[Bioclusters] Urgent advice on RAID design requested

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Wed Jan 17 08:56:12 EST 2007


There are a lot of vendors out there selling decent storage. My personal
experience has been very positive with equipment we purchased from 
Microway. We have two SATA based RAID5 storage servers that have never failed
(one is in use for 2.5 years, the other for almost a year). They are probably
quite a bit lower than your indicated pricerange. At SC'06 I saw their new
infiniband/lustre solution. This is also in your pricerange, the performance
is probably unbeatable, but I have no data on reliability. It is also SATA based,
if I recall correctly. Also their service has been really great.

Borries Demeler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Dept. of Biochemistry, MC 7760
7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229-3901
Voice: 210-567-6592, Fax: 210-567-1136, Email: demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu

On Jan 15, 2007, at 11:17 AM, martin goodson wrote:

> I'd like to ask for some advice on the design of a new storage system:
> 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 for
> bioinformatics computational work including a fair amount of  
> database access
> but also typical bioinformatics flat file access (>1Gb files).
> We would like good performance but really reliability is the number  
> one
> 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 be
> linux intel/AMD.
> We have been using RAID5 SATA with an adaptec fs4500 box with  
> really bad
> experiences so we would really like to get this right. (We have had  
> problems
> with the controller as well drives failing during RAID5 rebuild.) Good
> hardware monitoring would be a must. The controller and basically  
> the whole
> 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 SAN
> 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 / 
> systems
> 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
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