing all the time). 
We killed the problem by purchasing a Panasas box. We spent $ 50,000.00
though. Beautiful stuff and I can talk to you more about it. Within your
price range I would venture a couple of solutions:

A Dell server connected to one of their  SAS MD3000 Array with 10K
300GB SAS drives (more reliable then SATA and faster). A configuration
with 15+spare 300GB SAS drives goes for $ 14K. Add a solid server + HBA
+ 24/7 and I think we're within your budget.

Another solution would be to get a cheap NAS. Check out
www.storevault.com a division of Netapp that makes the same
enterprise stuff but geared towards SMB. It won't be as fast as the Dell
solution but it's easier to deploy (no server to deal with) and with the
legendary netapp reliability.

  If you really need FC then my expertise there is not very good but
based on what my colleagues say in our campus ... there's no FC stuff
that could be called RELIABLE and on top of it they are very expensive.
If you could live with NFS to the 4 Linux servers then either of the
solutions I mentioned above will work for you.

I hope this helps.


Luigi Manna
University of  Southern California
Computational and Molecular Biology
1050 Childs Way MCB414
Los Angeles CA 90089-2910
Ph. 213-821-3053
Fax 213-740-8631
manna at usc.edu


>>> On 1/15/2007 at 8:17 AM, in message
<001901c738c0$b636cef0$8d1d01a3 at anat.ox.ac.uk>, martin goodson    
<martin.goodson at dpag.ox.ac.uk> wrote:

> I'd like to ask for some advice on the design of a new storage
> We are looking to buy a basic SAN storage system with ~ 4 TB usable
> capacity. Our total budget is £15,000 (~$25,000?). The filesystem is
> bioinformatics computational work including a fair amount of database
> but also typical bioinformatics flat file access (>1Gb files).
> We would like good performance but really reliability is the number
> issue. The SAN would be in use day and night by a 60 node cluster so
I guess
> we would be looking at enterprise level reliability if not 24/7 (is
there a
> difference?). We plan to attach 4 servers to the SAN which all would
> linux intel/AMD. 
> We have been using RAID5 SATA with an adaptec fs4500 box with really
> experiences so we would really like to get this right. (We have had
> with the controller as well drives failing during RAID5 rebuild.)
> hardware monitoring would be a must. The controller and basically the
> system must be really well supported, especially in Linux. Our
sysadmin is
> really overloaded and would prefer something that does not suck up
all her
> time in maintenance and configuration.
> Just to be perfectly clear, our priorities are reliability >>> size
> performance.
> We already have a quote from HP for a SCSI Modular Storage Array with
> Switch 2Gbit/8 port BASE SAN KIT.
> Is this a reasonable setup. Does anyone have any experience with this
kit or
> can suggest alternatives? 
> Is SCSI over-specifying? Are enterprise SATA drives / controllers
> now up to scratch? Should we be using RAID6 or RAID10?
> We would really really appreciate some help here.
> Thanks in advance,
> Martin Goodson
> Functional Genetics Unit
> Oxford University
> _______________________________________________
> Bioclusters maillist  -  Bioclusters at bioinformatics.org 
> https://bioinformatics.org/mailman/listinfo/bioclusters

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