Archive for May, 2010

ZFS RAID levels

ZFS RAID levels

When we evaluated ZFS for our storage needs, the immediate question became – what are these storage levels, and what do they do for us? ZFS uses odd (to someone familiar with hardware RAID) terminology like Vdevs, Zpools, RAIDZ, and so forth. These are simply Sun’s words for a form of RAID that is pretty familiar to most people that have used hardware RAID systems.
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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 RAID 13 Comments

Initial ZFS performance Stats

Some people have been asking for some performance stats from our Zpool. We’re still working on developing a rigorous testing mechanism to produce reliable and relevant numbers, but for those of you who cannot wait, here’s a few tidbits!
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Monday, May 24th, 2010 Benchmarks 21 Comments

Initial InfiniBand Performance Testing

We’ve gotten the InfiniBand network mostly up and running, and have been doing some performance tests with the included WinOF InfiniBand performance tools. Needless to say the results are nothing less than stunning. This is the fastest transport that we’ve ever had available to us to use in the DataCenter. › Continue reading

Friday, May 21st, 2010 Benchmarks, InfiniBand 7 Comments

Disk Drive Selection

Our search for an affordable yet high performance storage array has led us to use ZFS, OpenSolaris, and commodity hardware. To get the affordable part of the storage under hand, we had to investigate all of our options when it came to hard drives and available SATA technology. We finally settled on a combination of Western Digital RE3 1TB drives, Intel X25-M G2 SSD’s, Intel X25-E SSD’s, and Intel X25-V SSD’s.

All Internal Drives › Continue reading

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 Hardware 12 Comments

Why go with a BladeCenter instead of 1U systems?

The pro’s and con’s of using a BladeCenter

Many people looking through this site may be saying to themselves – Why would you not just build 1U systems and save yourself the cost of running a BladeCenter. Certainly 1U systems would be more cost effective than running a BladeCenter, right?  We thought so too until we really dug into it and found out that running the BladeCenter was actually less expensive when you look at building more than a few servers.  The detailed answers to how this shook out will be explored in this post in depth. › Continue reading

Monday, May 10th, 2010 Hardware 4 Comments

Getting InfiniBand to work

The title of this post says it all. How to get Infiniband to work properly. We have had a roller coaster of fun trying to get the InfiniBand network up and running properly. From the headache of installing the InfiniBand switch module to finding the correct Mezzanine cards for our blades, to getting IPoIB (IP over InfiniBand) working properly on all systems, it’s been interesting to say the least.
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Thursday, May 6th, 2010 Configuration, InfiniBand 17 Comments

Test Blade Configuration

Our bladecenters are full of high performance blades that we use to run a virtualized hosting environment at this time. Since the blades that are in those systems are in production, we couldn’t very well use them to test the performance of our ZFS system. As such, we had to build another blade. We wanted the blade to be similar in spec to the blades that we were using, but we also wanted to utilize some of the new technology that has come out since we put many of our blades into production. › Continue reading

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 Hardware 4 Comments